Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Do talk back

Go on, pick one

Time Fades Away
3
10%
On The Beach
16
53%
Tonight's the Night
11
37%
 
Total votes: 30

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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby blindlemonjefferson » 10 Apr 2018, 20:38

Side two of On the Beach is the best thing Neil Young ever recorded.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby jimboo » 10 Apr 2018, 20:40

blindlemonjefferson wrote:Side two of On the Beach is the best thing Neil Young ever recorded.


It's fantastic isn't it.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Quaco » 10 Apr 2018, 22:04

Rayge wrote:I would tentatively suggest that it is because I'm not a musician, and a record-lover, rather than a music lover (I also listen to spoken word material, EPs of steam trains climbing big gradients and albums of wind in the overhead wires :) ) that I can say this.

What record is that last one? I am asking in all seriousness. I really like sound effects records, and having quite a few train records in those, but nothing with wind in overhead wires.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Rayge » 10 Apr 2018, 23:12

Quaco wrote:
Rayge wrote:I would tentatively suggest that it is because I'm not a musician, and a record-lover, rather than a music lover (I also listen to spoken word material, EPs of steam trains climbing big gradients and albums of wind in the overhead wires :) ) that I can say this.

What record is that last one? I am asking in all seriousness. I really like sound effects records, and having quite a few train records in those, but nothing with wind in overhead wires.


I honestly can't remember the name of the album I'm referencing. It was something passed on to me by Driftin, occasionally of this parish, on the forum I despoiled with my over-complex sentences before I decided to give you lot the benefit, and listened to a couple of times a decade or so ago: Darkness Fish was also a fan, I (seem to) remember, and as he's never as stoned as I usually am (and I'm now quite unusually so, as adduced by the baroque construction of this sentence), he might recall it, so I will ask him tomorrow.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Apr 2018, 23:34

jimboo wrote:
blindlemonjefferson wrote:Side two of On the Beach is the best thing Neil Young ever recorded.


It's fantastic isn't it.


I like the live CSNY 1974 version of "On the Beach" better than the studio cut.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby pcqgod » 10 Apr 2018, 23:34

I only recently got a copy of 'Time Fades Away' -- sounded great but I don't really know it. 'Tonight's the Night' is a longtime favorite. I haven't managed to get into 'On the Beach.'
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Quaco » 10 Apr 2018, 23:36

Rayge wrote:
Quaco wrote:
Rayge wrote:I would tentatively suggest that it is because I'm not a musician, and a record-lover, rather than a music lover (I also listen to spoken word material, EPs of steam trains climbing big gradients and albums of wind in the overhead wires :) ) that I can say this.

What record is that last one? I am asking in all seriousness. I really like sound effects records, and having quite a few train records in those, but nothing with wind in overhead wires.


I honestly can't remember the name of the album I'm referencing. It was something passed on to me by Driftin, occasionally of this parish, on the forum I despoiled with my over-complex sentences before I decided to give you lot the benefit, and listened to a couple of times a decade or so ago: Darkness Fish was also a fan, I (seem to) remember, and as he's never as stoned as I usually am (and I'm now quite unusually so, as adduced by the baroque construction of this sentence), he might recall it, so I will ask him tomorrow.
Probably.

:D Cool. It sounds very nice! There are some Robert Hall sound effects records with odd, moody sounds like that.

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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby The Write Profile » 11 Apr 2018, 07:48

I love all three records, but for different reasons. They amount to a phenomenally perverse and quixotic attempt at self-sabotage that somehow, intentional or not, ends up heightening the artist's stature.

Time Fades Away is arguably the weakest in terms of its actual material, but it more than makes up for it in terms of feel and mood. Right from the opening title track, it careens all over the place, and its barely stable at any stage. Young hollers and wails, and never sounds fully settled, much of the record seems to be challenging the listener to follow it. But there are screeds of great moments, whether it's the deeply sardonic choruses of "LA", the stumbling verses of the title track, the emotional ravages of "Don't Be Denied" or the sheer desperation of "Last Dance". It's quite the trip, and rewards those who decide to listen to it the whole way through.

