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

Solo albums

Songs for Drella

Songs for Drella

About this album

Released in 1990. Sire Warner Bros. 7599-26140-2.
Also released as a deluxe digipack edition with a velvet cover with liner notes by Bill Bentley and vintage Factory era photographs by Nat Finkelstein, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, Stephen Shore and Ine Valeris.


  1. Smalltown
  2. Open House
  3. Style It Takes
  4. Work
  5. Trouble With The Classicists
  6. Starlight
  7. Faces And Names
  8. Images
  9. Slip Away (A Warning)
  10. It Wasn't Me
  11. I Believe
  12. Nobody But You
  13. A Dream
  14. Forever Changed
  15. Hello It's Me

All songs written by John Cale and Lou Reed.

On January 7 and 8, 1989 Cale and Reed perform in The Church of St. Anne's in Brooklyn, New York, a selection of the song cycle Songs for Drella, a tribute to Andy Warhol.

The first full version is played on 29 and 30 November, and 2 and 3 December at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. On the last date they are joined onstage by Maureen Tucker for the encore of Pale Blue Eyes. An extra performance without an audience is taped on December 4 or 5 for the Songs for Drella live video. After that the cycle is performed live just one more time at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, Japan on August 6, 1990, with Maureen Tucker repeating her encore appearance. In 2013 Reed suggests that it could happen again, but Cale is not having it and goes on record in an interview in New York Magazine:

"Who does he think he is, thinking he can just put an item like that out there? (...) Things like that do not happen just because you think it is a good idea. It takes a lot of work to get the songs ready for live performance. Most of those arrangements are out of date. They need to be redone. Lou doesn’t have the patience for something like that. Never. Not for a minute. (...) The problem with the Velvets was always a conflict between doing revolutionary songs, like ‘Venus in Furs,’ and pretty songs."

John Cale: vocals, keyboards, viola
Lou Reed: vocals, guitars

Other credits:
Produced by Lou Reed and John Cale
Recorded by Jeremy Darby
Mixed by Lou Reed, John Cale, Jeremy Darby and Michael Rathke
Production assistance: Michael Rathke
Keyboard technician: Andy Green
Assistant engineers: Mike Scalcione, Greg Wong and Victor Deyglio
Art direction & design: Tom Recchion and Sylvia Reed
Photo of Andy Warhol: Billy Name
Photo of Lou Reed/John Cale: James Hamilton
Performance photos: Jerome Sirlin, Risé Cale
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk
Recorded and mixed at Sigma Sound, NYC, USA


Nobody But You Drella CDEP

Nobody But You was released as a single in two formats: as a 7" with Style It Takes and as a 3-track CDEP with Style It Takes and A Dream.

Nobody But You / Style It Takes
7 inch 45rpm 1990.
Sire Records/Warner 5439 19808-7 Germany

Nobody But You / Style It Takes / A Dream
CDEP. 1990.
Sire Records/Warner 7599-21555-2, Germany

Songs for Drella

Songs for Drella - the ballet

Ed Wubbe & Marco Goecke created a choreography for Dutch ballet company Scapino. The production is on tour in The Netherlands (February 18 - May 20, 2011). Not all songs were used. Slip Away (A Warning), It Wasn't Me, I Believe and Nobody But You were left on the shelf. Wubbe and Goecke added a bit of jazz and Big Apple Express from Cale's Stainless Steel Gamelan: Inside The Dream Syndicate Vol III album.

Running order:

  1. Smalltown
  2. Tijuana Gift Shop (Charlie Mingus)
  3. Open House
  4. Style It Takes
  5. Work
  6. Oh No, Babe (Jimmy Smith)
  7. David Bowie Screentest (no music)
  8. CG Train (Charlie Mingus)
  9. Starlight
  10. Faces And Names
  11. Big Apple Express
  12. Oh No, Babe (Jimmy Smith)
  13. Images
  14. Big Apple Express
  15. Trouble With The Classicists
  16. A Dream
  17. Forever Changed
  18. Solo (no music)
  19. Hello It's Me

Ed Wubbe teamed up with John Cale in 1997 for a ballet about Nico.

© 1999- Hans Werksman