Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Discipline and Restraint: The Genius of Neil Young

Neil Young
Sarah McLachlan Foundation Concert, Vancouver 9/12/09
Photo by Darryl Dyck

The Comment of the Moment is from Elton John's "Unforgettable Moments" with Neil Young by BIGCHIEF:
The genius of Neil Young is discipline and restraint.

With Neil, the whole package beginning with his songwriting, his vocals, and whatever instrument he chooses to express himself, is 'hardwired' directly to his soul. Although his vocal technique would no doubt make a professional trainers eye twitch, any attempt to polish it would surely be at the expense of that raw, honest, emotion-drenched expression of feelings that evokes similar emotions from the listener with an intensity far greater than most singers who merely recite lyrics.

With Rap Music as a possible exception, the success of a song isn't measured by how many words you can fit into a given verse. The same can be said as far as how many notes can one fit into a guitar solo. By Neil's own admission, he never claimed to be one who blistered the fretboard of a guitar. If anything, he's more likely to be known more for his 'one note solo' as heard in the classic stomper 'Cinnamon Girl'.

Once again, his ability to exercise restraint further proved his successful formula that 'less is more'. This same successful formula is not unique to his vocals and guitar playing but extends to his piano playing abilities as well as in his signature harmonica playing style. On whatever instrument he may choose to accompany a particular song, The method that is typical in the structure of the majority of Neil's records is restraint. Whatever it takes to compliment the song. No 'one' instrument should overwhelm, dominate, or become the focal point of the song.

Thanks, as always, BIGCHIEF!

More on the genius of Neil Young.


At 2/05/2011 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Melanie Young said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/05/2011 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Melanie Young said...

Beautiful, BIGCHIEF, and spot-on. This is why I get irritated with people who call Neil's music - especially his latter-day output - "simplistic." Dare I accuse these people of lacking imagination, of lacking the ability to read between the "words, between the lines of age"? Do they not realize what a gift it is to be able to write something as simple-sounding - and timeless - as "Heart of Gold," or "Love and War"?

Less can indeed be more, be it less instrumentally or less lyrically - or both. Think of the great African American blues artists, who were forced by the societal standards of their time to veil and vex the meaning of their words - and who then then fit them within a simple, particular musical structure, sometimes with only a guitar to accompany them. Think of Hank Williams, the "Hillbilly Shakespeare" who did much the same thing.

This is why I love them, as well as Dylan and Neil: their music is so much more than mere words and notes strung together - it makes me think as well as feel. It's what's implicit - what's between those lines - that counts the most.

At 2/06/2011 11:28:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Melanie!

Great comment. Exactly, simplicity is beauty.

At 2/09/2011 03:37:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Simple is as simple does Melanie.
i think your uncle's genius lays in that unique ability to combine those 'simplistic' lyrics with "simplistic" melody..and creat timeless Neil 'rediscovery' of stuff from the seventies and eighties continues...and with each play of a classic Neil album,comes a new appreciation of the man and his music.
My rediscovery album of the moment?

On the Beach!

forever a fan



Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat