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Thread: Ok, what's so great about... .Neil Young?

  1. #26
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Krautman View Post
    He surely topped that: he wrote a very successful orchestral concept prog-album called : Jonathan Livingston Seagull
    nyjaz.jpg

  2. #27
    Everything he touched in the 70's was gold, right up until 1979. Nuff said. Great acoustic songsmith and lyricist.

  3. #28
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    Loves me some Neil Young. Caught him solo & w/Crazy Horse a dozen or so times live. The 1978 "Rust Never Sleeps"/"Live Rust" concert I saw at MSG still ranks as Top 5 in the thousand+ shows I've seen. (Clip from S.F.)

    The one he did a few years ago at Carnegie Hall was a spiritual event.
    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  4. #29
    Member Ten Thumbs's Avatar
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    There's a vitality in him that I connect with, the emotion in his delivery of words and music, call it 'feel', and I have my own organic response to that 'feel'. I think he writes and records more from a personal in his soul perspective than a prog band that records for artistry or with an artistic statement in mind. He can put the gloss on his songs when he wants ( Harvest, Harvest Moon, Prairie Wind, CSNY stuff), but for him it's more about immediacy and feel (On the Beach, Freedom, Sleeps With Angels). He can play his music live as a solo or in many different band configurations ( I've seen solo, CSNY, Crazy Horse (jam band), International Harvesters (country), Shocking Pinks (which was both 50s rock and his electronic Trans stuff), Booker T and MGs, Promise of the Real ( Willie Nelson's son's band) and others; and in some of these configurations he takes on a persona (far more everyman than Bowie personnas). A lot of his concerts will have an arching theme to them based on the song selections. For me, in 1973 my first NY concert I was expecting the hits from Goldrush and Harvest but instead got a 180 turn of raw lyrics and raw playing of new material from Time Fades Away and all of Tonight's the Night (which got released in 1975), Neil played and did what he wanted to do ( his mgmt. didn't want him to tour that music, his label delayed the album release). He's continued to do and play what's been immediate in his mind on his albums and tours. Not to say that every album has connected, but 51 NY albums + live albums, Buffalo Springfield and CSNY offers up better than an album a year since 1966. My opinion, since their first album, CSN haven't been much unless Y was with them, and CSN even joke that NY writes more than they do combined. Quantity doesn't necessarily equate to quality, but a lot of people have near complete NY collections because they 'feel' it in any formation NY decides to offer it up. Some people just like him for the dozen or so songs they know and that is their expectations of NY, but NY has long been more about diy, point of view, and whichever band orientation he decides to deliver his immediacy. I also like the humor I find in his music, and on the Unplugged live album having a broom sweeping as a percussive effect is too good. I saw NY and Gentle Giant concerts in 1973 and both were defining nights for me.
    Last edited by Ten Thumbs; 01-15-2017 at 08:01 PM. Reason: grammar
    I remember tomorrow

  5. #30
    Neil has always been my favorite martian. Have seen him several times with Crazy Horse and doing his solo acoustic guitar/piano tours, and the concerts are always great, particularly the first time I saw him on the Rust Never Sleeps tour. Loved the distortion. Fan for life.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    I've never liked his voice, but if he only wrote "Ohio" and "Needle etc." that in and of itself would qualify him for mucho respect.
    Definitely. But I think of "Ohio" as CSNY and didn't think of it as a Y song. So now I do.

  7. #32
    Massive fan here. I admire Neil's ability to pretty much go where he wants artistically and not really be all that concerned about success or failure, commercial or artistic; it's the attempt that matters to him. And as some one above said, when he's on, he's on. Lyrically and musically, there are moments of his that I'd take over just about anything in my collection. Side Two of On The Beach, for example. It's also about the most beautifully depressing album side I've heard.

    I may be in the minority on this particular board, but as a guitarist he is absolutely among the greats. Maybe he's not technically brilliant (who cares), but his playing is so expressive and unique, with a sound/tone that it's instantly recognizable. Like A Hurricane, Cortez The Killer, Powderfinger and some of the jams he gets into live are infinitely more exciting to me than so many other respectable players.

    And then there's The Horse. Much like his guitar playing, it probably shouldn't work, but it just does. Sometimes there's just nothing better than loud, sloppy rock and roll and there's few bands that ever did it better than Neil with those guys.

