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

  1. #51
    Well I’ve been a Neil Young fan since the 70s. There are several different faces of Neil. There is the mellow folky/country Neil. Songs like Heart Of Gold or the Harvest Moon album would fit into this category. Then there is the rocking grungy Neil. Songs like Cortez The Killer or albums like Rust Never Sleeps would fall into this category. Then there were the odd albums like Trans which is an electronic album. I could understand prog fans not liking Neil because it isn’t prog. But I’m sure there are people like me who don’t listen to prog exclusively. For me growing up in the 70s, I listened to King Crimson, ELP etc. as well as Neil Young, The Kinks, The Beatles, The Stones, etc. But as for Neil, I can understand people not liking his voice. It would be the same for people like Bob Dylan or Janis Joplin or even Yoko Ono. All their voices are not perfect. But anyway, go into Youtube and listen to long version of Cortez or Down By The River and see why Neil is great (to me anyway).

  2. #52
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I feel sorry for people who can't get into playing like this.

  3. #53
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    I must admit I've heard a small amount of his output since (there's an awful lot of it!) but from what I have heard, Sleeps With Angels was something of a last gasp. A great album.

    One I remember hearing on the radio when it was out and liking was 'Goin' Home' which was sort of in that 'Like A Hurricane' bag, but I gather the album was very weak (Are You Passionate?).

  4. #54
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I was at a concert where he joined Springsteen and company onstage. A stomping "All Along the Watchtower" was being played. Neil took the solo and well, after a few minutes it was going on just a bit too long and the arena was getting a bit restless. Clarence Clemons and Nils Lofgren faced off against Neil and started wailing in unison. Neil ceded the spotlight and the song went back to chorus verse chorus.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  5. #55
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  6. #56
    ^^^
    Great tune, Walt! Although I dig the energy of the Live Rust performance.

  7. #57
    Jefferson James
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    I ate mushrooms with a friend once and we tried to play some Neil Young songs on our acoustics, and we couldn't do it. The ongoing gag from that night has been "I'm so high I can't even play Neil Young." Oddly, I awoke the next day to find both guitars wrapped in Saran Wrap.

    As for Neil Young, the absolute best thing I've ever heard was the Mike Keneally Band blazing thru "Cinnamon Girl" at The Baked Potato. Oh man, Mike took that guitar solo to places I can barely imagine. I mean, I've never really seen anyone playing guitar that intently and with that level of intensity. I knew of Mike's love of Neil but man, he really showed it that night. Best cover version, ever.

    I love "Tonight's the Night", I think it's really the best and most cohesive (lyrically and musically) album Neil's done; I was pretty blown away hearing it a few years ago for the first time. I found the music to be really well-done, with a certain level of sophistication that's not always apparent with his more rockin' side. Neil's lyrics don't always grab me but these are some of his best, to me anyway. Pretty concise, and he paints a real solid picture of the time and head-space he was in.

    I heard "Trans" two nights ago for the first time and found it hilarious, but also, man, it sounded almost like it could have been made yesterday. For 1982 he totally predicted what is now a huge sound and approach in modern Top 40 pop. Really, it's pretty visionary.

    I can take him in limited doses; I prefer his "Harvest"-era stuff, he wrote more detailed chord changes and little acoustic riffs back then, totally captured the singer-songwriter '70s essence. He could really build a song, like "Old Man", which is still just a really cool song to hear. "Live Rust" was the soundtrack for a 1979 cross-country road trip with my brother in law, I wore that cassette out and that whole album is so kick-ass. Aside from that, I haven't deliberately followed the guy.

    Mad, mad respect for one thing: his principles. He walks, and has always walked, the walk. He's totally fearless, unafraid to make his often scathing views known, taking his music in surprising and unexpected directions (baffling at times), the definition of a true artist. He pulled out the PONO thing, which underscores his passion for truth, as in truth in the recordings, the best fidelity possible or whatever (I don't have it).

    He's a curmudgeon backed-up with sincere conviction and immense talent. His voice, love it or not, is part of the tapestry of classic rock music. I'm grateful he is still here with us today.

  8. #58
    Member Vic333's Avatar
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    His 70's output was really quite good. I really like "Neil Young", "Everybody Knows...", "After the Gold Rush", "Rust Never Sleeps".

    In the 80's ... eh, I've heard most of it, and really don't like it. He came back big in 1990 with "Ragged Glory" and Harvest Moon". Great records. After that, most of his output really started sounding very ... same-ish? Lazily written? Just not the same as when he's on top of this game. Still respect the guy. And I love his guitar playing/tone. Just on the verge of distorting beyond recognition. Nice.

  9. #59
    Love your stories, Kerry! I wish I could waltz into a club like the Baked Potato and hear some cool shit, but I live in the wrong town!

  10. #60
    Jefferson James
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Love your stories, Kerry! I wish I could waltz into a club like the Baked Potato and hear some cool shit, but I live in the wrong town!
    Aw, thanks man. I can't waltz, so maybe I'm the one living in the wrong town.

  11. #61
    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;
    This says everything I would have said. There is some combination of his voice, his words and the music that is totally genuine, almost always appealing and musically really catchy and memorable. He's had plenty of misfires (who wouldn't over a catalog of that size and span of years?) but even on those there's always some keepers, IMO. IMO, he has about a dozen great albums and they span four decades. That's more than just about any other artist I can think of. Of the artists I follow with really large catalogs, I put him in the highest tier.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by KerryKompost View Post
    Aw, thanks man. I can't waltz, so maybe I'm the one living in the wrong town.
    I bet you dance pretty funny after eating those mushrooms!

  13. #63
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I bought Decade last year. I made a CDr comp of it. I play it often. I bought it because I wanted a compilation that had "Ohio" and "Mr. Soul." I love almost all of the album. The only other thing I is "Weld" which is just killer. Every track kicks.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    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

    )
    Completely forgot about Psychedelic Pill when I responded before. Another really strong album that I own.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post


    I feel sorry for people who can't get into playing like this.
    Damn what a lousy guitarist! hahahaha I understand, some people come at it differently, they appreciate technically proficient fret masters. Unfortunately, that criteria eliminates plenty of guitarists I would go watch any time.

  16. #66
    Member 2steves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lino View Post
    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.
    Well said----especially the prog part---and it's so true lot's of people love fast playing---but emotional playing is way more imp

  17. #67
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I listened A Letter Home today. Crappiest crap I have heard in long time!
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  18. #68
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Although I don't currently own anything I enjoy his music. I remember last month borrowing "harvest moon" from the library and really enjoying it. It sounds like the perfect album for the winter. I agree that one of the appealing things about him is his ability to go from one genre to the next. I think he was even more diverse than David Bowie and that's saying something. A true rock icon imo.

  19. #69
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lino View Post
    Damn what a lousy guitarist! hahahaha I understand, some people come at it differently, they appreciate technically proficient fret masters. Unfortunately, that criteria eliminates plenty of guitarists I would go watch any time.
    Also, play that one and pay attention to what Sampedro is doing. Love it.
    I have to say that I've kind of shied away from what NY has been putting out the last few years.

  20. #70
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I really want to get Freedom and Ragged Glory.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I listened A Letter Home today. Crappiest crap I have heard in long time!
    I won't buy any of his new ones. He just puts out far too much product these days so you have to ask where's the quality control. It seems every other month there's something new coming out...an exaggeration but not that much of one.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I won't buy any of his new ones. He just puts out far too much product these days so you have to ask where's the quality control.
    I'd highly recommend Prairie Wind, Fork in the Road and Psychedelic Pill. As good as all but his best '70s albums, IMO.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Although I don't currently own anything I enjoy his music. I remember last month borrowing "harvest moon" from the library and really enjoying it. It sounds like the perfect album for the winter.
    Definitely winter here and by coincidence I just played Harvest Moon for the first time all the way through via youtube, although I knew half of it. I liked most of it.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by KerryKompost View Post
    I heard "Trans" two nights ago for the first time and found it hilarious, but also, man, it sounded almost like it could have been made yesterday. For 1982 he totally predicted what is now a huge sound and approach in modern Top 40 pop. Really, it's pretty visionary.

    .
    He made Trans because he wanted the world to hear how his son, who has cerebral palsy, is heard. Sample and Hold was meant to be as if his son could sing the song. It is a deeply impressive act to do something so meaningful and not care what the listening audience thinks. It's even better if the audience, like they did in this case, loves it.

  25. #75
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    What's so great about Neil? - HE'S A CANADIAN!!

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