Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest stu

Neil Young

Recommended Posts

Guest stu

So, up to this point we have somehow survived without a Neil Young thread. This is puzzling, and as I'm stuck inside babysitting, I thought I would ramble awhile.

I had intended to save Neil Young - as I am saving Bowie and Tom Waits, not to mention Kylie's late 90's period - for a fallow musical year. A year in which there is no critics choice, Fleet Foxes kind of album waiting to be released, a year in which we have finally run out of unreleased Dylan gems, or, God forbid, a year in which Radiohead run dry. Then, I thought, I could delve, carefully and with restraint in that substantial yet daunting back catalogue, taking care to take in all its significant moments, without rushing too far ahead to the mid-70s pinnacles.

Obviously, I'd already heard Harvest. And After the Gold Rush. So I started with Everybody knows this is nowhere (not sure why I missed the first album - I need to go back at some point). Which is just as it should be, all frenzied and blunt and beautiful. But then I got carried away, before I knew it was I listening to On the beach, with its slow motion hash-blues, and Zuma with its swirly, glistening overdrive and frightening songs and almost inanely stupid brute force.

In short, I blew it, and I've gone and used up nearly all of the golden 70's period in a frighteningly short period of time. I got American Stars n Bars the other week. I've already heard Rust Never Sleeps. It's a terrifying thought, but the only thing standing between me and the loathsome Re-act-or and a decade of genre shifting monstrosities, is Comes a Time. I am counting on you, Comes a Time. Don't surrender your charms too easily. Preserve your mystique for a few months at least. Don't push me too soon into the 80s, don't let me lose my dignity, furtively searching through Everybody's Rockin' for a quick hit.

On the plus side, the man seems to be finally releasing his Archives project, or some of it, at least, so perhaps I can ward off the 80s for a while yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've still got Tonight's The Night to go right? And try and hear Time Fades Away, which hasn't been released on CD yet.

Post 1980, I'm actually pretty fond of Trans (1982?), and Freedom and Ragged Glory have some great moments. His most recent stuff seems quite decent, but non-essential.


It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that Neil Young lost, say, after 1970, is great melodies. He had very fine ones from the Buffalo Springfield years till his first three albums. Then after, I don't know what happened, but he didn't seem to look much for them anymore.

There was a kind of "broading" (right word?) quality about his melodies in the early years, almost like the ones of Ron Sexsmith (circa Other Songs especially).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've still got Tonight's The Night to go right? And try and hear Time Fades Away, which hasn't been released on CD yet.

Post 1980, I'm actually pretty fond of Trans (1982?), and Freedom and Ragged Glory have some great moments. His most recent stuff seems quite decent, but non-essential.

I think The Trout's batting about .800 here, which is pretty good, but personally I'd pass on Trans. And, for what it's worth, I think Tonight's The Night is in a tie with Zuma as Neil's greatest album. Live Rust is a very good live album, although it's debatable if you need it if you've already heard those '70s albums and Rust Never Sleeps. I find Neil from about '91 on to be virtually worthless, but that's just me.

Edited by Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stu
Tonight's the Night was used up sometime before Christimas. It's a close call, but I think it might just have the edge over the others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The compilation Decade is of those stuff that changed my life. The first five songs alone, "Down to the Wire", "Burned", "Broken Arrow", "Expecting to Fly", "Mr Soul", made almost as much impact on me as The Beatles, the Doors or the Velvet Underground. It's wonderful 60s West Coast rock'n'roll.

Wait, it was recorded in California, right? Or was it New York? What a great band Buffalo Springfield could have been! They had everything to be big. But Stills and Young couldn't get along, apparently. Stills was a temper, I've been told.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil. What a catalog. Tonights the Night is an amazing and dark journey. I love that band. The photo of the wooden indian with the flying V, captioned as Danny Whitten sums it up. Just when you think wow this is bleak, you get Come on Baby let's go downtown, Then you realize it's Danny singing.

Tonight is a dark album....filled with such heartache, it's black and white and filled with the consequences of hard living.

On the Beach, with it's lawn furniture and bright colors. has more vitriol. "I hear that Laural Canyon is filled with famous stars, but I hate them worse them Lepers and I kill them in their cars".

"Well...It's so good to be here asleep on your lawn, remember your guard dog? well I'm afraid that he's gone. It was such a drag to hear him whining all night long."whoooooooo!

and then you get that Rhodes in See the Sky About to Rain. It is such a wistful song.

Tonight's, On the Beach, Zuma...1974/1975. I was in Jr high when these all came out. I had friends and neighbors OD. The fallout from Watergate was a constant topic in our house. As a kid it seemed that everybody was on edge. Oil prices/OPEC. My relationship with my father went into the toilet. It seems really sad to me at this point in my life that in 7th and 8th grade Neil was singing how I felt.

I grew past it. It was years, decades until I could listen to this music again. I really didn't have to listen to it. I have Cortez the Killer as a permanent echo. It's a string of records that rivals anyone's.

Filled with burnouts, hippies, starlets, pimps, tailors. Staged in bars, open fields, New Mexico. Malibu and Zuma Beaches. Traveling by Van, fueled by, peyote, marijuana and red wine, fried eggs and country Ham.

It all sounds like it was recorded in Neil's barn. I imagine him freaked out, surrounded by people he trusted, trying to make sense of how damaged the world had become.

" I've been down the road and I've come back. Lonesome whistle on a railroad track, ain't got nothing on those feelings, that I used to have"

magic........

Edited by mumbleypeg

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've still got Tonight's The Night to go right? And try and hear Time Fades Away, which hasn't been released on CD yet.

Post 1980, I'm actually pretty fond of Trans (1982?), and Freedom and Ragged Glory have some great moments. His most recent stuff seems quite decent, but non-essential.

I think The Trout's batting about .800 here, which is pretty good, but personally I'd pass on Trans. And, for what it's worth, I think Tonight's The Night is in a tie with Zuma as Neil's greatest album. Live Rust is a very good live album, although it's debatable if you need it if you've already heard those '70s albums and Rust Never Sleeps. I find Neil from about '91 on to be virtually worthless, but that's just me.

Have you heard anything off Mirrorball? It was a collaboration with Pearl Jam from around 94-95. "I'm The Ocean" is still a a favorite of mine. That being said, I kind of got over Young after around Are You Passionate? in 02. "Let's Roll" was an embarrassment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...