On the Beach is an emotionally desolate masterpiece. Everything about this record is somehow committed in its drudgery, and I mean that as a compliment. Whether it's the offhand way he sings "sooner or later, it all gets real" on "Walk On", the longueurs of "Motion Pictures" and "Ambulance Blues", the spikiness of "Vampire Blues", or the almost unbearably tearful "See the Sky About the Rain", it's very much all of a piece. Like its cover, it scatters fragments for the listener to pick up at their own behest. It seems to be a record about coming out the other side of something awful, and it weaves an intractable spell.

Tonight's the Night is a curious one for me. It features some of Neil's most wracked vocals and yet somehow it also manages to be the most cohesive of the trilogy. The title track sets the scene: it's desolate without being desperate, and then you have the cynical humour of "Roll Another Number (For the Road)", the plaintive "Borrowed Tune", the mordant "Albuquerque" and of course, the surprisingly cinematic "Tired Eyes", which becomes more evocative with every new verse. I guess it's the strongest in terms of its songs, but I probably still prefer On the Beach for having slightly more colour, for want of a better term. But it's a record that leaves with a sharp aftertaste for sure.

Good idea for a thread!
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Rayge » 11 Apr 2018, 22:03

Quaco wrote:
Rayge wrote:
Quaco wrote:What record is that last one? I am asking in all seriousness. I really like sound effects records, and having quite a few train records in those, but nothing with wind in overhead wires.


I honestly can't remember the name of the album I'm referencing. It was something passed on to me by Driftin, occasionally of this parish, on the forum I despoiled with my over-complex sentences before I decided to give you lot the benefit, and listened to a couple of times a decade or so ago: Darkness Fish was also a fan, I (seem to) remember, and as he's never as stoned as I usually am (and I'm now quite unusually so, as adduced by the baroque construction of this sentence), he might recall it, so I will ask him tomorrow.
Probably.

:D Cool. It sounds very nice! There are some Robert Hall sound effects records with odd, moody sounds like that.

I remembered to ask DF and he came up with it, and indeed a youtube link

Alan Lamb - Night Passage
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Quaco » 11 Apr 2018, 22:09

Rayge wrote:I remembered to ask DF and he came up with it, and indeed a youtube link

Alan Lamb - Night Passage

I like it a lot! Thank you and thank DF for this.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Goat Boy » 12 Apr 2018, 15:44

For years I was nonplussed by Tonight’s The Night. Thought it was overrated, felt the albums mythology overshadowed the actual quality of the music, felt parts were little more than above average bar band music played by a bunch of tequila sodden chancers who happened to have a grief stricken genius up front but then one day it just fell into place. When that happens it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly why your ears suddenly welcome a record with open arms, especially when you had previously rejected it for so long because it seems rather arbitrary. Maybe the fact that I’d started drinking again after years of smoking weed helped, I dunno. It’s certainly a booze record to me; something to be played loud on a Friday night after you’ve switched to whisky from beer and maybe knocked back a couple of cheeky diazepams. I really hammered it every Friday night after work for months and occasionally I’d find myself overcome by waves of maudlin introspection and end up crying over a long dead pet. I’m not sure if that was just the power of the record or the blended whisky mind but being a romantic soul I'd like to believe it was the former. There is certainly something tangibly cathartic and wracked in the records pickled grooves.

Consequently now I think it’s great but it’s not the kind of album I can just revisit anytime like, say, Rust Never Sleeps or Goldrush. Depending on my mood and choice of drugs – see above – it doesn’t always fly and the kind of catharsis I want from the record is not always achievable but then is that always necessary? Not really of course but it certainly elevated the whole thing in my eyes and opened the door to something more profound. Sometimes Tonight’s The Night merely settles for being a really fucking good rock ‘n’ roll album which should be enough for most right thinking souls. It sounds like I’m underselling it perhaps, which maybe I am, but there’s moments of magic and feel throughout that elevate even the more humdrum songs. It feels like it was recorded in some dusty back room littered with beer cans, fag butts and spilled bong water. You can almost see the dawn light peeking through the nicotine stained curtains as you hit Tired Eyes, you know?

