Neil Young - On The Beach

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back in the old folky days...

Poll Results

OptionVotes
A3 Revolution Blues 4:02 18
B3 Ambulance Blues 8:57 18
B1 On the Beach 7:04 15
A4 For the Turnstiles 3:13 11
A2 See the Sky About to Rain 5:03 6
A1 Walk On 2:40 5
B2 Motion Pictures 4:20 4
A5 Vampire Blues 4:11 3


Zeno, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:51 (twelve years ago) link

Great album. For me: See The Sky About To Rain. I've overused this word today, but it's "bluesy," and melancholy, and sounds like a jaded good-bye note to the era.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:53 (twelve years ago) link

Ambulance>Motion>Revolution>Beach>Turnstile>Walk>Sky>Vampire

Zeno, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:53 (twelve years ago) link

my favourite Young record for sure. his most special,most delicate and nuanced thing he ever did.
same goes with the cover art btw.

Zeno, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 22:55 (twelve years ago) link

Walk On, narrowly over Ambulance Blues

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:09 (twelve years ago) link

motion pictures

isn't even a question imo

iatee, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:11 (twelve years ago) link

for the turnstiles...omg this album rules!

even corpse management will be at risk (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:25 (twelve years ago) link

it's a good album, I like all of these songs. will rep for vampire blues, that guitar solo rules

sonderangerbot, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:33 (twelve years ago) link

The last three songs are probably my favorite side OF ALL TIME.

^ Z S on the internet here (Z S), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:56 (twelve years ago) link

every song is classic but title track is just...beyond.

jesus is the man (jabba hands), Thursday, 14 May 2009 00:14 (twelve years ago) link

I could vote for every song here, but I'm in an "Ambulance Blues" mood.

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:12 (twelve years ago) link

voted the title track, its like a morphine addled roll down the stairs.

❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉Plaxico❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉ (I know, right?), Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:14 (twelve years ago) link

I'd be amazed if anything other than "Ambulance Blues" won.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:37 (twelve years ago) link

do any balearicy edits exist of anything on this?

❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉Plaxico❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉ (I know, right?), Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:38 (twelve years ago) link

least favorite of the doom trilogy. gotta go with "turnstiles"

kamerad, Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:39 (twelve years ago) link

"Revolution Blues", I love the pop sound on the drums on this hippy apocalypse; final solo is pretty tremendous too.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:49 (twelve years ago) link

b side is a perfect thing of beauty

in the face of that impossibility I'm going with "revolution blues"

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 04:10 (twelve years ago) link

contains one of my favorite young lyrics

well I hear that laurel canyon is full of famous stars
but I hate them more than lepers and I'll kill them in their caaarrrs

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 04:11 (twelve years ago) link

^^^ ed III otm.

ian, Thursday, 14 May 2009 04:59 (twelve years ago) link

There was a summer when I listened to this album every single morning on my walk to work. Three miles to wash dishes at Old Country Buffet. Some days it was my only moment of bliss. Gonna re-listen a few times before I vote. Great album.

SQUIRREL WITH A PEOPLE FACE (╓abies), Thursday, 14 May 2009 05:30 (twelve years ago) link

^i love this story.

i used to listen to it a lot while riding the bus to & from work at a hole in the wall diner. "See The Sky About to Rain" has always stuck with me more than any of the others. The keys just resonate in a profound way that sucks me in & holds me tight. i never liked happy music before work, but i didn't want to be depressed either. That song is a perfect melancholic work & i still play it a lot. The rest of the songs are brilliant as well, my personal fav NY album.

myndbloom, Thursday, 14 May 2009 06:29 (twelve years ago) link

may be an impossible poll for me. just pulled it out for a listen and i gotta be up in a few hours...

^^great stories btw - this is the perfect album to create memories with

sknybrg, Thursday, 14 May 2009 07:20 (twelve years ago) link

Revolution Blues and for that lyric - best thing he ever wrote.

sonofstan, Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:37 (twelve years ago) link

Ditto.

Enemy Insects (NickB), Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:38 (twelve years ago) link

Seems to be a bit overrated these days, this album, not that it isn't good... very good. "See the Sky About to Rain" is pretty. Has to be "Ambulance Blues" though.

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:47 (twelve years ago) link

Favourite NY album, probably my 8 favourite NY songs. Hard to choose, but I'll go for On The Beach. This is also the only NY album my wife can bear to listen to.

nate woolls, Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:47 (twelve years ago) link

ambulance blues, "we're all just pissing in the wind"

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 14 May 2009 09:25 (twelve years ago) link

Not sure if I prefer Sky or Ambulance.

the next grozart, Thursday, 14 May 2009 10:22 (twelve years ago) link

This album... I mean, you'd think a '70s hippy album called "On The Beach" would be a sunny shiny affair, but it's just so RAINY. It's dreary, but beautifully so. It reminds me of a particularly miserable lunch time, sitting in the sandwich shop and staring out the window at the windscreen wipers on the cars working furiously as people's umbrellas shot up.

ch4rlie fr4m3, Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:20 (twelve years ago) link

OTB=RAINY=OTM
That's the detail I forgot in the story above. The first notes of Walk On always retrieve, more than anything, really vivid smells of rain while walking up Madison Ave.

