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  1. #1
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    Plantweed's Avatar


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    Default Plantweed's Guide to Neil Young

    I was asked by a pal to recommend some records, this is what I wrote up, maybe it'll help you.

    -----------

    His stuff varies so much, it's hard to rate numerically, so let's go down
    the discog in order and make some comments:

    -- Neil Young Neil Young 1969 Reprise
    The last LP he did using studio overdubbing techniques, he went all live
    (except for some background vox) after this. Has a real soft Van Dyke Parks/Jack Nitzsche song-symphony kinda vibe; he wasn't confident in his voice yet. Some nice songs that turn up better in later redos (Old Laughing Lady) but not essential.

    -- Everybody Knows...Nowhere Neil & Crazy Horse 1969 Reprise
    You got; pretty much "default" Neil, the one everyone gets first usually cos of the classic rock radio hits.

    -- Deja Vu C, S, N, & Y 1970 Atlantic
    Get for a buck, you can find it.

    -- After The Gold Rush Neil Young 1970 Reprise
    You got; his first real moves into acoustic folk. Some good songs (Tell Me Why, Don't Let It Bring You Down, Birds).

    -- 4 Way Street C, S, N, & Y 1971 Atlantic
    Don't get cos of Neil, but get to laugh at Stills' anti-Nixon piano/scat tirade. Get Crosby's first solo LP instead (really!--Neil's on some cuts and it's a good psych record, f**k those SoulStrut naysayers).

    -- Harvest Neil Young 1972 Reprise
    The thing that makes this record is Ben Keith's pedal; Neil wtd it to sound big and wide like a midwest horizon.

    -- Journey Through The Past Neil Young 1972 Reprise
    An anomoly: his OST to his rare flick of the same name, a real doper film (played the Midnight Movie circuit up here); kinda patchworky; get cheap.

    -- Time Fades Away Neil Young 1973 Reprise
    The success of Harvest weirded him out, so in all defiance of expectations
    (i.e., Harvest II) he made a live album of all new songs in a shaggy rock
    mode...kinda pissy and passively venomous; includes good tunes like Don't Be Denied; cover photo was recreated in ALMOST FAMOUS; one of his "grower" LPs.

    -- On The Beach Neil Young 1974 Reprise
    I just got this on CD this year, and haven't heard it, but it's considered a forgotten masterpiece of some sort, so you should find it.

    -- Tonight's The Night Neil Young 1975 Reprise
    Ahh, TTN...the story is, he made a double LP called Homegrown, that was
    largely inspired by his rocky marriage w/ actress Carrie Snodgrass; he
    considered it very personal, and when he played it (along w/ the TTN tapes) at a party Rick Danko suggested he release the latter instead, which he did. TNN was made in response to Crazy Horse's Danny Whitten ODing after being kicked out of the band. Everyone thinks this record is real dark, moody, and druggy, but it's really not! It's obviously made drunk as hell (sloppy as all get out--Tammy HATES it) and the vibe is one of a drunken laugh with a taste of regret rather than a musical chase down Heroin Highway. Get it, some great songs. (BTW, you can make your own version of Homegrown with the songs released on later LPs + some boots; there are at least 3 or 4 other unreleased LPs).

    -- Zuma Neil & Crazy Horse 1975 Reprise
    Sound-wise it's a follow-up to Everybody Knows, they kick out the rock jams; this is the one w/ Cortez The Killer.

    -- Long May You Run Stills/Young Band 1976 Reprise
    Have it but don't know it; Neil skipped off the tour half-way and left a "dear john" note to Stills!

    -- Decade Neil Young 1976 Reprise
    Some good songs only appear here, so get it.

    -- American Stars & Bars Neil Young 1977 Reprise
    A weird one; it's a Frankenstein combo of two projects: a country album, and a rock album about the bar culture. Inconsistent, but it's got Like A
    Hurricane, plus good stuff like Will To Love.