The Albuquerque – Tired Eyes sequence is where the album really hits the heights. In fact, that sequence is so gosh darn good it makes the first side seem a bit perfunctory in comparison but whether by design or chance – it’s hard to know with Young - it gives the album a real sense of momentum. It plateaus at just the right moment. Other Young albums certainly have stronger songs but as an example of Young’s noble prioritisation of “feel” and performance it’s exhibit A and taken as a whole there is something remarkably powerful and complete about it. I would say conceptual but that’s far too cerebral for what is happening here.

Having said all THAT, I still voted for On The Beach. It’s been a personal favourite since my I first picked it up at a record fair in my early 20s (60 quid, almost mint mind). The fact that it wasn’t available on cd gave it a certain elusive magic unquestionably. The sleeve too is so wonderful, one of my favourites in fact and like Tonight’s The Night it colours my perception of the music within: less monochrome, more colour and variety: See The Sky About To Rains electric piano, Helm and Danko dueling it out on Revolution Blues (they shoulda recorded a whole album together. Man that would have been hot), that fiddle on Ambulance Blues. Like Tonight’s The Tight the spectre of failed 60s idealism hangs over the record (Manson, Nixon) but unlike Tonight’s The Night which has moments of drunken exuberance befitting a wake (Come on Baby, Roll Another) but is still very much lost in grief and confusion, On The Beach is the point where Young pulls himself up by his bootstraps and just gets on with it. If Tonight’s The Night was the necessary communal exorcism then On The Beach is the Next Chapter. For all its reputation and undoubted bleakness there are moments of seriously dark humour. I mean the psycho-on-the-hill invective of Revolution Blues is laugh out loud (“Remember your guard dog? Well, I'm afraid that he's gone”. Just me? Ok). Similarly For The Turnstiles which mockingly punctures the rock ‘n’ roll journey of a million and one wannabees: some of us make it fellas and some us are left to die on the diamond but even those explorers who made it to that golden shore are now buried in granite graves. Fantastic. It’s like punchline at the end of Barry Lyndon. By the end of Ambulance Blues, one of his greatest songs, it feels like Young has emerged out of the darkness somehow. Even if we all are just “pissing in the wind” there’s something comforting in that too you know. The kind of throwaway wisdom that serves as a great leveller.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Apr 2018, 15:47

Preach.

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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby harvey k-tel » 12 Apr 2018, 15:54

K wrote:On The Beach is spoilt by Vampire Blues.


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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Apr 2018, 16:29

I'm not sure it's a great song either.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby harvey k-tel » 12 Apr 2018, 16:48

It may not be a "great song", but in no way is the album "spoiled" by it. The guitar solo alone is worth the price of admission.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Apr 2018, 16:59

True.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby blindlemonjefferson » 12 Apr 2018, 17:03

Matt Wilson wrote:
jimboo wrote:
blindlemonjefferson wrote:Side two of On the Beach is the best thing Neil Young ever recorded.


It's fantastic isn't it.


I like the live CSNY 1974 version of "On the Beach" better than the studio cut.


Where would I find such a thing?
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby bobzilla77 » 12 Apr 2018, 17:07

Vampire Blues may not be a prize winning composition but it's got a great one note guitar solo, I wouldn't be without it.

I see Harvey agrees with me.
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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Apr 2018, 17:14

John Coan wrote:I've lived in many different countries in Europe and whenever I come home I think 'England is the best'

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Re: Neil Young's 'Doom Trilogy'

Postby The Modernist » 12 Apr 2018, 17:33

Weston Drury, Jnr. wrote:I don't have to pretend to like this stuff any more.


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