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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Comment of the Moment: Thoughts on "Love and Only Love" - 28-minute track on Neil Young's New Album EARTH

As recently announced, Neil Young has made "Love and Only Love" -- a 28-minute track from his album EARTH with Promise Of The Real – -- available exclusively on the TIDAL streaming platform.

This decision has provoked some reactions such as Neil dissing his own PONO music service. But as pointed out here on TW by our astute readers, PONO is a file download service and TIDAL is a streaming service. Hence if you want to preview a track, that's not an option for PONO. Now whether it should be is another debate...

In the meantime, the Comment of the Moment is on the 28-minute track "Love and Only Love" which Unknown said:
The full length LAOL is very enjoyable. Its clearly a quite different song than With the Horse.

It starts out very much in the vein of Neil and CH, but soon you realize that Neil the guitar player is not so much in the lead, it sounds like Lukas and the rest of POTR are making most of the songs feeling. The african drums are quite distinct in some parts, thats nice. This Version will never make it as the ultimate Version simply because I kind of miss Neil's great lead like from the Weld version. But as a different approach to this much played song it is quite refreshing.

There's a great solo by Lukas with Neils guitar filling in. The songs goes into some calmer Territory. And this may be the songs best part. There are many nice details from the Whole band. It have more dynamics than the long improvised songs with the Horse, like Drifting back. The song feels very industrial and ambient. Some parts do feel like it is NOT a Neil Song.

It also quite obvious that many details have been put on in the studio. You know the animal sounds, there are a couple of snippets in the main song, but the last 2 minutes, after Neil and the boys have finished the song, it ends with a outro with many different animal sounds. I quite like this, because its also the last minutes of the album. And throughout the song there is also a some background singers singing "Love and only love". I found this annoying at first, but like it now.

Okay... this was not a good description of the song, you see English is not my first Language. But since most of you dont have Tidal I did this.
Thanks for the preview Unknown! No worries on perfect English here at TW. It's the passion and intent that matters -- not the clever word craft.

We look forward to our EARTH preview.

More on new album "Earth" by Neil Young & Promise Of The Real.

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At 5/19/2016 01:03:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Good choice for comment of the moment, though I'm "struggling" with the unknown name. So, I will now proclaim unknown's name has been unofficially changed to:
Norwegian Would

Now, to keep a little chatter going, here's an interesting question to chime in on. For the Desert Trip upcoming show(s), if you could somehow choose any one year/tour and be able to see it live there in all its youthful glory, what year would it be?

For me it's a close call between:

1971 Acoustic Tour (though not best suited for an outdoor festival show)
1978 Comes a Time/Rust Tour w/CH

There are other close calls in my mind, but I'll wait to see what you all have to say.

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/19/2016 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...very hard to pick just one! 1991 obviously comes near the top of my list. 1988, 1989, 1976 and 1978 all strong contenders as my personal favourites.

I'd love to have been in the audience for the Rock Am Ring show in 2002. A very short-lived tour, but some of the music was exceptional. That was another band (like Crazy Horse) that just had perfect chemistry between the players. Booker T, Duck Dunn, Steve Potts pounding away at drums. Poncho providing some much needed oomph In the rhythm section. Everything just clicked. Goin' Home from that show is pure class.


At 5/19/2016 03:23:00 PM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

This is for me fairly easy, I'd go with:

1973 UK tour
1976 Hammersmith Odeon (all the shows)

76 CH at their absolute peak and the 73 Santa Monica Flyers doing once in a life time shows. In fact where is the NYA show from the 73 UK tour? Next on the release list please.

At 5/19/2016 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Neil Young & The Restless
Bronco Bowl-Dallas, Texas
January 14, 1989

Documented on Pg. 629 of Shakey - Neil Young's Biography

What a night that was! Neil with Booker T and the MG's was awesome as well and the Gulf War era Crazy Horse shows were louder than the war itself!!

At 5/19/2016 05:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Old Neg: I was going to mention the Bronco Bowl show as well. One of the best.

It's a gripping performance from start to finish. This was when Neil was supremely confident in his own guitar abilities, not sub-consciously searching for ways to pad out the sound; ways to hide. Listening to Hurricane, it's hard to believe so much sound is coming out of just one guitar. It's incredible, really. It's the sound of a musical genius pushing himself to his limit. And that's what what we pay to hear. That's why we care.

Another highlight is Down By The River. The song starts off a bit subdued; Neil's guitar sounds unusually quiet, and for about 4 minutes of the song he stays in first gear. And then suddenly, without warning....


Neil reaches out through the speakers and starts to throttle you for about 8 glorious minutes. Shocking stuff, and absolutely gripping from start to finish.

THIS is why we listen to Neil Young!