    -- Comes A Time Neil Young 1978 Reprise
    Probably his most underrated record, the real follow-up to Harvest, it's a
    country rock record with a real rural flavor, and some awesome tunes: Comes A Time, Lotta Love, Look Out For My Love...

    -- Rust Never Sleeps Neil & Crazy Horse 1979 Reprise
    Back to the rock w/ CH; includes My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue), Powderfinger (AWESOME live song), and Welfare Mothers.

    -- Live Rust# Neil & Crazy Horse 1979 Reprise
    Another everyone gets (you gotta have EVERY '70s double-live rock LP anyway, right?); get it cheap.

    -- Hawks And Doves Neil Young 1980 Reprise
    He starts getting weird here; have it but don't know it.

    -- Re-ac-tor Neil & Crazy Horse 1981 Reprise
    Have it but don't know it.
    Super-absorbant, for those messy spills:
    Forbidden Eye Design | Chateau Vulgaria

  2. #2
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    Default Part Deux

    -- Trans Neil Young 1982 Geffen
    I LOVE this record! So interesting on many different levels: way before its
    time re: electronic music, a total left-field shot from Mr. Country Rock,
    and the songs are great even if you hate the way they're recorded, cos some of them were played with a standard band later and killed (Transformer Man); strange thing happened: he had a kid w/ Snodgrass who had extreme CP; then he marries another woman and THEIR kid has the same thing (million to one shot); he spent a lot of time working with technology and doctors and techniques dealing with it, it was apparently incredibly hard, and drained him, drifting him into a series of stylistic experiments way off his usual course; but this one's real cool, inspired by all the communication technology that was around him. There was even an 12" single w/ extended dance mixes!

    -- Everybody's Rockin' Neil & Shocking Pinks 1983 Geffen
    Heh, funny one...he signs with arch-devil Geffen, who (after Trans) SUES him for not making "Neil Young" records, he wanted rock music. Neil says, You want rock & roll? Here's some rock & roll: a rockabilly LP! Haven't heard the whole thing but I love Wonderin and its David Lynchian video.

    -- Old Ways Neil Young 1985 Geffen
    Another 180: straight-up country music. Not the greatest, but I like the duet w/ Willie, Are There Any More Real Cowboys.

    -- Landing On Water Neil Young 1986 Geffen
    HATE this one, very '80s production (think Wang Chung), and a
    passive-aggressive miasma to it, his worst that I've heard. Some new-wave
    nostalgists might like, I don't know...

    -- Life Neil & Crazy Horse 1987 Geffen
    As above somewhat, but I haven't listened deeply.

    -- American Dream C, S, N, & Y 1988 Atlantic
    I don't have it, but I like Neil's title song.

    -- This Note's For You Neil Young 1988 Reprise
    His return to Reprise, a barband brass blues record. Most people don't like
    it, but there was supposed to be a live LP off all new tunes from this line-up, and the tapes I heard are pretty good.

    -- Eldorado Neil & The Restless 1989 Reprise
    Pacific-rim-only EP. Massive return to form, this is where his
    Hurricane-style hallucinogenic guitar planes of feedback are summoned from the cosmos in a major way. Killer.

    -- Freedom Neil Young 1989 Reprise
    Includes most of Eldorado + Rockin' In The Free World. Most say he got it back together here.

    -- Ragged Glory Neil & Crazy Horse 1990 Reprise
    Real fun 100% garage band music, w/ thick guitars and continous fun rockin vibe throughout; w/ lots of tunes CH still do. Get it.

    -- Weld Neil & Crazy Horse 1991 Reprise
    Saw this tour for R. Glory, circa Gulf War I; LOUD as hell, like Live Rust squared, almost proto-metal.

    -- Arc Neil & Crazy Horse 1991 Reprise
    Made when T. Moore suggested he edit together all the extended feedback jams and segues they were doing live, and take out the songs, resulting in a default avant garde noise record! Interesting artifact.

