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Thursday, April 28, 2016

TRACK LIST: Neil Young's New Album "Earth"

Neil Young's "Earth" (cover)
(Click photo to enlarge)
Neil Young will release a new album, entitled EARTH, on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour.

1. Mother Earth (originally from Ragged Glory)
2. Seed Justice (new title for the unreleased “I Won’t Quit” ? )
3. My Country Home (Ragged Glory)
4. The Monsanto Years (The Monsanto Years)
5. Western Hero (Sleeps With Angels)
6. Vampire Blues (On The Beach)
7. Hippie Dream (Landing On Water)
8. After The Gold Rush (ATGR)
9. Human Highway (Comes A Time)
10. Big Box (The Monsanto Years)
11. People Want to Hear About Love (The Monsanto Years)
12. Wolf Moon (The Monsanto Years)
13. Love & Only Love (Ragged Glory)

EARTH features the live recordings, along with added musical overdubs, as well as "sounds of the earth, such as city sounds like car horns, sounds of insects, and animal sounds from bears, birds, crickets, bees, horses, cows - creating a very strange, yet beautiful atmosphere."

"Ninety-eight uninterrupted minutes long, EARTH flows as a collection of 13 songs from throughout my life, songs I have written about living here on our planet together," says Young. "Our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well, and the animals, insects, birds, and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times."



On Friday, May 6th, in Los Angeles between 7:00pm - 9:00pm, The Natural History Museum Los Angeles County will present "An Evening With Neil Young", as part of their "First Fridays" event series. "First Fridays" is a monthly event at the Natural History Museum. For this event, Young will present the first public playback of his upcoming release, EARTH in its entirety in Pono high definition fidelity audio. Young will deliver the opening portion of the program with his insights and explanation of the making of EARTH, and its contents. This will be the first-ever public album preview by Young in his career and the first event of its kind for NHM.

For tickets and further details, go to: "First Fridays".

40 comments:

  1. Pono tracklist with running times (and sound samples for registered users):

    https://www.ponomusic.com/album/neil-young-promise-of-the-real-earth/of:b760e34773114cb3a79d82510bc8913e

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  2. The track listing is interesting. "Western Hero" is not one I particularly expected to see return. Still, excited about this release. What formats will it be out on besides Pono?

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  3. Maybe I'm just being petty as only 4 of my "predictions" are included, but this track listing appears to be very uninspired:

    1. Mother Earth (originally from Ragged Glory)
    Expected, but never one of my favorite--forced lyrics, poor melody
    2. Seed Justice (new title for the unreleased “I Won’t Quit” ? )
    Weak song, plain and simple
    3. My Country Home (Ragged Glory)
    Good song, we'll see what he does with the sound effects/studio work
    4. The Monsanto Years (The Monsanto Years)
    Ugggh--Monsanto
    5. Western Hero (Sleeps With Angels)
    Great song, but seems out of place here to me
    6. Vampire Blues (On The Beach)
    Weakest song by far from "On the Beach"
    7. Hippie Dream (Landing On Water)
    Ok, clearly I like the song, so we'll see what he does with it..
    8. After The Gold Rush (ATGR)
    Expected, and again, we'll see how he alters it...
    9. Human Highway (Comes A Time)
    One of my wildcard "picks" that came in. Could be interesting...
    10. Big Box (The Monsanto Years)
    Ugggh--Monsanto
    11. People Want to Hear About Love (The Monsanto Years)
    Ugggh--Monsanto
    12. Wolf Moon (The Monsanto Years)
    Ugggh--Monsanto, though I did expect it to be included
    13. Love & Only Love (Ragged Glory)
    I guess this will be approximately 1/4 of the album. Ehh..

    Hard to imagine how these 13 songs make up a 98 minute album.
    Clearly there must be extensive additional sound montages.
    It's not everyday you see a press release mention the words "very strange," but here it is: creating a very strange, yet beautiful atmosphere."
    ____________________________________________

    Thrash: Sadly (at least for me) you were correct when you said that there would be more Monsanto songs...


    Mother Earth
    Harvest Moon
    Human Highway
    Wolf Moon
    After the Goldrush
    Helpless
    Goin' Back
    Words
    Here We Are in the Years
    Who's Gonna Stand Up?
    L.A.
    Comes a Time
    Rockin' in the Free World

    Nice list TopangaDaze. But it seems a bit light on Monsanto Years cuts? Certainly Neil will throw a few more MY cuts on the album
    ______________________________________________

    As expected, it looks like we're in for another head scratcher, but maybe that's a good thing.

