BCB 100 - Neil Young

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geoffcowgill
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BCB 100 - Neil Young

Postby geoffcowgill » 17 Jun 2006, 16:32

Neil Young is one of the least sophisticated musicians to have a career as long and varied as his. And I mean that in a good way. I may be wrong, but he strikes me as a man who works almost entirely by instinct, not contriving to do different things, but just feeling them at the time. People talk about the contradictions in his work, from "Let's Roll" to Living With War, for example. I don't think that he's a hypocrite. I just get the feeling that he isn't all that complicated. In 2001 he was feeling vengeful. In 2006 he was feeling indignation. It was just different people who were pissing him off. A liberal hippie who supported Reagan? Why not? He's not someone who commits to labels or worries about how a certain feeling he has is going to match what he's supposed to be. What he has going for him, apart from talent and passion, is a real sense of honesty in what he does and an unbreakable, independent will. You gotta love the guy, even when he does something stupid.

My favorite album of his is Freedom. It conveniently encapsulates what Neil Young is musically all about and it doesn't feel like a deliberate attempt to do that. It was the first album of his I got (maybe that has something to do with my feelings for it), and it really seems to me a perfect introduction, even better than a Greatest Hits would be. You've got the bizarre, rambling narrative of "Crime In The City", which is similar to some of the stuff on On The Beach. You've got the country/folk ballads of "The Ways Of Love" and "Hangin' On A Limb" (his best in this style, as far as I'm concerned). There's the loud and clamorous noise of "Don't Cry" and "Eldorado" that hits on the Rust Never Sleeps style of Crazy Horse (though it isn't exactly the Horse). And "Rockin' In The Free World" is likely his best anthem of rage. Not only is it stylistically diverse, but the material is incredibly solid. I frankly don't see why this isn't universally hailed as one of his five best albums, routinely mentioned alongside Gold Rush, Everybody Knows This In Nowhere, On the Beach, and Tonight's the Night.

My favorite song is "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" because it's cool.

Favorite Album- Freedom

Favorite Song- "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"

Bungo the Mungo

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 17 Jun 2006, 16:37

I've been listening to 'Time Fades Away' and 'American Stars and Bars' a lot over the last few months, and they've rekindled my interest in the great man. I was truly delighted to discover these two, 'cos to my mind they're almost as good as the classic Young I'd overdosed on 10 or 15 years ago, and that stuff doesn't thrill as much as it used to.

I'm also overjoyed that he's released a hard rocking album again after the underwhelming three that preceded it. Mind you, I've yet to hear it!

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Postby Matt Harringay » 17 Jun 2006, 16:50

i still haven't heard all of neil young's albums but everybody knows this is nowhere is head and shoulders above the fifteen or so others i've heard. one of my favourite albums by anyone.
Goat Boy wrote:TVc 15 rocks my world. The chorus makes me want to fuck a horse.

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Postby Phenomenal Cat » 17 Jun 2006, 19:52

I prefer America.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Postby Mike Boom » 17 Jun 2006, 20:59

Best Album - On The Beach or Tonights the Night.
Song - Cortez the Killer

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Postby toomanyhatz » 17 Jun 2006, 21:10

Favorite album - Toss up between Everybody Knows this is Nowhere and After the Goldrush.

Favorite song - Can't pick, there's just too damn many. Three possibles, off the top of my head would be Don't Let it Bring You Down, For the Turnstiles and (Geoff's right on about this), the gorgeous Hangin' on a Limb.

I'm a fan, no doubt about it. I think because, even though he's a crank, he's a loveable crank. Think of Greendale. A complete mess of a concept record, hung on a thin storyline, and cliche characters that nonetheless all represent different aspects of Neil's prickly personality. And he goes for it. Takes the thinnest of ideas and takes it to its conclusion, with a film, tour and record. Then forgets all about it and moves on to the next thing. No one else has such fascinating failures, or buries himself so deeply in everything he does.
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Postby Neil Jung » 17 Jun 2006, 21:29

toomanyhatz wrote:Think of Greendale. A complete mess of a concept record, hung on a thin storyline, and cliche characters that nonetheless all represent different aspects of Neil's prickly personality. And he goes for it. Takes the thinnest of ideas and takes it to its conclusion, with a film, tour and record. Then forgets all about it and moves on to the next thing. No one else has such fascinating failures, or buries himself so deeply in everything he does.


..and if he hadn't charged us £50 to sit through 100 minutes of the utterly tediuos and boringly underwhelming Greendale plus 5 greatest hits on his solo tour I might have more respect for him. He ensured the bar was closed so we couldn't escape the Ma and Pa rambling and so treated the audience with contempt. Despite the wonderful concerts I had seen him perform before it (Hammersmith solo, Wembley, Reading with Pearl Jam, Phoenix, Finsbury Park, Fleadh) I haven't been able to forgive him.

