I can honestly say I have heard more covers of Neil Young songs than his actual work. He has been covered by so many people, and the thing for me with Neil is the voice. I could never get into it. Nick Cave doing “Helpless”, “Like a Hurricane” by countless including the goth rock pioneers The Mission UK, and Alt-Country Godfather Jay Farrar, Duran Duran even covered “The Needle and the Damage Done’. Then there is Pearl Jam, who could probably put out a live Neil Young covers record with the amount of tributes they have paid to him in concert.
So, I have gone through my life never owning a Neil Young record, CD, or cassette. One of our regulars at the Happy Dog Swap had a couple different Neil Young records for sale in his box of wonderment and I said fuck it, it’s time. I scored this for I think $10, and I truly did enjoy it. Not to say there were not moments that I wanted to LARP and do Renaissance Fair things or play Dungeons and Dragons. There were a couple times he lost me, but only for a brief few seconds.
I have ever been a fan of live albums because of the sound quality. but this one sounds pretty damn good. It’s pretty much a greatest hits live, right? I knew the majority, if not all the songs mostly based on covers. Hearing Young do them though, and being a mature adult who now appreciates and understands the art of a true songwriter I respect this record. I dig the acoustic stuff way more then when he plugs in, but overall I liked the entire record. That Pearl Jam mention above? I always wondered why the hell they would dig out this washed up rocker on tour so many damn times. I get it now. Props. I still think anything post “This Note’s For You” is complete junk though.
I can’t deny he wrote some great songs, plays a hell of a guitar and blows a mean harmonica though. The hits here obviously are the ones I am the most into. That being said “The Loner” sucks and sounds like a B-side to something off the Fast Times at Ridgemont High Soundtrack. “Sedan Delivery” is equally absolute rubbish on many levels but mostly the guitar in that one. I am not going to love everything the guy has done. I haven’t lost my jaded anti-fogey rock persona, but yeah…this is a decent record.