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure if this comment has been posted here or not, but I just saw it, and it's really a head scratcher:

    “We made a live record and every creature on the planet seemed to show up,” Young wrote on Facebook. “Suddenly all the living things of Earth were in the audience going crazy. Then they took over the stage, letting their wild sounds mingle with the Vanilla Singers perfect corporate harmony. Earth’s creatures let loose, there were Bee breakdowns, Bird breakdowns and yes, even Wall Street breakdowns, jamming with me and Promise of the Real! The show was non stop bliss for 98 minutes, no breaks.”

    I'm speechless after seeing that....

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

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  5. @(D.) Ian Kertis: CD (double) and vinyl (3 LP): http://www.neilyoung.com/earth/?ref=https://www.google.com/

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  6. @TopangaDaze: Listed running times appear congruent with lengths of the live performances, expecting the overdubs to be enhancements (or attempts at such, anyway), not extensions.

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  7. Thanks for the running times Babbo.

    Sounds like you're right that the edits/effects are likely enhancements, not real extensions. Based on the running times, it's tough to know for certain, though some songs seem slightly shorter than standard, while others seem to be slightly longer than usual. The one that really stands out is "Love and only Love" clocking in at 28 minutes (certainly much longer than average).

    Seems to me an enterprising person could possibly track down the live versions that may have been used....

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  8. LAOL was 28 minutes in Portland

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  9. LAOL great song at 10 minutes but the extended version cleared the 02 a few years back, sorry I won't be buying this. Not mentioned here but I think Ms Hannah has a hand in some of the 'animal' nonsense. what's happened to ole Neil?

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  10. Andy Walters: As I mentioned in another thread, Neil has been infatuated with the idea of ambient sound effects for many years. You can hear a similar thing on Natural Beauty on Harvest Moon, another live recording with overdubbed sound effects.

    David Briggs once said "what's the point in making a live record if you want to go back and put on giant stacks of background parts?"

    I do agree about Love And Only Love. It's one of Neil's best electric songs, but recent versions have been very dull, and POTR's playing on it is shockingly bad, turgid to the extreme. You have to go back to 1991 to hear a version that really does the song justice. The original Ragged Glory version is also powerful.

    The idea of a live album is always an exciting prospect with Neil, and the basic concept of this record is an engaging one, but the simple truth is that these performances with POTR simply aren't that good. Maybe Neil will work some magic in at the overdubbing stage, who knows. Maybe the insects and car horns will save the day.

    There is a lot of hype about this band because they are the current thing (the latest tour is always apparently the best one), but I'll go on the record and say that in a few years (when 2015 no longer has any dominance in your mind over 1976 or 1991 or 2012 or 2017) people will suddenly remember just how great Crazy Horse really were for Neil Young.

    Scotsman.

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  11. Well said Scotsman. Out of interest what were the Nelsons doing before POTR? Were they with their dad? Do they have the talent to sustain a career without Neil?

    As Neil said it's all about the songs - I appreciate many fans will enjoy and rave about the current Neil - I'm not sure about his current muse - the new Stills record is the route I'll be taking.

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  12. I've just listened to the samples to get an idea of the style Neil is going for.

    What's immediately clear is that this isn't a live album. These are live performances that have been so heavily edited in the studio that they might as well have been recorded by a martian. Some sound promising (Hippie Dream and Western Hero for instance, though as predicted they bear only a little resemblance to the live versions they were taken from). Whereas others have an awful sound quality, artificial to the extreme (Big Box). And even from a short sample, you can hear just how turgid POTR's playing is on Love And Only Love.

    Scotsman.

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  13. Country Home, Human Highway and People Want To Hear also sound promising. Nice to hear Neil's guitar up-front on Country Home. One of the Nelson brothers ha clearly been turned right down in the mix, opening the soundscape up nicely, giving the others room to breathe. It's this kind of laid back country-rock material that suits POTR the best.

    Scotsman.

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  14. a 29 minute version of Love an only love..... wow! just what i have always wanted.

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  15. I just went to Amazon and it states this album will be released June 10th.
    2 C.D.'s @ $20.98. No listing for vinyl yet. Available for pre-order now.

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  16. “Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we're living, which is so excellent once one gets one's mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of it's own accord.”
    ― John Cage


    Yes, we’ll gather at the river
    The beautiful, the beautiful river
    Gather with the saints at the river
    That flows by the throne of God
    --Robert Lowry


    The black dragon jewel you have been searching for is everywhere.
    --Dogen Zenji

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  17. Bummer. I was hoping for some kind of freaky new experience not half-baked rehashed versions of old stuff with lame sound effects. Hearing him sing classics on record does make you realize his voice is fading too. You don't notice so much in concert. Can I join the whiners club?

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  18. Damn, some of y'all can be real negative.

    As always, looking forward to the new album / seeing the live show this summer.

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  19. I actually quite like the idea of the sound effects. I like the bird sound on that clip of Hippie Dream. I can see what he is up to. And as I've made clear I'm not a fan of these 2015 performances. But I like the overall concept, it's an interesting idea. Of course I'm glad he didn't pursue the same idea earlier in his career, putting insect sounds over masterpieces like the Weld versions of Like A Hurricane and Cortez The Killer. That would have been really terrible.

    But I applaud the man for turning a crazy idea into some sort of reality. That's what artists do.

    Scotsman.

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  20. @Andy: Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real have been together since 2008 - they just put out their third full-length, "Something Real," and have toured extensively and developed a significant following. Micah (an accomplished visual artist) has his own band, Insects & Robots, and joined up with POTR and Neil for the Monsanto album and tour. They were doing just fine before that, and will continue their own careers after.

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  21. Just ordered the vinyl package. Having listened to the preview tracks on the pono site not sure what to make of this. Would have preferred the live tracks as they were without sound affects and overdubs but nothing is ever straight forward with Neil. Very much looking forward to the three shows I am going to in June. Oh and on that subject, Leeds is my hometown, if anyone wants to meet up prior to the gig just get in touch. My Twitter account is @andrewbyrom1

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  22. To Babbo - thanks for the information.

    This record reminds of the live Year Of The Horse? which was a lame duck for me.

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  23. Interesting idea putting together an album with a lot of ecology-themed songs. More interesting is taking the idea of a live album and putting overdubs, sound effects, etc. all over it. I'm somewhat intrigued...

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  24. Some of you guys delight in damnation. So all you critics sit alone. You're no better than me
    for what you've shown. I may give it a listen before pontificating!

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  25. Most of us will listen, but until it's available all we can do is pontificate. Based on Neil's descriptions and the snippets released, it looks like it will be a weird idiosyncratic album.

    Of course that could be a good thing, but there are more than a few red flags indicating this could be less than fulfilling.

    We're all fans (mostly fanatics), and yes, some of us are overly critical, some are too fawning and others try to critique honestly but respectfully.

    Again, until it's released all we have is speculation. I'm happy there's at least some chatter in anticipation..

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  26. Neil isn't getting very creative with the album naming process. Maybe he's trying turn those "Earth" shirts of his into promotional material for the new album. Will I buy this album? Of course. Will I enjoy it? Who knows, I don't know if Neil has the finesse in the world of audio samples to make them effective or non intrusive. We'll see though. Aside from the higher concentration of Monsanto Years songs, the track list is interesting enough, though I wish some other cuts had made it, like "Words", "Winterlong" or some other more obscure piece, like "Deep Forbidden Lake". I don't have a pono account, so I haven't heard any of the sound samples. Can anybody explain to me what the editing sounds like exactly?

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  27. You can just sign up for a pono account in 30 seconds for free like I did today to hear the previews. The music sounds like normal live Neil Young but the overdubs are more like someone's bird ringtones going off while the song is playing. I'm just so darn negative wow, ok everyone let me have it. I'm normally more of a NY booster but after all his talk about an whole new listening experience I was pretty let down!

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  28. I just signed up too, and actually I wasn't disappointed. Maybe because I had extremely low expectations, but it's a little better (and a little worse) than I expected.

    Of course it's tough to tell based on approximately 30 seconds of each song, but after listening a few times to each track:

    Mother Earth
    Sounds pretty standard. As the song begins you hear a few birds and crickets followed by the harmonica and organ. Fairly standard stuff...

    Seed Justice
    I couldn't hear any additional sounds. It just sounded like a fairly weak song, but "normal."

    My "Country Home"
    Again, sounded fairly normal, though a little slow/off tempo. No additional sounds that I could hear. Could be good...

    Monsanto Years
    Again, sounded fairly normal, but it's a terrible song. What is Monsaaaaahntohh??

    Western Hero
    Again, sounded fairly normal, but with some overdubbed vocals, etc. No unique sounds to my ears. Could be good...

    Vampire Blues
    Again, sounded fairly normal, just repetitive which is normal for the song. My least favorite "On the Beach" song, but it sounds normal...

    Hippie Dream
    Okay, here's where it gets pretty weird. Neil's singing a semi-duet with himself, with the initial voice being deeper, slower and "curved," like he's singing through a tube spinning in molasses and quick sand. At times there are sounds of birds over the words, but they don't obscure or get in the way. After listening a few times, it's growing on me! It sort of has echoes of "Stupid Girl" with the dueling high/low vocals..

    After the Gold Rush
    Fairly standard, but with some vocal overdubs I believe. Also there may be a little bit of an ocean breeze, or it may be the fans cheering a little. Sounds ok, maybe even pretty good..

    Human Highway
    Fairly standard. Could be very good, or mediocre, tough to tell..

    Big Box
    Nothing jumped out as being unique. Just a weak song with perhaps some overdubbed/enhanced vocals...

    People Want to Hear About Love
    Actually sounded pretty good. Vocals and music seem solidly mixed. Couldn't pick out any unique sounds...

    Wolf Moon
    Sounded ok, though I think it's an extremely weak song. Starts out with a few bird sounds, and maybe some crickets and cymbals, but it's an ordinary enough sounding song with a decent vocal...

    Love and Only Love
    Sounded pretty good. No vocals or unique sounds, just dueling guitars screeching decently enough. 28 minutes though seems like a long...long...time.

    Overall, I don't think these snippets give a truly representative feel for what the album will be. I think there will be more "weirdness" and sounds between songs.

    If I had to rate the segments of songs, I'd give it a 6.5 or 7.5 out of 10, and I may actually have a little more hope for the album. After listening to the samples a few times, they're growing on me.

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  29. @Topanga--

    “We made a live record and every creature on the planet seemed to show up,” Young wrote on Facebook. “Suddenly all the living things of Earth were in the audience going crazy. Then they took over the stage, letting their wild sounds mingle with the Vanilla Singers perfect corporate harmony. Earth’s creatures let loose, there were Bee breakdowns, Bird breakdowns and yes, even Wall Street breakdowns, jamming with me and Promise of the Real! The show was non stop bliss for 98 minutes, no breaks.”

    I did have to read that a couple of times, but I take Neil is outlining a concept for the album. It could be prefaced with "Imagine this happened…" Thus I'm assuming from everything that's come out so far that the live recordings are heavily edited with ambient sounds, nature noise, etc. All seems very interesting to me, at least in theory. If you've read "Waging Heavy Peace" and/or "Special Deluxe". for me personally none of this stuff that Neil has been coming out with is confusing or particularly alarming. The eccentricity and fantastical, imaginative sensibility is quite in character.. I think it would be easier to count the number of projects he's done that haven't been idiosyncratic in some way. He doesn't limit himself to conventional borders and lines--that's for sure. Here he's calling into question the whole concept of the "live" album, as was pointed out somewhere in this thread, dissolving the boundaries between live and studio-produced recordings--challenging the rock album binary as it were. And after all, who says we have to take things only in inflexible categories?

    Why does he use live recordings here? Well, at some level it seems preferable to remixes of already-released studio versions. It's new content, especially given the substantial number of Monsanto songs here. I agree with you about The Monsanto Years (song), but have always liked Wolf Moon. Lastly, there's the album title, "Earth", which is actually somewhat ironic to me in the concept of the album doesn't seem altogether earthbound.

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  30. @Andy Walters--I think he's always been loony, that is prone to unusual projects and pursuits. Maybe he's freer now to do whatever he wants, in that he's well-establisehd rather than a young artist trying to maintain career momentum. Less to prove, more latitude to go out on a limb.

    And Mr. Henry, well-done on the John Cage quote. I remember that from a Cage documentary/profile I watched a while ago. It's cool to know I'm not the only one around here pursuing some of these kinds of things.

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  31. Thanks Ian, I think Journey Through The Past (1972) showed he was a free spirit instead of recording another Harvest we got this hotch-potch of a mess. It was a clear marker that you never knew what was coming next but I think he's now being influenced by his new lady more than ever.

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  32. Ian: Good thoughts all around, thanks for your perspective.

    The part of Neil's description that really spun my brain around was: the "Vanilla Singers perfect corporate harmony."

    I think that phrase alone could easily trigger another book or album from Neil!

    Regarding Neil's books, I've read them both.

