“Chickens–t” – John Cale

 

A common misconception is that Lou Reed was the Prince of Darkness in the Velvet Underground. While Reed is pretty dark, many would argue that John Cale was the real dark one in the VU. Don’t believe me? Look at the Velvet Underground’s output once Cale left the group. With Cale, the Velvets recorded “Heroin,” “Venus in Furs,” “White Light/White Heat,” “Sister Ray,” and “The Gift.” Post Cale: “What Goes On,” “Jesus,” “Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll.”

Cale can dress things up beautifully with orchestral arrangements and lilting vocals (his best known song is arguably his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from the “Shrek” soundtrack) . But during the mid-late 1970s, Cale let his freak flag fly with some brilliant, disturbing, and very heavy stuff. “Chickens–t” is from Cale’s lesser-known post-Island records period, more specifically the 1977 EP “Animal Justice.” A wonderfully malevolent and sinister hard rock masterpiece.

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