SQUIRREL WITH A PEOPLE FACE (╓abies), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:30 (twelve years ago) link

Before the 2003 CD release, did y'all just copy the vinyl version to a tape?

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:31 (twelve years ago) link

My vinyl version (well, my dad's vinyl version) has the parasol pattern inside the sleeve. Is this on every vinyl copy or am I sitting on a goldmine?

nate woolls, Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:43 (twelve years ago) link

what's neil young got against lepers?

ch4rlie fr4m3, Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:45 (twelve years ago) link

They're not all that popular in general, historically

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:46 (twelve years ago) link

They remind him of David Crosby.

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:47 (twelve years ago) link

in some way, i think on the beach is Neil Young response to Nick Drake (only so much better)
it is known that Ambulance is influenced by Bert Jansch's "Needle of Death", and i think Drake was influenced by Jansch as well.
all those gentle, beautiful touches, like Rusty Kershaw fiddle in Ambulance (and the hand drums), or the banjo in Turnstiles,were never represented in any other Young record.
even the rock songs here arent row and heavy like most of Young rock songs,and present a more creative aspects:
the guitar has no distortion, and the playing is not the regular chords-solo-chords you usually get from Neil.
same goes with the drums.
i think only in Harvest he did something similiar but it wasnt as gentle,delicate and beautiful as On The Beach.

Zeno, Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:50 (twelve years ago) link

Definitely my favourite NY album. Revolution Blues for the surly, apocalyptic anti-LA vibe. It sounds so poisonous.

Dorian (Dorianlynskey), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:51 (twelve years ago) link

in some way, i think on the beach is Neil Young response to Nick Drake (only so much better)

Be surprised if he'd heard him

even the rock songs here arent row and heavy like most of Young rock songs,and present a more creative aspects:
the guitar has no distortion, and the playing is not the regular chords-solo-chords you usually get from Neil.
same goes with the drums.

This is why they are not so good, in my opinion

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:56 (twelve years ago) link

Ambulance Blues by a mile. best thing Neil ever done.

Ludo, Thursday, 14 May 2009 12:08 (twelve years ago) link

I love this album, and its great that he finally reissued it, but I'm a little tired of it. I've been listening to Time Fades Away a whole lot lately and I'd rather talk about that one and why in the hell its still out of print.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:01 (twelve years ago) link

wait till you get tired of time fades away and get hooked on journey through the past

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:04 (twelve years ago) link

^ serious talk

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:06 (twelve years ago) link

time fades away is out of print because neil is a fidelity nut and the master tapes are all 2 track tape that you can't really remix

he prepared an SACD version that sounded fantastic but then declined to release it

I have a leaked copy that I think I've leonardo'd in the past?

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:06 (twelve years ago) link

I'd like to hear it.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:09 (twelve years ago) link

i thought it was because Neil didn't like the album?

ch4rlie fr4m3, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:11 (twelve years ago) link

xp I'll see if I can dig it out

from http://www.thrasherswheat.org/tnfy/timefadesaway_album.htm

The problem with "Time Fades Away" is even worse, as it naivély stated on LP labels: "This Recording Was Mastered 16-Track/Direct To Disc (acetate) by Computer"; the multi-track master tape was recorded/mixed LIVE, leaving little room for remixing the "warts & all" tape hiss, bad notes & crowd noise.

To reassemble the album, someone would need to sort through fifty or so ¼" and/or 2" multi-track reels & "a few" cassettes. Finding the right version by date would be easy enough, but at what stage would the mix be at? Raw recording? Truck monitor mix? Mono PA monitor recording? And what about necessary over-dubs ("L.A.", "Last Dance")? Where are Crosby's vocals? How'd they layer the voices like that? ...impossible.

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:20 (twelve years ago) link

My vinyl version (well, my dad's vinyl version) has the parasol pattern inside the sleeve. Is this on every vinyl copy or am I sitting on a goldmine?

Mine has this. assumed they all did? I got mine about a dozen years ago for .50 ... great copy, too!

