John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Solo albums

Slow Dazzle

Slow Dazzle

About this album

Released in 1975. Island ILPS 9317.


  1. Mr. Wilson
  2. Taking It All Away
  3. Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll
  4. Darling I Need You
  5. Rollaroll
  6. Heartbreak Hotel
  7. Ski Patrol
  8. I'm Not The Loving Kind
  9. Guts
  10. The Jeweller

All songs written by John Cale, except Heartbreak Hotel written by Mae Axton, Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley.

Mr. Wilson is a tribute to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. A cover version of God Only Knows with the St. Paul Cathedral Choir does not make the album, but his deconstructed and reassembled version of Heartbreak Hotel makes the cut. It will become a staple of his live shows.

Kevin Ayers is "the bugger in the short sleeves" immortalized by Cale in Guts. He had fucked his then wife Cindy Wells the night before the June 1, 1974 concert at the Rainbow in London.

"On my second Island LP, Slow Dazzle, released in the UK in April 1975, I wanted to see if I could write singles. You pick up on the potential of a situation and expand it into something thqat hasn't been realized the way it is right now. If you push it far enough it'll develop into something else. I don't want to get philosophical about it, but love and all that shit isn't necessarily wht rock is about. Slow Dazzle sold best of my solo albums until then. Most of it was written in the studio. My Beach Boys records were my personal soundtrack. Somebody told me later that Brian Wilson heard 'Mr. Wilson' and thought it was 'sarcastic', which I can't really say I understand. I'll concede a healthy dose of irony, but it's still a tribute to him. Brian Wilson wasn't too pleased with 'I believe you, Mr. Wilson, I believe you anyway'. But the thing is, it's about him and the former prime minister Harold Wilson. So either way I lose with him. He doesn't want to share a song with Harold Wilson."

John Cale: piano, organ, clavinet, vocals
Gerry Conway: drums
Pat Donaldson: bass
Tim Donald: drums
Eno: synthesizer
Phil Manzanera: guitar
Geoff Muldaur: harmony vocals on Guts and Darling I Need You
Chris Spedding: guitar
Chris Thomas: violin, electric piano

Other credits:
Producer: John Cale
Executive producer: John Wood, A. Secunda (Heartbreak Hotel)
Engineering: Vic Gamm and John Wood
Cover photo: Keith Morris
Design: Michael Wade
Recorded at Sound Techniques, London, United Kingdom

Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll / Heartbreak Hotel

Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll jukebox single

No singles were released to promote the album, safe for a belated coupling of Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll and Heartbreak Hotel in France aimed at jukebox distribution.

Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll / Heartbreak Hotel
7 inch 45rpm single. 1977
Island, France

Vinyl reissue with bonus tracks

Reissued in 2008 on Vinyl Lovers with two rather odd bonus tracks: Sylvia Said, the B-side from the The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy single from the Fear album, and You & Me, an outtake from the Helen of Troy album. Distributed through Lowlands.

Side A:

  1. Mr. Wilson
  2. Taking It All Away
  3. Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll
  4. Darling I Need You
  5. Rollaroll
  6. Sylvia Said

Side B:

  1. Heartbreak Hotel
  2. Ski Patrol
  3. I'm Not The Loving Kind
  4. Guts
  5. The Jeweller
  6. You & Me
Slow Dazzle reissue

CD reissue

American CD label Culture Factory reissues the album in 2013 on compact-disc which reproduces meticulously all the components of the original LP and are their exact replicas in compact-disc size (5.3 x 5.3 inches). The music is encoded using state of the art, high definition remastering in 96 kHz / 24 BIT audio.

© 1999- Hans Werksman