Despite his stature as one of our greatest modern composers, many of John Cale’s most celebrated albums remain out of print. Originally released in 1982, ‘Music for a New Society’ – as unpredictable and uncomfortable as ever – is about to get its first CD release in over two decades. Recorded alone in one frenzied week, it’s not unlike the shattered hymnals of Big Star’s ‘Third’, but with a composition degree from Juilliard.

Even better, however, is ‘M:FANS’, a reworking of almost every track on the album – ‘Music for a New Society’ for a new context and a new century. So ‘Changes Made’ becomes the pounding, processed manifesto it always threatened to be, and the stuttering production on ‘Close Watch’ could almost pass for Timbaland. Meanwhile, Cale’s tremulous voice dominates two hauntological, droning – and equally stunning – takes on ‘If You Were Still Around’, recast as timely tributes to Lou Reed. ‘M:FANS’ doesn’t exactly make its parent album an easier listen, but it allows Cale to offer a fascinating new perspective on his darkest work.


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