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Released: March 1973

Rating: 4.405 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: avant-garde rock

Quotable: “The idiosyncratic pinnacle to Cale's thrilling yet perverse career.” – The Los Angeles Times

Album Tracks:

  1. Child’s Christmas in Wales
  2. Hanky Panky Nohow
  3. The Endless Plain of Fortune
  4. Andalucia
  5. Macbeth
  6. Paris 1919
  7. Graham Greene
  8. Half Past France
  9. Antarctica Starts Here

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • --

Notes: A 2006 reissue added an outtake for the song “Burned Out Affair” as well as alternate versions of every song on the original album.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

Paris 1919
John Cale
“John Cale has one of the richest resumes in pop, with experience in avant-garde music even before he met Lou Reed and they formed the Velvet Underground. His record productions include such landmarks as the debut by the Stooges and Patti Smith’s Horses. But as a solo artist, Cale has often seemed caught between his sophisticated leanings and his fondness for punky attitudes.” JM

Paris 1919 “is the most accessible and traditional of Cale’s albums, and the most well-known of his work as a solo artist.” WK The Los Angeles Times called it “the idiosyncratic pinnacle to Cale's thrilling yet perverse career.” WK The album “grows in depth and resonance with each successive listen. A consciously literary work…Paris 1919 is close in spirit to a collection of short stories; the songs are richly poetic, enigmatic period pieces strongly evocative of their time and place.” JA

“Although John Cale has set poems of Dylan Thomas to music, the song Child’s Christmas in Wales only shares a title with Thomas’ prose poem of the same name. The song does reference Thomas’ poem ‘The Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait’ in its second verse.” WK

Antarctica Starts Here is inspired by the 1950 Billy Wilder film, Sunset Boulevard starring Gloria Swanson.” WK

“Cale’s a fairly deadpan singer, but the sweet mix of rock band instrumentation and fuller orchestration make Paris 1919 one of his strongest efforts, and the lovely "Andalucia" one of his very best songs. If the righteous boogie of Macbeth sounds familiar, that’s because Lowell George and Richie Hayward, guitarist and drummer of Little Feat, formed the core of Cale’s studio band.” JM

“Chris Thomas’ production is appropriately lush and sweeping, with many tracks set to orchestral accompaniment; indeed, there’s little here to suggest either Cale’s noisy, abrasive past or the chaos about to resurface in his subsequent work – for better or worse, his music never achieved a similar beauty again.” JA

Review Source(s):

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Last updated March 9, 2011.