Did Neil "zero out" in the 80s?

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ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:26 pm

Yeah, "Prisoners (Of Rock and Roll)" came off Landing On Water, of which there is an awesome version on Year of the Horse.

"never listen to the record company man, who tried to screw us, and ruin our band... that's why we don't want to be good, no no no!"

Jake
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Postby Jake » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:04 pm

worpswede wrote:I could have sworn that "Landing On Water" had a good song or two. I haven't listened to this album in almost twenty years. Is my memory worn? Is it a complete piece of shit?

Your memory is worn. There are a couple of almost decent songs that are both completely rendered unlistenable by the creed-awful production values. Bad bad bad. Bad.

worpswede
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Postby worpswede » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:49 pm

Jake wrote:Your memory is worn. There are a couple of almost decent songs that are both completely rendered unlistenable by the creed-awful production values. Bad bad bad. Bad.

Gotcha. Come to think of it, I think I remember adding one song from this album to the playlist when I was working in radio around this time. I never cheated when it came up on the music log, unlike that piece of shit "Children Of The Sun" song that always seemed to pop up during my shift. And "Never Been Any Reason." And "Lunatic Fringe." And "Stranded In Iowa."
What the fuck was going on with Uncle Neil and his public fondling of Ronald Reagan in the 80's? That ideological liaison made it so much easier to despise a lot of his material and it nearly put Young in the category of "another fried egg hippy."
I really think that, around '86-'89, Neil felt a little challenged by some of the younger guitar rock bands that were on the underground landscape during this time. If I recall, he once publicly praise Sonic Youth citing "Expressway To Yer Skull" as a groundbreaking track for him. Whatever happened, it worked; I remember thinking how "Ragged Glory" simply slayed some of the work that peers half his age were dishing out on their Jack Endino handjobs.

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Postby Dreamin » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:47 pm

I've always had a soft spot for "Wonderin'" from Everybody's Rockin' because the video is hilarious. I remember seeing it for the very first time when I was about 15 years old, thinking WTF is this??? I was appalled and fascinated at the same time.

Believe it or not, that was my introduction to Neil Young. A couple of years later, I discovered Live Rust and fell in love.

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:23 am

Ok, I'll derail the thread.

What was it about the 80's that fucked up so many 60's and 70's artists? From Dylan to Bowie, they all skunked up the Reagan years. I loves me some vintage Dylan, but The Traveling Wilberrys!?

Bowie has actually apologized for his 80's output. Even Led Zep screwed the pooch in that decade. Did punk and MTV just overwhelm them? Did Reagan and Thatcher tag team their asses into political irrelevancy? Why?

Alice Cooper, for example, should have phased nicely into punk. After all, where would punk be without him? But instead he wound up on The Gong Show.

It's like the old gaurd just gave up and started copying Lionel Ritchie.

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Postby jaimoe0 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:16 am

I'm gonna take issue here on a couple of points. First of all, "Let's Dance" was one of the biggest albums of the 80s and was, at the time, critically well-received. I won't speak to the rest of Bowie's 80s output, which was spotty at best, but it certainly wasn't a total wash.

Led Zeppelin's last album was released in 1979. By the end of 1980, they had officially split. Are you talking about Plant and Page's solo work? I'd say Plant was far more successful in that regard than Pagey. In fact, I wouldn't mind having "Principle of Moments" on cd.

And the Travelling Wilburys? What's wrong with that? That first album is a boatload of fun and way more artistically successful than the members were on their own in the 80s, with the exception of Tom Petty.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:03 am

Mixmaster Shecky wrote:What was it about the 80's that fucked up so many 60's and 70's artists?

Too much reverb on the drums. And bad sounding synths employed in an attempt to stay up to date.

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Postby steve-o » Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:18 am

All right, I was all ready to step in and defend the allegations that Bowie sucked during the 80s, was going to cite Heroes as probably one of the best albums of his career, but alas, I realized it was released in '77. So nevermind. But there is something to be said for Let's Dance.
Overall, a fun album, some good stuff in there crammed in with the mediocre.

A better example is Leonard Cohen. Sure, he made the mistake of a lot of artists of embracing cheap synths and stupid production gimmicks, but he also put out some of the best work of his career, "If It Be Your Will" and "Hallelujah" come to mind. I feel sorry for anyone who ignores Cohen's 80s output.

And I know it's been mentioned a few times in the past about how bad 80s prodcution was with the reverb on the drums and whatnot. I don't know, is it wrong to kind of like that sound? I like being able to date a song simply from the tone of the snare drum. Overall, it's a cool sound when it's done right (see "How Soon is Now").

I think the problem with a lot of 60s and 70s artists was that after punk and with the sudden popularity of new wave, the whole paradigm kind of shifted on them and they just had to really struggle to stay relevant. Some were more successful than others. I would say that was a good thing though.

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:44 am

I just find it fascinating that the 80's so fucked up that generation of musicians. I don't think it's one single thing that made them so lame (and face it - even if 'Let's Dance' wasn't too bad, it was no Ziggy Stardust), but it is remarkable how many of them absolutely lost it thru that decade.

Of course, that left the field open for the truly great musicians of the 80's to take up the slack - Mats, Husker Du, etc. If Dylan and the rest had stayed relevant thru that decade, would the 'new' underground had much of a chance to be heard?

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Postby jaimoe0 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:49 am

Was it heard that much anyway? Fact is, even the artists who did totally jump the shark in the 80s sold an assload more records than bands like the Mats and Husker Du. I think those guys would have bubbled up from the underground regardless of the quality of the established acts. I mean, punk got its start when Led Zeppelin was still a relevant, filthy beast that you HAD to contend with.


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