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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Comment of the Moment: 7th Anniversary of Release "Time Fades Away" Petition

Time Fades Away
RARE Yugoslavian 45RPM Single Picture Sleeve
TW TFA Archives

The Comment of the Moment is from 7th Anniversary of Release "Time Fades Away" Petition by Greg "A Friend Of Yours":
I love this album, so it's hard to pick a favorite, but I'd have to go with something from my “quiet triumvirate” (a term I just made up)- The Bridge, Love In Mind or Journey Trough The Past. The album is so hard driving, that by the time these three came along they always gave me a much needed chance to breathe a little. And they're so beautiful and poignant (“I will stay with you, if you’ll stay with me, said the fiddler to the drum”). But, if pressed I'd have to say The Bridge.

On the contrary, and it's really uncomfortable for me to talk like this, but I'd have to put Yonder Stands The Sinner at or very near the bottom of all of Neil's songs for me. Yeah, it has its moments, but ah, no, it just doesn't work for me. But it's a small price to pay for an incredible album.

BTW, it’s been mentioned here before, but I think it needs to be reiterated- can anyone think of another album or project that took such a risk in terms of its release following on the heels of a number one album? The uniqueness of a live album of previously unreleased material has already been mentioned too, and live albums are always a little rough, but unvarnished in all the ways TFA is?

I mean, I'm sure Neil didn't set out with this decision in mind, but when push came to shove he took a huge risk in his determination to be honest about what had just happened. I can't think of a similar comparison. And if Neil's penchant for willfulness was ever in doubt up until this point, TFA marks the first unambiguous sign of what was to come, not to mention how clear a statement it made in staking out the claim that the art and the artist are more important than the audience, or at the very least are the more crucial determining point in the whole process.

It's easy to say now how great an album this is, but when it first came out, trust me, the term great was not being thrown around by anyone. Really interesting stuff, surrounding a really interesting album- and on top of the whole mystery of Neil's stance toward it.

A Friend Of Yours

Thanks -- as always -- Greg "A Friend Of Yours"!

More on RARE Yugoslavian 45RPM Single Picture Sleeve and other TFA obscurities.


At 3/17/2012 08:36:00 AM, Blogger astrololee said...

I love this album and have heard Neil hates it...but to us fans its part of "ditch trilogy" legend when Neil let the world know what and how he felt in the rawest manner. He just let us have it and the music just got to has stayed with me I know, all this time and I keep going back to was the real deal, Neil dished up what the record compnay's didn't want and said stuff the lot of you ... and that is why us fans love him to this has ever told him what to do.
Also Neil being Neil he probably doesn't like it, that we all love this album..the trio thingy takes him back to a hurtful time in his life when the world was turned upside down...On The Beach told us of all the Blood Suckers out there especially in the music industry, TTN told of his pain on losing good friends and TFA is where it all started. Neil at his grittiest trying to get the whole image of being disillusioned many times along his musical career path,out of his mind and in doing so he resorted to haunting melodies, shrill guitar chords and dreary monologue and its one of his rawest yet finest works IMO!
In amongst TFA there is some awesome work from Ben and Jack. I love the moodiness of LA and Neil lamenting it's the Last Dance...just so good!
No none of us have really been satisfied the the excuses why Neil has never brought this out on CD..apart from CD's being of crap quality in the MP3 or WMA format so can I ask why hasn't he considered bringing it out of Blu-ray or is he just now waiting for 24/192 downloads!

At 3/17/2012 06:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TFA was the second album I ever purchased(Harvest being the first).I love this album partly because it was a live album of songs I heard in Baton Rouge,Louisiana in 1973 ; my first concert ever. So, the album I bought back then and still cherish today represents an important part of my life. In a way I'm glad it was never put on CD which makes it even more special.Every time I listen to it I go back in time to that February night in '73.

At 3/18/2012 02:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern Man - Allman Brothers and Friends from tonight at the Beacon!

At 3/18/2012 02:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim @ 06:47 above: have you heard the 45 rpm version of Time Fades Away with Last Trip to Tulsa as the flip side (Reprise 1184)? This version of Last Trip was from the Baton Rouge show and he even changes the lyrics at one point to say Baton Rouge. Check it out.


At 3/19/2012 01:12:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/19/2012 01:20:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

While it took quite a while for Neil to come to terms with the commercial success that 'Harvest' brought his way, In the long run it afforded him the license to get away with bringing out Time Fades Away when he did. Had he not had the credibility within the industry that Harvest brought him, Warner Bros would have pulled a Geffen on him then and there. Time Fades Away couldn't have been a bigger disaster had he written the script! Having to hit the road for the biggest tour of his career just one day after the death of Danny Whitten was a bad omen right from the start. Presenting new songs to an audience expecting to hear familiar 'Harvest' songs didn't impress the audience one bit either. And recording the performances with a new digital technology that was unproven at the time was a disaster. And if that wasn't enough, internal squabbles over money issues with the band members thinking since he could afford it with the financial success of Harvest while most of the musicians played on the record and felt they contributed to it's success. Rampant drug abuse during a time when Neil had a bad taste in his mouth about drugs contributing to Danny's death caused even greater tension within the camp. adding insult to injury, Neil loses his voice partway into the tour forcing him to call on Crosby and Nash to help support his vocal shortcomings. Switching drummers in mid stream and tinkering with the set list forcing band members to play songs live they didn't even have time to rehearse. Many people aren't aware that all of this left such a long lasting negative impression on Neil that has stayed with him until this very day. Hence, no big hurry to release such a reminder of the worst period of his career. According to Neil, there will be a Time Fades Away II included on the Archives Vol #2 that he can live with. It doesn't matter to me as I still have a new vinyl copy which by the way is still new because it is one of my least favorite Neil Young recordings of his career, aside fro 'Journey Through The Past' and 'Arc'. As for the rest of you, Good Luck!