The whole electric portion of the show is an absolutely essential listen: if you haven't heard it yet, you are missing out.

Incidentally, I sent a copy of this show (at his request) to Rick Rosas a few months before he died.


At 5/19/2016 05:46:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

From Norwegian Would ( dont know why im namned unknown, cant see a way to change it )

It was an enchanting evening with Neil, in a surprising storytelling mood, when he premiered Greendale in 2003 with acoustic concerts here in Europe. He almost spoke as much as he sang, but he was so into it, giving us all those nice details from this little town. In fact... his storytelling had better lyrics than the songs themselves. He had this great, half joky, half serious attitude and sort of watched over these people down there in Greendale. And after 2 hours with Greendale... he gave us a handfull of hits and deep cuts to satisfy those who couldnt fully invest in Neils new project... But what great renditions... like Expecting to Fly and a 12-string Pocahontas.

I saw him in Bergen, and we know the concert from Dublin released with special editions of Greendale studioalbum. And the storytelling in Dublin was from somewhat different perspectives and had other details. It sort of tells me that Neil had this town all inside his head... He hadnt just made up a story that he repeated from show to show.

I was to young to see Neil in 93 with Booker T., but he have done several classic concerts at Roskilde.. And if i could choose one, i had taken one of them. But those Restless concerts in 89 sure seem as powerful experiences. I guess ... from reading about Neil through the years it seems that 78 was a great year. But since we have a good rust never sleeps movie from that year it doesnt feel so great a loss to not have been able to see it.

At 5/19/2016 05:48:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Scotsman. I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance that night and Neil was simply on fire. I've never seen him that jacked up before or since! You described it beautifully. He was truly a man possessed. Drug induced? Most likely, but a brilliant and stunning performance nonetheless.

The Bronco Bowl itself was legendary. A small arena in the back of a bowling alley. I also saw Springsteen Ghost of Tom Joad show there in 1996. For the lucky few who stayed, Bruce came back out and greeted the small group of fans that lined the stage. Got to shake his hand and speak with him briefly. Also saw the U2 War tour there, just days after the infamous Red Rocks show that broke the band. At one point Bono was stalking the theater and ended up right behind us, literally a foot away, singing his heart out. Ah, the Bronco Bowl. They tore it down and put up a Home Depot. A real shame.

Wow, cool that you corresponded with Rick like that. Good stuff!

At 5/19/2016 05:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything Norweigan says is spot on. Ignore this man at your peril.

(I reserve the right to retract that comment if he suddenly claims that Le Noise is a good album).


PS Like NW, I was also too young to see Neil in 1993 (it was before I became a Neil fan, anyway). The best show from 1993 I have heard so far is from the Concord Pavillion. Yet another extraordinary version of Down By The River. The European shows from the same year strike me as relatively weak in comparison.

At 5/19/2016 05:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comment Old Neg. Thanks for the info on the venue. You were really lucky to have been there for that one.


At 5/19/2016 06:06:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hmm... Love and War is among my 43 favourite Neil tracks.

Norwegian Would.

At 5/19/2016 06:12:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Norwegian Would. Love love love Greendale and the acoustic shows that it originated from. So glad Neil included the bonus DVD of what you got to experience!

At 5/19/2016 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

My very first Neil show was CSN&Y in 1974 at Royal Stadium, Kansas City, MO. My first straight up Neil show was the debut of the Shocking Pinks in Wichita, Ks! Now that's the band he should throw down in the Desert. Could you imagine that scene going down?! Would be priceless.

At 5/19/2016 06:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The winter 1989 tour is often underrated due to people basing their opinions on the flawed and incomplete soundboard from Tulsa 13th January. On that tour Neil was using big Marshall amplifiers in addition to a PA, and as such only some of the sound was routed through the PA system. The result is a soundboard recording that is missing much of the sound. So instead, get yourself a copy of the Bronco Bowl show that Old Neg mentions.

Regrettably, I doubt any usable professional recordings from that tour exist in the Neil Young Archives, due to the unusual way the shows were amplified. I hope to be proved wrong.


At 5/19/2016 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Just wanted to throw in my two cents. I also really love that solo live performance of Greendale that was released on DVD. Neil was just so committed to that performance, and he really draws you into the story line. Just magical.

At 5/19/2016 08:41:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

As for the new album. I'm intentionally not previewing anything from Earth, as Neil has made it clear it's a complete experience, so I prefer to wait and hear it in it's entirety when it gets released.

At 5/19/2016 10:38:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Scots said:

Everything Norweigan says is spot on. Ignore this man at your peril.

(I reserve the right to retract that comment if he suddenly claims that Le Noise is a good album).


and Norwegian Would said:

Hmm... Love and War is among my 43 favourite Neil tracks.