Plunge Protection Team, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:28 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, time fades away clearly isn't neil's favorite album but he went so far as to get it ready for HDCD rerelease along with the rest of the "missing 6" in 2004 (on the beach, journey through the past, time fades away, american stars & bars, hawks & doves, reactor)

the only two that didn't get a final release were time fades away and journey through the past, even though they were given a catalog number, had copies pressed, etc. and from what I understand it was due to unhappiness w/ the final sound quality.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y176/edwardiii/timefadesaway.png

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y176/edwardiii/jttp.png

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:30 (twelve years ago) link

frankly I'm shocked that he's gonna release journey through the past (the film) on DVD as part of the archives

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:32 (twelve years ago) link

Doing what you least expect him to do is his thing really

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:33 (twelve years ago) link

also "vampire blues" guitar solo v underrated, it's so creepy and garbled, a complete subversion of what you'd expect from "blues rock"

budo jeru, Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:33 (eleven months ago) link

Young's electric piano in "See the Sky About to Rain"

.......

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:45 (eleven months ago) link

I know it was easily available on vinyl, but it was a huge fuckin' deal in my circle when Young reissued it in 2003.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:45 (eleven months ago) link

I love "Vampire Blues" but that may also be related to having actually seen him do a very rare live performance of it a few years back. I do think it works perfectly in the context of the album in terms of sound and feel.

sleeve, Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:48 (eleven months ago) link

xp yeah i love that wurlitzer / steel guitar combo

budo jeru, Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:58 (eleven months ago) link

yeah, not gonna tolerate any 'see the sky' slander. inevitably the first song i played the few times i've sat in front of an actual wurly

ACABincalifornia (voodoo chili), Friday, 26 June 2020 01:16 (eleven months ago) link

it's not slander, it's an excellent song that's on a record full of perfect songs

budo jeru, Friday, 26 June 2020 02:06 (eleven months ago) link

I know it was easily available on vinyl, but it was a huge fuckin' deal in my circle when Young reissued it in 2003.

― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, June 25, 2020 7:45 PM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Yeah, this getting reissued that year was my gateway into NY. Read lots of press around then about this masterpiece was getting rereleased. Thankfully, this was around the time you could still buy used vinyl copies of albums like that at record stores for just a few bucks.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Friday, 26 June 2020 02:34 (eleven months ago) link

six months pass...

There's gotta be a Bernie Sanders cover out there somewhere.

clemenza, Friday, 22 January 2021 02:55 (five months ago) link

I saw it today but don't remember where

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 22 January 2021 02:59 (five months ago) link

Am7 has never sounded better than the opening chords of On the Beach

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 22 January 2021 04:35 (five months ago) link

Is there a bad song on this record? I don't think so. I guess See the Sky About to Rain is the weakest, but it's still pretty enjoyable and works in the flow of the record.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 22 January 2021 04:46 (five months ago) link

in terms of being furthest off the overall vibe of the record, “Walk On” is fairly singular in mood.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Friday, 22 January 2021 05:10 (five months ago) link

eternally grateful that I saw him jam that one live

Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Friday, 22 January 2021 05:34 (five months ago) link

I would agree with the results of this poll that "Vampire Blues" is the weakest song, but it's still pretty good and is a nice modest closer for side one before we begin the slow healing process of side two.
"See the Sky" is generalized melancholy against the specific melancholy or bitterness of the other songs.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 22 January 2021 15:13 (five months ago) link

"see the sky" is beautiful. i can't really be objective about any of neil's ballads from this era because they all hit me where i live.

ok, maybe not "a man needs a maid"

voodoo chili, Friday, 22 January 2021 15:32 (five months ago) link

Walk On and See the Sky sound great together.

Florida Man vs. California Bill (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 22 January 2021 15:36 (five months ago) link

huge fan of see the sky, my fav on side 1

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 22 January 2021 16:29 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

In this week's edition of "what was the last 'classic album' you got and were knocked out by?", I found a $4 copy of OTB at my local record store over the weekend. I was vaguely aware of it's classic status, but i've never owned any Neil Young, so I figured this might be a good entry point. And now I'm having to restrain myself from just playing it on a repeat loop and completely wearing it out in the first week.
Favorite details:
- the title track sounds like it's gonna be a standard I-IV-V 12-bar blues, but instead of the V, it goes somewhere else (to the III?), and it creates this sublime little oasis in the chord progression
- Rick Danko's bass on Revolution Blues
- "Remember your guard dog? Well, I'm afraid that he's gone. It was such a drag to hear him whining all night long. Aaa-ooooo"
- when i spotted a pattern inside the record sleeve, and then realized it was the beach umbrella pattern. Did other records do this trick?

If Revolution Blues is my north star, where do I go next? (does that mean I need to get into The Band? i'm not sure if i'm ready for that)

enochroot, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 02:44 (one month ago) link

I got my copy of this for $1 thirty years ago, when it was still unavailable.
The title track is a minor blues that goes to the relative major instead of the fifth.
I remember another LP that had the credits printed on the inside of the jacket, but I forget what it was.
I feel that Time Fades Away is the companion to this record if you haven't heard that. The Band don't have a lot of stuff that sounds or feels like "Revolution Blues"; maybe try "Just Another Whistle Stop" ("Police siren, flashing light, and I wonder who went down tonight").

