Monday, January 16, 2006

"I heard Mr. Young sing about her"

After dusting off TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT (1975) Monday
evening, and thoroughly enjoying the experience, I
have determined to rediscover my Neil Young
collection, record by record.

I followed up with TRANS (1982). I would imagine that
many would point to this as Neil's worst album. They
would likely be correct. But, that's not to say that
it's not an interesting listening experience. It
starts with "Little Thing Called Love", a Neil
original not to be confused with the Queen song "Crazy
Little Thing Called Love". This is a fairly
straight-ahead rock song with cool slide guitar work.
A sticker on the front of the LP informs me this is
the "Hit Single" included.

Next according to the inner sleeve is a song called
"If You Got Love". However, this song is mysteriously
NOT actually on the album. Last minute editing
decision, perhaps? (And, of course, why bother to

Then, the early-80s attempt at futuristic sound kicks
in, with "Computer Age". Crazy vocal sounds, set to
music that would've fit into a night club scene in the
movie "Scarface", or perhaps the TV show "Miami Vice".
Computer-induced paranoia takes over completely on
"We R in Control" and "Computer Cowboy (aka

The 2nd side begins with a decent tune, "Hold on to
Your Love". This is followed by "Sample and Hold",
which is probably the best representative of the
"RoboNeil"/"Neilinator" sound.

Along comes the electronic, robotic
remake of Neil's Buffalo Springfield classic, "Mr.
Soul". It must be heard to be believed, and I'm not
sure that's a good thing.

The album closes with the 8-minute "Like an Inca",
which would be complete cheese, save for some dueling,
blistering guitars from Neil and friend Nils Lofgren.

Bottom line: I'm glad I listened, but I probably
won't reach for it again soon.


P.S. - I guess I should've looked closer at the back
of the album cover. There's a black sticker with the
following message: This first-edition pressing of Neil
Young's Trans album contains a typographic mistake.
Although it is listed in the line-up on the back of
this record and on the lyric innersleeve, the song "If
You Got Love" is not on the record itself.

(Funny thing, though, is that the song is NOT listed
on the back of the record. However, it is on the
inner sleeve, and not on the record itself. Weirdness abounds.)


Blogger ty said...

I certainly have no qualms about your review, and would probably agree with most of your points. However, in light on Neil's comments on the (Swedish?) interview posted on this sight, it seems worth maybe looking at it from a new angle. The fact that he disclosed Kraftwork as an influence and mentioned that the record would likely be much more appreciated if it were released today brings up an interesting point. Sometimes when I can discern what Neil is aiming for, even if he doesn't necessarily get there, I can appreciate the effort and the content a bity more.

5:16 AM, February 05, 2006  

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