Norwegian Would
I too like Love and War, though it probably doesn't crack my top 50 Neil tracks. For now, I'll say it's among my 84 favorite Neil tracks. I also enjoy the Le Noise album as a whole, sorry Scots!

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/20/2016 12:53:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Great call on the Bronco Bowl show Old Neg.

One of my fondest memories was purchasing that tape from the back of an ad in a magazine shortly after it was recorded. I got the tape(s) in the mail a few weeks later, but didn't listen immediately because I had a long car trip to take over the weekend and saved it for the drive.

So, on a rainy Friday evening in 1989, a young man in Baltimore gets into his first new car, a 1998 Nissan Sentra and starts the engine. Minutes later as his silver Sentra finds the on ramp to I-95 North heading towards Atlantic City, he removes the "Young Man's Fancy" bootleg cassette from the car stereo and pops in the new Bronco Bowl tape by Neil and the Restless (whoever they were).

"Comes a Time" is immediately recognizable. The sound quality is good and the tune feels like an old friend. The young man catches a glimpse of himself in the rear view mirror and a happy uncontrollable grin stares back at him. He thinks to himself how lucky he is to have a long drive ahead of him...

"Sugar Mountain" and "The Needle and the Damage Done" follow seamlessly as the car is now filled not only with Neil's plaintive voice, but the young man's as well. He can't and won't sing for anyone else, but when he's alone and singing along with Neil, all is right with the world.

As the miles roll by, one of the greatest treats of any new bootleg reveals itself--an unexpected new song. His ears perk up as his hands grip the wheel a little tighter. "Someday" yea, he thinks that's the name of the song as he debates with himself whether or not he should rewind the tape to listen again. Yes, no, yes, no, no, he must do what he always does. So he keeps the tape rolling forward to keep the atmosphere as close to the live show experience as possible. There will be plenty of time later for rewinding. A few more old and new tunes follow, including the familiar "Heart of Gold" which is no longer a favorite to the jaded fan..

What's coming next?

Yes! it's another new song and now Neil's gone electric, likely with Old Black. It's snarling "My Love, my Heavy Love" and Neil's voice is strong, the guitar sloppy and fun, and there's something this fan rarely notices, the drums. They compliment the song and at times almost dominate. Neil and the Restless are delivering the goods, and it just keeps going. New song after new song and the new Sentra has become better than any concert hall he can remember. He wants to rewind and listen again to hear all the new words and music, but he must play it all the way through as if he was at the show. To him, that's the only way to hear a new Neil bootleg...

"Like a Hurricane" "Mr. Soul" "Cinnamon Girl" "Down By the River" and it just keeps getting better. The Sentra is cruising up 95 as rain begins to fall. Rock and roll can never die--right on he thinks to himself. Then, what? Is that "On Broadway" playing? What the hell? That sucks, but then "Tonight's the Night" jumps through the car speakers and the Sentra almost swerves off the road. This was the song and album that separated the average Neil Young fan from the true fanatic. It's got the spook and the magic, and this young man hadn't heard it played live too often. A perfect way to end a near perfect bootleg...

As the drive continues, his mind is focused on everything and nothing at the same time. Neil's music has a way of doing this to him. Where have I been? Where am I heading? What does it all mean?

The eighties were ending and my school days were done. Throughout the decade my love and admiration for Neil and his music had grown despite his uneven recorded output. Now it was clear that Neil was just beginning another round and that was more than enough fuel to keep this fan going to Atlantic City and well beyond...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/20/2016 03:27:00 AM, Blogger SydneyJim said...

Wonderful comments here! Can anyone point me in the direction of that Bronco Bowl shoe? Thanks very much

Sth Coast NSW Aus

At 5/20/2016 05:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


In the "old days" (about 10 years ago) I'd have just mailed you a CD copy. I'm still happy to do that, if you like, if you can think of a way of privately sending me a postal address. The easier alternative is to check the torrent sites like dimeadozen, where it is seeded from time to time. Or guitars101 may still have it.

Personally I find torrenting very dull and soulless. I think we are going to see a major resurgence in tape/CD trading of concert recordings, just like we have with vinyl. People are bored of getting their music instantly, like unsubstantial junk food. Receiving packages of discs from all over the world was a lot more fun, and I think people should get back into it.

There are still some tapes and videos out there in the hands of hardcore collectors that have never reached us mere mortals. Extra points if you can secure copies of any of them.


At 5/20/2016 07:22:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

If you have access I would recommend the January 28, 1991 show at the Fox Theater in St Louis, Missouri. Unfortunately, I don't have access.

At 5/20/2016 09:09:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Tulsa '89 was probably an house mix, not a show professionally recorded by the Neil's crew. I remember another sbd recorded in Tulsa, Bob Dylan 91 (?). The sound from the Marshall amplifiers could have been captured by the ambience mics in the official recordings.
So Tired.

