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Author: Subject: Neil Young's 80s albums

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 6/1/2010 at 01:16 PM
I've been trying to fill in the gaps on my Neil Young music collection and notice that there are quite a few albums from the 80s that I haven't heard yet. Most of these were one-off "genre exercises" where he'd try and tackle techno, country, rockabilly, R&B, etc. I know that the critics were less than thrilled with his 80s output, and David Geffen sued him for releasing product that "did not sound like Neil Young."

But what do you think? Which of the below Neil Young 80s albums do you like/dislike?

HAWKS & DOVES (1980)
RE-AC-TOR (1981)
TRANS (1982)
EVERYBODY'S ROCKIN (1983)
OLD WAYS (1985)
LANDING ON WATER (1986)
LIFE (1987)
THIS NOTE'S FOR YOU (1988)
FREEDOM (1989)










 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 6/1/2010 at 01:45 PM
Freedom is a must have if only for Rockin' in the Free World & Crime In The City. I also like This Notes For You & Everybody's Rockin.
 

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  posted on 6/1/2010 at 02:02 PM
quote:
Freedom is a must have if only for Rockin' in the Free World & Crime In The City. I also like This Notes For You & Everybody's Rockin.


I agree and would add that Freedom actually has several great songs on it and was a real return to songwriting form


Hawks and Doves is a bit so so but I do love the song Union Man ("Live music is better...bumper s tickers should be issued.")

Trans was ...well Trans. Some folks like it...some don't...I don't really care for it, though I respect Neil's right to dabble in samples and synths if he wants to. I have an LP copy from the $1.00 bin that has absolutely no wear 25 years later.

Re-ac-tor is pretty weak on my opinion, even though it features Crazy Horse. The songs are so so to wretched (T-Bone) with the exception of Southern Pacific which is a gem .
I can not weigh in on Old Ways, Life, and Walking on Water as I have not heard them, but I have been told by more than one person who I trust that Landing on Water was a "dead floater."

IMHO. Your mileage may vary...


[Edited on 6/1/2010 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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  posted on 6/1/2010 at 05:01 PM
Mr Youngs 80s output certainly amounts to a bizarre listening experience.

At one end of the scale Freedom is definitely one of his stronger albums, whilst at the other, Landing On Water is practically unlistenable. Everybody's Rockin' and Old Ways aren't aurally offensive in the way that Landing is, but do absolutely nothing for me. The others all have at least one redeeming feature.

I always feel that Trans gets an unfair press as, along with all the techno stuff, which isn't as bad as the Techno stuff on Landing On Water, it does have one pure classic, Like An Inca.

Life has several very good songs, particularly the first side of the vinyl; Mid East Vacation, Long Walk Home, Around The World, Inca Queen. The 80s production gets a bit heavy handed at times, but if you can get through that there is some good music to be heard.

From Reactor, Southern Pacific has already been mentioned. I've also always enjoyed Surfer Joe & Moe The Sleaze and Opera Star.

Hawks And Doves offers up Little Wing and The Old Homestead and a couple of others. It is a very short album though, less than half an hour I think (as is Everybody's Rockin').

From what I recall This Note's For You is perfectly listenable, although I haven't listened to it for a long time! Ten Men Working, This Note's For You and Coup De Ville are all decent enough tracks, after that my memory gets hazy.

One point of clarification, I always thought that the lawsuit was for making "unrepresentative music" rather than music that "did not sound like Neil Young". This may appear to be splitting hairs, but it isn't. Much of this music is completely unrepresentative of Neil's pre 80's output, but believe me, it all sounds like Neil Young!

[Edited on 6/1/2010 by Smyler]

 

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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 06:44 AM
Like them all but in different ways.

some are certainly more of a challenge.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 06:55 AM
It's kinda funny, but I sort of admire and despise Neil at the same time for some of his sudden left-right turns during the 80's. It's all good stuff, but if you were going to see Neil you had no idea what kind of show or music you were going to get. Bluegrass? Hard rock? Doo-wop?

I wondered if he was being artistic or just trying to find a formula for sales. I'm willing to go with the former.

Overall, I'm a bigger fan of Neil's acoustic stuff. I lose interest when he becomes an electric guitar god. I thought the Shocking Pinks were a real hoot, though!

 

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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 06:59 AM
old ways and freedom are great. the rest not so much
 

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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 12:34 PM
Hawks and Doves is one of my favorite Neil albums! Excellent start to finish, but yes, way too short for an album.

Trans I disliked, although I did see the tour and it wasn't that bad

Reactor has Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze to redeem it but again it's a short album (I burned it to cd w/Hawks and Doves)

This Note's For You is quite nice.

Freedom is great for all the aforementioned reasons.

I didn't like Landing on Water at all and am not familiar with the other two.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 02:07 PM
quote:
HAWKS & DOVES (1980)
RE-AC-TOR (1981)
TRANS (1982)
EVERYBODY'S ROCKIN (1983)
OLD WAYS (1985)
LANDING ON WATER (1986)
LIFE (1987)
THIS NOTE'S FOR YOU (1988)
FREEDOM (1989)


Hawks and Doves is a GREAT album imo...but I passed on every one of the others.

 

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  posted on 6/4/2010 at 11:58 PM
I absolutely hate Landing On Water. Re-Ac-Tor is a fun record. Some tongue-in-cheek tunes on there, all of side one is amusing with T-Bone, Opera Star etc. I really like that one.

Freedom is one of my favorite NY records. Crime In The City in a haunting tune, as well as Too Far Gone.

I heard Trans many years after it came out so I knew it was experimental and with that in mind I like it. A little weird here and there but the songs have catchy hooks and are memorable once the album is over.

Everybody's Rockin' is good fun too but really short. Lots of catchy, old time rock & roll tunes though.

This Note's For You is also very good. It's jump blues with gritty guitars and Neil wry cynicism in the lyrics. Again, the songs are well written so the style seems less important than the writing.

I don't listen to Hawks & Doves often but I don't remember it being bad. I got it at the same time as American Stars & Bars and remember it as being similar but I may be way off.

Life is a bit of a cross between 80's technology and the thunder of Crazy Horse. Mostly decent, worth a listen or two. The lyrics are timely for the mid 80's.

Old Ways IMHO is the most Neil sounding especially if you're a fan of Harvest or Comes A Time etc.

 

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