Label: Island Records - ILPS 9350 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Netherlands • Genre: Rock • Style: Art Rock, Experimental
Helen of Troy is the sixth solo studio album by Welsh musician John Calereleased in November by Island Recordshis last of three albums for the label. Another unused track, "Mary Lou", was released on the compilation album Guts. The album features a cover of " Pablo Picasso " originally by the Modern Loversa song which Cale had produced for the band's debut album. The cover has a photograph of Cale by Keith Morris. Cale's trousers were given to him by Judy Nylon who acquired them from Bones - Film School - Fission designer Vivienne Westwood.
Helen of Troy was released in November by Island. It was commonly sold as a UK import all over the US. No singles were released from the album. The album as originally released contained "Leaving It Up to You" as the ninth track. However, due to its reference to the murder of Sharon Tate by members of the Manson FamilyIsland replaced it on subsequent pressings with the song "Coral Moon". The original sequence would be restored on the repress and when the album was released on CD, with "Coral Moon" appearing as a bonus track.
The album was remastered in as part Leaving It Up To You - John Cale - Helen Of Troy the two-disc release The Island Yearswhich includes also Fear and Slow Dazzle Helen of Troy was released without the consent of Cale, who considered that the tapes were not finished.
Cale was touring when the Çiftetelli - Arif Sağ - Davullar Çalinirken was released.
Later that autumn, he toured again with this same line-up for twice as Blue And Sentimental - Count Basie And His Orchestra* - The Best Of Count Basie dates. After shipping the first pressings Island Records replaced the track "Leaving It Up to You" with "Coral Moon", because the former song mentioned Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanskiwho was murdered in by members of the Manson Family Island never updated the cover or label.
Things turned sour, and Cale and Island went their separate ways. The CD version contains both tracks. It could have been a great album. I was spending eighteen hours a day in the studio. When I got back, I found the record company had gone ahead and released what amounted to demo tapes. The trouble was that Island had their own ideas of what that album should sound like.
They wanted to include songs I don't particularly like, but it was also an impertinent assumption on my part that I was capable of managing myself. My determination to have Helen of Troy the way I did was not really fair to Leaving It Up To You - John Cale - Helen Of Troy or my management, especially at a time when Island was losing its percentage of the market, which was making everybody very paranoid.
He believed that, while "Pablo Picasso" and "Leaving It All Up to You" are "Cale at his mad best", "Mary Lou" and the title track are indicative of how the album is "sodden and stylized" as a whole. All songs composed by John Caleexcept where indicated. Adapted from the Helen of Troy liner notes.
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