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 02:51 (one month ago) link

I feel like if you love On the Beach (as I do), Tonight's the Night makes a nice companion piece.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 03:18 (one month ago) link

Yeah, The 'Ditch Trilogy' (Time Fades Away, Tonight's The Night, and On The Beach) is a must. Also make sure to check out Zuma and Homegrown!

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 03:43 (one month ago) link

If Revolution Blues is my north star, where do I go next?

As the others say, Murky Neil = Time Fades Away and Tonight's the Night. And when you're ready to open the window, go immediately to Zuma.

clemenza, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 12:18 (one month ago) link

Time Fades doesn't do it for me on the same level. Love Zuma though.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 13:13 (one month ago) link

Zuma's my favorite Neil Young album.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 13:14 (one month ago) link

Ditto.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 13:23 (one month ago) link

I would go for this order next, but they are all terrific and worth hearing in whatever order ends up working for you:

Zuma
Tonight's the Night
Time Fades Away
Homegrown

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 13:57 (one month ago) link

As far as The Band, I don't think you're going to find anything with that kind of angry drive to it (i.e. ala Revolution Blues). I like the Band but there's sometimes a bit of an earnest, wholesome family entertainment vibe to them that puts me off. Def not writing songs about hating celebrities on dune buggies and shooting dogs out of spite.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 14:05 (one month ago) link

The other LP I was trying to remember, with credits printed inside the sleeve, was No New York.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 14:07 (one month ago) link

Steely Dan has several misanthropic blues in the spirit of "Revolution Blues", maybe try "Black Friday".

o. nate, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:07 (one month ago) link

A great song, but of course Steely Dan doesn't have Neil's ramshackle feel, if that is part of the attraction.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:19 (one month ago) link

the Band dont have a lot of songs that sound like revolution blues in terms of dark edgy feel, but just in terms of dankos lunatic basslines they have plenty where he goes off in a similar style

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:26 (one month ago) link

"w.s. walcott's medicine show" has a similar ramshackle groove with a fun danko bassline. obv the mood is more old-timey fun than strung-out desparation

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:32 (one month ago) link

It's true; in the context of "Revolution Blues", the bass and drums communicate a very different feeling than they do on Robertson's songs, although the actual playing is not that different.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:40 (one month ago) link

Al Schmitt, who produced side two of OTB, just died.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 20:57 (one month ago) link

see this thread about to rain

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 21:02 (one month ago) link

He also worked a lot with the Jefferson Airplane.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 21:03 (one month ago) link

how many more nights can i get whisky soaked to this record? cos it's literally all i seem to do anymore

maelin, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 20:22 (one month ago) link

what, no honey slides?

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 20:22 (one month ago) link

whoa that water has tequila in it!

brimstead, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 20:34 (one month ago) link

haha, and two industrial boxes of fritos and cigarettes put out in the carpet, according to the shakey biography

maelin, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 20:34 (one month ago) link

As far as The Band,
Def not writing songs about ... shooting dogs out of spite.

Indeed, my interpretation has always been that they wrote (a) song (partially) about balking at shooting a dog!

(Wait a minute Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man)

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:27 (one month ago) link

As far as The Band, I don't think you're going to find anything with that kind of angry drive to it (i.e. ala Revolution Blues).

Think this is about as close as you're gonna get — recorded just a couple months before On The Beach. Pretty vicious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLP85S1PRC0

tylerw, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 14:24 (one month ago) link

I wish Neil Young had covered "On the Beach":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yXVufG5oV0

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 14:26 (one month ago) link

the boz scaggs on the beach cover from a couple years ago was surprisingly pretty great

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 15:00 (one month ago) link

Chris Rea or Neil's?

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 15:13 (one month ago) link

Neil's, from Boz's Out of the Blues album.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 15:16 (one month ago) link

the definitive reading of neil’s on the beach is, of course, mick hucknall’s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDbctjmjvXg

you are like a scampicane, there's calm in your fries (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 16:32 (one month ago) link

If the implication is that Simply Red is capable of neutering that song, they're not, it still slays. You just can't keep that song down.

(not stop sure about the guitar solo though -- it kinda makes a good case, by way of contrast, for the genius of neil's soloing on the original)

enochroot, Thursday, 6 May 2021 01:36 (one month ago) link

xp idk abt that

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wNO1b8UOuY

"Gaspar? No way." (sleeve), Thursday, 6 May 2021 01:37 (one month ago) link


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