I like Freedom and Sleeps With Angels well enough, but Are You Passionate, Greendale and Prairie Wind left me cold. The new one isn't bad.

Favourite album: After The Goldrush

favourite Song: Expecting To Fly
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Postby Mike Boom » 17 Jun 2006, 21:59

Forgot to mention "Will to Love" from "American Stars and Bars" - a truly wonderous song.

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Postby Strider » 17 Jun 2006, 22:49

Neil Young is extraordinary. Favorite album changes a couple of times a year but for now its "On the Beach" and fav song is "After the Goldrush."

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Postby Matt Harringay » 17 Jun 2006, 22:57

Strider wrote:Neil Young is extraordinary.


some times he is. sometimes he's just horribly ordinary.

it's very probably true to say that he, more than any other act, is able to embody both what i love and what i detest in popular music.
Goat Boy wrote:TVc 15 rocks my world. The chorus makes me want to fuck a horse.

Phil T

Postby Phil T » 17 Jun 2006, 23:51

He's a rum old cove, is Mr.Young.

I'd mentally had him tagged as, if not actually Republican, then certainly a fellow traveller, what with the pro-Reagan sounds he made way back when.

Then he comes up with aa platter like 'Living With War'

Is it any good, btw?

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Postby The Fish » 18 Jun 2006, 00:02

Mike Boom wrote:Best Album - On The Beach or Tonights the Night.
Song - Cortez the Killer


Can't improve on that really.
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Postby Owen » 18 Jun 2006, 01:06

best album - everybody knows this is nowhere
song - tired eyes

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Postby mentalist (slight return) » 18 Jun 2006, 02:11

bestest later career album (of the ones I've heard) is Freedom IMHO

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Postby toomanyhatz » 18 Jun 2006, 07:24

the name is Coan wrote:I've been listening to 'Time Fades Away' and 'American Stars and Bars' a lot over the last few months, and they've rekindled my interest in the great man. I was truly delighted to discover these two, 'cos to my mind they're almost as good as the classic Young I'd overdosed on 10 or 15 years ago, and that stuff doesn't thrill as much as it used to.

I'm also overjoyed that he's released a hard rocking album again after the underwhelming three that preceded it. Mind you, I've yet to hear it!


sutekh wrote:Then he comes up with a platter like 'Living With War'

Is it any good, btw?


From the "agreeing with Coan again" department- Time Fades Away is a great record. Very passionate and raw. I love that whole period that kind of ends with Am. S&B. Just when everyone else was getting slicker and more commercial so they'd have plenty of money to keep themselves in cocaine, Neil did just what he wanted, and in fact alienated much of his audience. But it's the period during which I think he was most committed to his muse. On the Beach is probably my favorite from then.

As for the new one, meh. It's passionate, but it's not much more than hollow sloganeering, really. John, I'd be really shocked if you liked it, but let us know when you do hear it.
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Postby Matt Harringay » 18 Jun 2006, 09:40

DiamondDog wrote:i still haven't heard all of neil young's albums but everybody knows this is nowhere is head and shoulders above the fifteen or so others i've heard. one of my favourite albums by anyone.


it's hard to choose a favourite song - it changes all the time - but right now it's thrasher. two minutes ago it was "cortez the killer", though, and in an hour it might be "powderfinger."
Goat Boy wrote:TVc 15 rocks my world. The chorus makes me want to fuck a horse.

Molony

Postby Molony » 18 Jun 2006, 09:49

Favourite album: Tonight's the Night
Favourite track: Like a Hurricane (both the electric and 'unplugged' versions)

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Postby Oscar52 » 18 Jun 2006, 10:16

I don't think I've ever had a favourite Neil Young album. I love that three-run sequence at the end of 'On The Beach' but I adore Cinnamon Girl and the two epic tracks on 'Everybody Knows..' but I also worship every note on Rust Never Sleeps. Harvest and After The Goldrush are always a pleasure to listen to and Tonight's The Night has that flawed and slightly fractured appeal. Which one?


Favourite Album: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Favourite Track: Cinnamon Girl

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Postby This Was » 18 Jun 2006, 10:29

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Last edited by This Was on 08 Feb 2010, 22:36, edited 1 time in total.

Bungo the Mungo

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 18 Jun 2006, 11:45

Forgive my lack of eloquence, but isn't 'Cinnamon Girl' really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really fucking great?

I wish they'd remaster it (and the early albums) with a little more punch, tho'. Normally I'm not arsed about that kind of thing, but those songs really are missing something.