  8. #33
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    The first time I saw Neil was with Crazy Horse. His first set was solo acoustic, then the curtains parted behind him, and there was Crazy Horse. The next cords were so loud they practically knocked me down. Incredible.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    I've never liked his voice, but if he only wrote "Ohio" and "Needle etc." that in and of itself would qualify him for mucho respect.
    Same here.

    Always liked the song "Cinnamon Girl" too.

  10. #35
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    American Stars 'n Bars (1977) is my fav by him.



  11. #36
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    I grew up in a household where Neil Young and CSNY were played constantly by older siblings, so that probably had much to do with my soft spot for his music. And while he was all over the radio during the 70s, to me his music had a grounding effect due to their honesty, transparency, and visceral delivery. His songs could just neutralize whatever crap was in the air because of people being stupid about whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Decade is one of the best compilations ever assembled- a 'best of' in that it covers the obvious classics/hits and has a load of rare stuff not available anywhere else.
    Yup.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  12. #37
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    If I have to keep on album of Neil, I'd say Live Rust (though I'll take Rust Never Sleeps - the movie - instead)

    But there are a fair bit of studio albums that deserves plenty attention, IMHO
    Nowhere
    On The Beach
    Zuma
    Rust Never Sleeps
    Ragged Glory
    Psychedelic Pill


    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I have a lot of respect for Neil Young. I don't care much for his music, but he has written a lot of great songs. I could never get beyond his singing, though. And, his guitar playing, well, it's kinda torturous to hear. I do like his stance on issues of the day.
    Well, the country-rock side of his certainly dims what I think of his folk and rock sides

    But Neil is indeed about Stances, as much as music.
    Though the anti-Monsanto music is half-baked, I like his rebellion against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by grego View Post
    Not a fan of his voice, dare I say...Music is...a singer-songwriter stuff ...by far not as original, as his frend's, Joni Mitchell.
    Mmmhhh!!... Joni certainly went further than Neil did in the later-70's, and though I don't like what Neil did in the 80's, he went further than Joni did (Trans for ex)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I have a lot of respect for Neil Young. I don't care much for his music, but he has written a lot of great songs. I could never get beyond his singing, though. And, his guitar playing, well, it's kinda torturous to hear. I do like his stance on issues of the day.

    Not sure why this is in the main forum.
    This is pretty much exactly my position on Neil Young as well. I find his music excruciating (apart from CSN & Y) and his electric guitar playing utterly atrocious, but he's an interesting person and pretty right-on with it.

  14. #39
    Member viukkis's Avatar
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    I have no idea why, but I could listen to Neil's guitar playing all day. Even if it always sounds a bit like Peter Hammill's solo on Meurglys III, it never feels like his lack of chops is getting in the way of expressing what he is trying to say with his instrument.

  15. #40
    Everything.

    He plays what he likes at the time. He has done Country, Rock-a-billy, Electonic, and is the godfather of grunge. His passion and attitude are the things that attract me, but let's not forget just how creative he is. Buffalo Springfield. His songs with CSNY. He has recorded probably 30+ albums. He is the man.

  16. #41
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Love Neil Young. It's all about the songs for me. I like his voice and guitar playing too. He's pitchy and screechy but it's got balls too.

  17. #42
    Member 2steves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saucyjackstl View Post
    Everything.

    He plays what he likes at the time. He has done Country, Rock-a-billy, Electonic, and is the godfather of grunge. His passion and attitude are the things that attract me, but let's not forget just how creative he is. Buffalo Springfield. His songs with CSNY. He has recorded probably 30+ albums. He is the man.
    This---plus I like originality more than anything really----and he's an original. His early albums and then his comeback Harvest Moon are great albums. CSNY is one of my fav american bands---the band is great with or without Young---but the 4 of them---all different blended in a magical way. He's a great artist.

  18. #43
    He embodies everything that progressive rock fans value. Experimentation. Always trying different sounds, styles, concepts. He does what HE wants to do musically. Besides all that, he's an incredible guitarist. Incredible. Watch him play live some time. If your standard is Al Dimeola or John McLaughlin, and anything short of that is merely human, I feel for ya. He packs more emotion in to his guitar solos than any other player. On one end you have Holdsworth who can play a thousand notes and bore you to tears, or Neil playing half the amount, but bringing you to tears.

  19. #44
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    (Bringing back the haikus)

    Just not a big fan
    His songs are good but that voice
    More than I can take
    Prog's Not Dead

  20. #45
    Get the Massey Hall 1971 concert. If this doesn't move your soul, then Young may not be for you? The simplicity and emotional impact of these (many freshly written at the time) songs and performances I find very moving. And don't waste the extra money for the deluxe edition with the DVD. The video quality is terrible.