At 3/19/2012 09:55:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Good points all, Big Chief. No doubt this period of Neils life and career has to rank right up there with his worst moments- not to mention the very rarely if ever mentioned back condition that threatened a life confined to a wheel chair accounting for the long delay between Harvest and the TFA extended tour- but again I maintain that there is more to it than even this long list of calamities.

For example, much of the ill fated eighties material was accompanied and defined by the heartbreak of Ben's condition, and the clash of Titans struggle with Geffen, mixed in for good measure with the near universal lack of support for the projects, even from long time fans. But Neil has never distanced himself from this period, and in fact spent a lot of time and energy explaining and defending it. Not so for TFA alone among all his work.

It could be that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and the reasons you list tell the tale, who knows? It's all just speculation at best. As is usual for me when trying to explain any number of questions surrounding Neil, I chalk it up to Neil just has his reasons, and no one but he will ever move him off of them.

But, oh man, say it isn't so Big Chief, this is one of your least favorite albums? It's cool if it is but, oh man... Maybe like Tim, the album just means so much to me because it's tied to a very crucial period in my life, and represents the first concert I ever went to. Wait a minute, maybe it means that all the other albums are that much better by comparison. Yeah, that's it, right? Right?

A Friend Of Yours

At 3/20/2012 02:26:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Ironically, Greg, among the points that I speculated on in my post, The album also coincided with some personal events in my own life that add's to my negative response when I reflect on that period of time. While I don't exactly have an overwhelming hatred for the record itself, when I reflect on Neil's vast catalog of material, it just ranks low on my list. It has it's moments, however, had it been Neil's first recording effort without his integrity already established with his previous contributions, it certainly wouldn't have launched his career and won over many fans anxiously awaiting a followup based on it's appeal to the masses. The day I purchased it I was 18 yrs old and had just left a court proceeding in which I had a lawsuit pending over an incident 10 yrs previous where I had acquired food poisoning due to negligence on behalf of a bakery truck ( remember those?) who would come to your door every morning to fill your bakery needs. Mind you, this was a overwhelmingly cut and dry case in which I was near death as a child. Spent several months in the hospital clinging onto life. Since that day, twenty other families had already successfully were compensated for their hardships. My trusting father retained a childhood friend as an attorney against a company who had since merged with the largest bakery conglomerate in the Nation. Long story short, when the jury deliberated and eventually returned their verdict clearing the bakery of all matters of negligence, before the sneers of the corporate attorneys as I caught a glimpse of my lawyer slithering through a rear exit to avoid a confrontation, I was left with limited options as to how to fill the rest of my afternoon and lessen the disappointment and confused state of mind I had just acquired. In my less than 'blissful'frame of mind, I recalled that Neil's new album 'Time Fades Away' had hit the record stores that morning so I stopped off at a local 'Harmony House'en route to my journey home on such a beautiful day, although my sky's were a haze of gloom and fog. All I wanted to do at that moment was to allow Neil to take me away from my reality, if only for 30 or 40 minutes. I didn't have a clue what was awaiting me. As I placed the headphones over my ears, I was immediately greeted with a sweet little ditty about 'Fourteen Junkies that were too Weak to work'! While not exactly 'Out On The Weekend' which greeted me upon my first listen to 'Harvest', The entire concept of the record as it played through never delivered me to a place to transport me to another world where even for a brief moment I' hanging around a bunch of happy go lucky Hippies on a Ranch in Northern California as more Hippies are coming down the road bringing Neil presents, as if he needs any more things, enough time had faded away to bring the final song which was a sobering reminder that without the generous money that I had eagerly awaited to be awarded me for my pain and suffering, I was reminded that I need to scrounge some money together to have enough orange juice and coffee because after all, tomorrow morning, it's gonna be 'time to go to work' once again! After being up for hours and hours and hours!..... Needless to say, I slipped the record back into the jacket where it has had a home for the past 40 years!, No, No, No, No ,No!!!!!!!!!

At 3/20/2012 10:21:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Wow, that is quite a story Big Chief, and a real shame. No wonder you are underwhelmed by the album. Sometimes things are just forever associated with each other, for good and bad. Seems you and Neil have something in common around TFA, and hopefully even more in terms of your ability to overcome the slings and arrows of fate. Long may you run.

A Friend Of Yours

At 3/21/2012 09:40:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Bigchief for sharing that. Sorry about your harsh introduction to reality. Better late than never. fwiw, in a way the cold slap of reality that you experienced was similar to what Neil was going thru at the time of TFA.

And what we do to channel our hopes, dreams, fear & anger is what matters.

"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."


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