    -- Harvest Moon Neil Young 1992 Reprise
    Lotta people HATE this, they think it's too MOR, but I love it, it's sweet.
    Good songs, and this was show #2 for us, we saw him in a solo acoustic show at SPAC, an outdoor amphitheatre in the middle of a state park pine forest. Perfect to say the least.

    -- Lucky Thirteen$ Neil Young 1993 Geffen
    Outtakes from the Geffen years. Get for cheap only.

    -- Unplugged# Neil Young 1993 Reprise
    Solid record...got lots of hype at the time which maybe turned people off but looking back it's just fine.

    -- Sleeps With Angels Neil & Crazy Horse 1994 Reprise
    Supposedly inspired by Cobain (but just as much by his neighbor's daughter
    being killed in a drive-by), this is a weird, low-key work that holds up cos
    it's so different and spooky. Maybe his last great one I've heard. Mysterious.

    -- Mirror Ball Neil & Pearl Jam 1995 Reprise
    The one w/ Pearl Jam. I've listened maybe twice and just can't deal with
    it...PJ are one of the most boring bands ever and they ruin any potential his songs might have. Zero flannel shirts.

    -- Dead Man (Soundtrack) Neil Young 1996 Vapor
    Neil watched a big projection of Jarmusch's movie and improvised eerie
    guitar passages as the soundtrack. Buy accordingly.

    -- Broken Arrow Neil & Crazy Horse 1996 Reprise
    Has the good psych tune Slip Away, but otherwise just kinda sits there. This
    was the last one I bought by him, but he's put a few out since. Haven't
    gotten around to them yet.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. For years everyone's been eagerly awaiting his Archives series,
    supposedly gonna be a multi-box series of releases based on his
    chronological works. Been many false starts, but Vol. 1 supposed to be out
    next spring; heard it's 8 CDs and 8 DVDs, just covering the '60s. He records
    everything he does, and I have a FIVE-CD boot of unreleased songs that have leaked out. Just the tip I'm sure. Some of it's great too.
    Super-absorbant, for those messy spills:
    Forbidden Eye Design | Chateau Vulgaria

  3. #3
    ricv64's Avatar

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    Default

    Ragged Glory

  4. #4

    Default

    "Zero flannel shirts".....


    ...oddly enough, that's the same rating I gave to the first STP album.......

    'Tonight's the Night' is a real bummer album: that 'C'mon Baby let's go Downtown 'song is the only one I remember......I have the Cowboy Junkies doing 'Tired Eyes' and its' all purty and stuff but it's not weary enough....

  5. #5
    Casey Burns's Avatar

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    Default

    i have all of those but three or four, and i think zuma may be my favorite of all of them.

  6. #6
    loco's Avatar

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    Default

    Decade Neil Young 1976 Reprise
    Some good songs only appear here, so get it.


    Live version of Cortez the Killer
    great song. I think it from this

    -loco

  7. #7
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    Plantweed's Avatar


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonesome Cowboy Bill
    'Tonight's the Night' is a real bummer album...
    See, I don't hear it that way! It's all fucked up and sloppy, but much of the album is upbeat. Sure, the inspiration and subject matter were heavy, but the execution reveals they had a pretty good time purging their demons. Great album either way.
    Super-absorbant, for those messy spills:
    Forbidden Eye Design | Chateau Vulgaria

  8. #8
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    Default

    I have been in the studio in Nashville where Young recorded several albums (can't remember which).
    The whole studio is a time-warp back to the 70s.

  9. #9

    Default

    Aside from subject matter, I associate it with the 'b' word cuz my life was a stone bummer at the time, 93-95....I was digging "After The Goldrush" a lot more......
    (and re:PJ, I'd' kinda like to hear them do 'Let's Go Downtown'(or whatever)...they could trash it up in a good way....maybe.....

  10. #10
    ricv64's Avatar

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    Default

    Zuma is a must have
    Everyone knows this is nowhere is another
    LIVE RUST ,baby !
    After the goldrush
    Re act or,cool to me "Southern Pacific "
    This note's for you is cool too
    Stars and Bars ,too

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