    I also like the intensity of the electric Fillmore East 1970 show. Killer rendition of Down By The River on this one!

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I reckon Maestro Keneally will chime in here regarding Live Rust 😉
    If he doesn't, I will. I did.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by viukkis View Post
    I have no idea why, but I could listen to Neil's guitar playing all day. Even if it always sounds a bit like Peter Hammill's solo on Meurglys III, it never feels like his lack of chops is getting in the way of expressing what he is trying to say with his instrument.
    Thumbs up!

  23. #48
    Member eporter66's Avatar
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    Outside of the obvious songs, my introduction to Neil Young was through CSNY. I was always mesmerized by their amazing harmonies, and I loved the acoustic guitars mixed with the more electric side. I don't think you can touch an album like Deja Vu, just a pure classic to my ears, magic.

    Neil has some great songs,on his own. I like that he has tried a lot of different styles, whether they have all worked or not is up to the individual. There are plenty of artists who are lavished with praise, and I shake my head and just chalk it up to I don't get it, or accept that for some reason it just wont connect with me. But, I get the appeal of Neil Young, and like a lot of his music.

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Thumbs View Post
    There's a vitality in him that I connect with, the emotion in his delivery of words and music, call it 'feel', and I have my own organic response to that 'feel'. I think he writes and records more from a personal in his soul perspective than a prog band that records for artistry or with an artistic statement in mind. He can put the gloss on his songs when he wants ( Harvest, Harvest Moon, Prairie Wind, CSNY stuff), but for him it's more about immediacy and feel (On the Beach, Freedom, Sleeps With Angels). He can play his music live as a solo or in many different band configurations ( I've seen solo, CSNY, Crazy Horse (jam band), International Harvesters (country), Shocking Pinks (which was both 50s rock and his electronic Trans stuff), Booker T and MGs, Promise of the Real ( Willie Nelson's son's band) and others; and in some of these configurations he takes on a persona (far more everyman than Bowie personnas). A lot of his concerts will have an arching theme to them based on the song selections. For me, in 1973 my first NY concert I was expecting the hits from Goldrush and Harvest but instead got a 180 turn of raw lyrics and raw playing of new material from Time Fades Away and all of Tonight's the Night (which got released in 1975), Neil played and did what he wanted to do ( his mgmt. didn't want him to tour that music, his label delayed the album release). He's continued to do and play what's been immediate in his mind on his albums and tours. Not to say that every album has connected, but 51 NY albums + live albums, Buffalo Springfield and CSNY offers up better than an album a year since 1966. My opinion, since their first album, CSN haven't been much unless Y was with them, and CSN even joke that NY writes more than they do combined. Quantity doesn't necessarily equate to quality, but a lot of people have near complete NY collections because they 'feel' it in any formation NY decides to offer it up. Some people just like him for the dozen or so songs they know and that is their expectations of NY, but NY has long been more about diy, point of view, and whichever band orientation he decides to deliver his immediacy. I also like the humor I find in his music, and on the Unplugged live album having a broom sweeping as a percussive effect is too good. I saw NY and Gentle Giant concerts in 1973 and both were defining nights for me.
    I was going to try to say something like this, but you said it far better than I ever could. For me Neil's albums are hit and miss. But when he connects it's as Mark Twain said about using the right word, "Lightning" rather than "Lightning bug". Often I have found live versions to be far superior to his studio work. The album "Tonight's the Night" is probably the hardest album to get into but is his most powerful work. He has a 20 minute version of the song title "Tonights the night" that uses tension almost to the breaking point and then releases it. That version is on a archive recording from his "BlueNote Cafe" concert with his band "The Bluenotes".


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  25. #50
    Like his voice, like his emotion, am partial about his guitar playing -
    It can be sublime and grating, sometimes even in the same song
    Especially in live settings -
    I seen him in Desert Trip, enjoyed his quiter songs immensly, then cowgirl in the sand (a song I like),
    Then the round of solos started, first round was nice, second one was better, third round of solos was mind-blowing - then it went on to a fourth round of solos, fifth round of solos,
    By the sixth round I just went out to grab some food...

    PS there is a great version of Cortez the killer done by Eugene Chadbourne! really fantastic solo that catches the NY spirit without being tiresome

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