    I'm not a literary critic, nor am I too well read, but I loved "Waging Heavy Peace." So much in fact that I found I was restricting myself to a few chapters a day as I didn't want it to end. I felt it was a very revealing, personal and honest "journal" of his present day concurrent recollections of what is and was. I felt like he let me (and me only) read his private diary. Very simple, but at times very moving and "picturesque" much like his best music.

    Unfortunately, "Special Deluxe" just didn't quite hit the mark for me, but still it was a nice insight into Neil's unique world.

    Funny about Neil's eccentricity. It's what has driven his creativity and likely what drew us all to him in the first place. Now it seems many of us want to box him
    in, but we are the ones living in the boxes we made for ourselves.

    As the man said: "I follow a road, though I don't know where it ends."

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  33. What happened to the Blu-ray format. I invested in a blu-ray player to listen to archives; now it seems Neil has abandoned the format!

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  34. Topanga: I think Waging Heavy Peace is the most enjoyable Neil product of the last ten years.

    Forest: Neil is a great musician, but when he tries to sell you something other than music, it's best to run in the oppposite direction. He's very convincing, however, which is why a few people are still buying Pono players, despite being fully aware the project will be abandoned sooner rather than later. Neil will probably decide to release a low-resolution music player next, so people can enjoy their music without obsessing over sound quality. Everyone will then jump on that bandwagon.

    Further commments about Earth:

    I'd say, if the 3-guitar arrangement of late is so good, why has one of the electric guitars been hidden away in the soundstage? And yes, the mix sounds a lot better for it. Go and listen to last year's Farm Aid set on youtube, where the third guitar is much more prominent throughout. It sounds a complete mess in comparison.

    Whoever mixed Earth apparently shares my preference for a mix that has room to breathe, and he's achieved this predominantly by hiding the third guitar.

    The more space Neil's guitar has to dance around in, the better it sounds. David Briggs knew this. Niko Bolas knows it. Poncho Sampedro and Billy Talbot and Steve Cropper and Steve Stills know it, too. But apparently POTR haven't worked this out. They over-play and bloat the mix to the point that Neil's guitar sounds as small as one of the "insects in the audience". Gone is the thrill of feeling his guitar slice through your soul like butter. The very quality that makes Neil Young's electric guitar playing something special.

    But the mix on "Earth" sounds like it may go at least part way to rectifying this situation, heavily correcting a poor live mix into something a little more artful.

    Scotsman.

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  35. forest rph: Human Highway and Rust Never Sleeps are both coming out on the Blu Ray format next month, so Neil hasn't completely abandoned it. Although Archives Vol. 2 is nowhere to be seen yet.

    As for the new album, I'm looking forward to hearing it. Sounds interesting.

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  36. Rust Never Sleeps just the same film? No Extras ? A Field of Opportunity missed.

    I have Archives 1 Blu Ray - it's in a big box...the other nite I'm sure I saw it laughing at me...but I'd Swear No One Was There

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  37. No need to swear it was a joke you twat!

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  38. Woke up this morning with....
    "People Want to Hear About Love" in mind.

    After listening to the Earth snippets a few more times last night, I figured it was time for bed. "People" just kept ringing in my head, and when I woke up it was
    still echoing.

    Ok, now before I get too crazy, I suspect the full album version will be mediocre because it's not a really strong song, but man, the snippet soars pretty high.

    Also, the other snippets are continuing to grow on me after a few more listens.

    If the Earth album fails to deliver, I may recommend a career catalogue of Neil snippets. Sort of like and "Archives Lite" which done creatively, could be very interesting. My concept would include roughly 100 - 150 song snippets at approximately 30 - 40 seconds each, linked by themes, lyrical flow and musical tones.

    Take my advice
    Don't listen to me

    ReplyDelete
  39. Unfortunate to see Neil keep sidetracking with this group, but what are you gonna do? Guy is doing what he wants and that's half the reason we're fans. It's a bit of a downer that the last.. 10 years have been quite so mediocre to poor overall in terms of songwriting, though. CDII, Le Noise, and A Letter Home had their very small sampling of keeper tracks, but I can tell Neil hasn't really felt a deep attachment to those records, as none of the songs have stayed on in his live repertoire.

    That's really the part that's hard to ignore for me. If Neil felt he was putting out great music, music that was defining his career and his artistry, he'd keep playing that music every once in a while. Instead, we get forgettable release after forgettable release, a trunk song here and there, or covers.

    Putting together a Greatest Hits list from the last decade of his albums would be borderline depressing.

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