Neil Young - On the Beach (1974) (1 Viewer)

prefuse

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I expected a lot more synths and vocodor from Trans than it delivered. It's basically business as usual with a little synth and vocodor here and there and some decent tunes.
Yeah, trans would have been better if he went all out electro rock instead of diluting it. More in the sample and hold direction.
 

rettucs

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Post of the week winner: 22nd March, 2013
This is a great album. I'm so torn on Young in general. Everything I know about the guy away from music makes me hate him. But he has made so much amazing music. Its hard to reconcile Young the person with Young the musician sometimes (well, except when you listen to some of the crud he's put out).

I work for a horrible tech multinational. They host the wankiest convention every year in San Francisco, basically so all the top dogs can meet once a year and compare the size of their nobs. Neil Young was keynote speaker one year. Prick. He was fuckin dead to me after that.

Harvest was the first album I heard from Young (probably in the mid-90s sometime). Freedom was the second. 2 good albums to start with. After that I binged on him, buying lots of his albums in a short space of time. But, its hard to listen to that much of anyone, so it was probably the wrong way to go about it. I reckon I have about 2/3s of his albums and I reckon I've listened to only about half of them properly.

Like 0% of the Neil Young listening population, my favorite album of his is Greendale, which pretty much bombed when it came out. I don't care, I really like it.

I've seen him live twice, both recently enough - Malahide Castle, and the point. Pretty much the same show both times, and I thoroughly enjoyed both gigs. Lots of people complained about both those gigs though - I guess he didn't play enough of the 'hits' and the wanky wig-outs weren't appreciated by people who'd have rathered 'Heart Of Gold'.

The last album I bought of his was Americana, which is grand. Its listenable, until you get to God Save the Queen. What the actual fuck was he thinking there?

And his book. JAYSUS.

But this album (On the Beach) is great. There isn't a bad song on it. Sure, some are better than others, and some stand out from the others when you listen to it through. But any song listened to in isolation from the others, is great. I thought the album sounded a lot better through speakers than through headphones. Its very polished. Kudos to whoever produced it because, as someone previously pointed out, Young himself is a bit all over the place at times.

'For the Turnstiles' is possibly my favourite song of Youngs (with 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart') so any album with that on it can't be bad. The start of 'Walk On' is a little bit abrupt, as if theres no intro as such. 'Revolution Blues' is another highlight, but I have a soft spot for the slower, quieter songs on there.

Like I said in a previous post, I was kind of surprised that this was the first Neil Young album to appear. Though I can't imagine my own favourite (Greendale) got too many votes (it didn't get one from me anyway). No complaints though. I've listened a fair few times since friday and I'm glad to have had the excuse to spend time with it. Don't think it'll be too long before I listen again either.

Edit: 4/5 from me.
 

Positive Marlene

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Right, so my main exposure to Neil Young in my life so far was as a kid where my dad played Harvest a lot and my brother playing Mirror Ball a lot. I liked some of it but it's not exactly what you'd call a deep knowledge. I kinda want to hear his 80's stuff because it sounds like he did some interesting things... maybe. Otherwise, I'd know his big hits but that's roughly it.

So, armed with fuck all knowledge I'm diving straight into this one and, uh oh, the first 3 songs do absolutely nothing for me. Not that I'd say they're bad, not at all, but I'm just utterly bored by it. Kind of sounds like everything post 80's Paul Weller; competent, a bit soulful, and i just switch off when listening to it.

Then 4 songs in it picks up with For the Turnstiles, which is lovely. Like a skeletal version of what Fleetwood Mac would be doing a few years later. It's great!

Then we're back to the bore. Vampire Blues is a bit like a dull T. Rex, minus all the Marc Bolan sexy bits where you know Marc is looking in the mirror as he sings it. If you're gonna write a song with Vampires in the title make it more exciting than this, fucks sake.

Now the title track and I'm back to how I felt with the first 3 tracks again; lots of slow, serious guitarring and likely head bobbing as the lads jam around whatever the fuck Neil is talking about. This could be Eric Clapton's solo stuff for all I know or care. Maybe if i paid more attention to the lyrics it'd mean more to me?

I like Motion Pictures a fair bit. It's a bit more up my street, I could see Ry Cooder doing this song. I don't know if it makes sense that I like Ry Cooder but not Neil Young since they seem, on the surface at least, to have a fair amount of crossover. I like how he sounds kinda resigned on this one. Poor Neil : (

The last song is a similar thing I guess, I'd probably hate it if it was following the first 3 tracks but after the previous one it seems alright. Nice violin there, I like a bit of violin. Is he bitching about critics on this one? Jesus Neil, don't go down that road.

Right, where does this leave me? One track I love, 1 I like and 1 that I find ok. And this is his best album? Fucking hell.


2/5 lads
 

travispickle

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No major critique from me. It's an album I really like and have listened to a lot since getting the CD reissue mid-noughties.
I love the mood of it, the "liveness" of the recording and it's a solid collection of songs. Particular favourites: See the sky about to rain, On the beach, Revolution blues, Walk on, Motion pictures.
Motion Pictures kind of puts me in mind of Will To Love from American Stars and Bars (another great and under-rated Young album IMO), just the mood of it - very narcotic and sluggish; melancholic but not depressing.
Anyhoo, it's a solid 5/5 for me!
 

chris d

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It is pretty boring. But I like that he made a boring record at this point in time.
 

prefuse

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I hadn't listened to on the beach before. I do like lots of Neil Young, but I'm not a dyed in the wool fan. I have a good few albums from his golden period. Harvest, After the Goldrush, Zuma, Tonight's the Night , Rust never sleeps, Trans & The Decade compilation.

But I haven't heard any album after Trans, which is a while ago (1982). I don't tend to be a completist. I usually think artists have a period where it's all working, a purple patch, and after that they are treading water, Not to say they won't hit their stride again on album 26, but even the great talents only have so much good music in them. I'm probably wrong and am missing some great music. I usually love someone's music from a certain period and after that I just can't really summon the interest. I'm on to other things. Having said that I love that fact that NY is an artist & is constantly working away & will be til the end.

First listen, I like that languid feel, it does fell very loose, kind of here's a bunch of songs, lets put em out.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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travispickle

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There's been talk of this for the past couple of months on some Neil Young groups/mailing lists I'm on. The sleeve art was accidentally posted which has led to loads of speculation. Can't wait to hear what's actually on it.
Sounds inneresting, as Young might say. Only came across this this morning. I must dig out Le Noise for another listen.
 

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