Archive for March, 2012

After The Gold Rush

To finish up our week of the Godfather of Grunge, I chose to listen to “After The Gold Rush”, another one of my favorite albums written by the great Neil Young. Once again, Neil Young’s poetic and lyrical genius is illustrated. I love the way that his music makes one feel as if they were a part of the song and the story.

The songs on this record speak for themselves. Every one is a classic. You’ve probably heard many of them. If you haven’t listened to “After The Gold Rush” in its entirety, I suggest you do.

Everybody's Rockin'

Today, I decided to listen to the album “Everybody’s Rockin'”. This record features Neil Young and The Shocking Pinks and was written by Neil Young while he was going through a rebellious stage in the ’80s.

As the story goes, Neil Young was told by his record company, Geffen Records, to make a “Rock & Roll” record. This was after his previous record, “Trans”, which was a synth/ electronic record. Neil Young decided to make a record in the style of Rock & Roll from when he was a kid. The result was an album of songs with stand-up bass, old time piano and guitar, and doo-wop singers. Soon after the release of this record, Neil left Geffen Records and signed with Reprise and continued to release amazing Neil Young records, from electric to acoustic to country.

Comment below and tell me what you think of Neil Young’s rebellion!

On The Beach

Today, I decided to listen to the record On The Beach. My Dad picked out this album because it is one of his favorite albums by Neil Young. He says he really loves this record because of the moody tone and the emotional and heartfelt songs.

I didn’t recognize the album at first, but as the needle found its groove and the music began to play, I realized I had heard this record when I was younger. The first track, “Walk On”, is one of my favorite Neil Young songs; However, I never knew it was on this record. It has a really cool melody and sounds like a really fun song to play. I also really like the song “Motion Pictures (For Carrie)” because my Dad plays it on the piano all the time. Also, I find the lyrics to be very profound.

Released in 1974, On The Beach was released as a triptych along with Time Fades Away and Tonight’s The Night. This record trio was released directly after his chart-topping best-seller, Harvest. These albums became known as The Ditch Trilogy because of their dark, haunting brilliance. When talking about his hit song “Heart of Gold”, Neil Young stated:

“This song put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there.”

Comment below and tell me what you think of The Ditch Trilogy! Is it a musical masterpiece? Or a terrible turpitude?

Rust Never Sleeps

As one of my favorite albums by Neil Young, I was excited to hear the sweet sounds of “Rust Never Sleeps” emanating from the turntable. When the music began to play, I realized that all of my previous memories of listening to this record would pale in comparison to this moment.

One thing I find really cool about this album is that the first half of the record was all acoustic numbers whereas the second half was all electric. One of my favorite songs on this album was “My My, Hey Hey” which is the opening track. This song had a lot of really cool rhymes and metaphors. The verses were short and simple yet the message was conveyed clearly. This acoustic number was paired with the last song on the album “Hey Hey, My My”. This song was almost exactly the same as the first track, however, it was electric. There were few lyric differences but the change from acoustic to electric made the songs sound like they had no resemblance to one another.

Released in 1979, “Rust Never Sleeps” was recorded live at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, with overdubs. The only two songs that were not recorded live were “Pocahontas” and “Sail Away”. The second half of the album was played with Crazy Horse and won the 1979 Rolling Stone Critics Poll for Album of the Year.

Take the poll! Which is better: “My My, Hey Hey” (acoustic) or “Hey Hey, My My” (electric)?

Neil Young

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Neil Young is one of my favorite musicians of all time. I love the lyrics he writes for each song, his musical metaphors that accompany his mind-blowing melodies, and his ability to write beautiful acoustic pieces as well as rockin’ electric guitar arrangements.

This week I will be listening to a variety of his albums, from his most famous hits to his rebel rockabilly records to one of his earliest works. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past as we experience the musical genius of the Godfather of Grunge himself, Neil Young.

Jimi Hendrix

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To finish off this wonderful week of Woodstock, I listened to the last album in the three record series “Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More”. This album featured artists such as Jefferson Airplane, Sly & the Family Stone, John Sebastian, Butterfield Blues Band, and Jimi Hendrix.

There were a lot of cool songs on this album but there was no question when it came down to which ones were my favorite. To end this awesome album and Woodstock record trilogy, Jimi Hendrix performed an amazing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. This song was extraordinary because Hendrix threw in a bunch of distortion and guitar licks to make it sound especially rockin’. Not only that, but it was also a medley into Hendrix’s hit song “Purple Haze” to end the setlist.

This was a phenomenal way to end the Woodstock trilogy. If only I had really been there….

What do you think about Woodstock? Do you agree that it was the greatest music event in history? Comment below!

Woodstock RecordWoodstock Record

To continue Woodstock Week, I listened to the second album in the Woodstock record trilogy. This album included some really awesome songs from Joe Cocker, Ten Years After, CSNY, Santana, and The Who.

One of my favorite songs on this particular album was Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles. As I have mentioned many times before, I am a huge Beatles fan so hearing a different version of one of my favorite songs was really cool.

Another rad thing I found out about this album is that at the end of Side 3, I could here the audience and the thunder before it starts to rain. Some of the audience started to chant “No rain, no rain, no rain!”. Being able to here the actual voices from the people in the crowd made me feel even more like I was out there with them, hoping for no rain to fall.

What concerts have you attended? What are some of your favorites? Comment below!