At 5/20/2016 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Prez said...

Maybe a strange answer but I would choose the Live In Berlin show from the Trans Tour.


I always loved the live renditions of the Trans songs.
You get maybe the best Like a hurricane ever.. the solo where he struggles with his tie.
You get a very very rare song.. After Berlin..
On the other hand, it doesn't matter. Seeing Neil live is always a feast. I'm looking forward to the 3 european shows I will attend this summer.

At 5/20/2016 09:20:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great story TD! Hey, On Broadway rocked too! Considering the song. Ha! Leave it to Neil to throw us for a loop. I think everyone in there was dumbfounded when he cranked that one up. The Restless line up was - Frank Sampedro, Ben Keith, Rick Rosas and Chad Cromwell on drums. Those were the days......

At 5/20/2016 10:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea: I'm sure they've got some sort of document of the Restless shows. It depends if they fully multi-tracked them, or just did the standard thing of recording the basic 2-channel mix.

If it's the latter, then I doubt they will be able to represent the sound of these particular shows in a truly authentic way. It depends. I'm not sure how much of the Marshall stack was routed through the PA mix in these small theatres, and how much of the volume was simply coming from the amps on-stage.

Topanga, Old Neg: It's no coincidence that Neil's warped version of On Broadway (complete with "gimme some of that crack!" etc) was immediately followed in the setlist by Tonight's The Night, another tale of show-biz and glamour gone awry.


At 5/20/2016 11:14:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I was at the Concord Pavilion show in '93, in the third row right in front of Neil. Of the 15 times I've seen him, this ranks in my top 3 best shows. Neil and I were making some serious eye contact during the "Watchtower" that finished the show.

I went to the Santa Cruz show the next night. Not as good, but the "Down By The River" may have been better.

At 5/20/2016 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Would have loved to see the original Crazy Horse in 1970.

Same with the 1976 tour with Poncho.

REALLY would have loved to have been at the Bottom Line on that fateful night in 1974.

My first Neil show was at Great Woods in Massachusetts on the solo acoustic tour in 1989.

At 5/20/2016 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Would have loved to see the original Crazy Horse in 1970.

Same with the 1976 tour with Poncho.

REALLY would have loved to have been at the Bottom Line on that fateful night in 1974.

My first Neil show was at Great Woods in Massachusetts on the solo acoustic tour in 1989.

At 5/20/2016 12:04:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

I haven't understood yet if all the Bluenotes shows were recorded on multitracks or not. The liner notes on the Bluenote Cafe release don't help.
So Tired

At 5/20/2016 01:05:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

sPrez said:

Maybe a strange answer but I would choose the Live In Berlin show from the Trans Tour.


I always loved the live renditions of the Trans songs.
You get maybe the best Like a hurricane ever.. the solo where he struggles with his tie.
You get a very very rare song.. After Berlin

Not at all strange to me, welcome to the club! That was an extraordinary show. Another special memory for me. I had just gotten cable and HBO, and I used to look forward to the cable guide to see what was coming up in the month. What a surprise when I saw my hero had a concert coming up. I still kind of remember the initial description:

"He's rock legend Neil Young, and for 15 years he's..."..

My friends and I got together to watch it and it was magical. Opening with "Cinnamon Girl" and Neil looking so "normal" with that green jacket and tie. Then later, and "Old Man" was sublime with the music and camera angles from behind Neil with his hair blowing while getting a good glimpse of the crowd. We were getting blown away...

And then literally blown away towards the end of the show, with in my opinion easily the best version of "Like a Hurricane" ever recorded. The last couple of minutes with Neil pulling magical sounds out of Old Black, struggling with his tie and bobbing his entire body in his unique war dance. As the final notes ooze out and the crowd spontaneously applauds at what they're seeing and hearing, we were cheering along too, uncontrollably.

That perfect feeling, when time just slips away...

It was a great show and tour. I remember being in section 5 at the Baltimore Civic Center on February 22, 1983 like it was yesterday!

At 5/20/2016 01:15:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Good point Scots about Neil playing "Tonight's the Night" after "On Broadway" with the crack references, etc..

Funny, I've never felt that Neil pays too much attention to his set-lists or any significance to the order of songs played, but at that time I can easily see the connection.

Thanks for pointing it out..

At 5/20/2016 02:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Topanga. I think Neil often tends to build his setlists strongly around certain themes, but for those of us in the audience, it's not usually obvious what those themes are.

An example might be the show I saw at Hyde Park 2014, where (in hindsight) almost every song seems to be referencing his collapsing relationship with Pegi (with a final encore of DBTR). Of course, this was before we knew of their seperation, so it wasn't so obvious at the time.

Another example of a thermatic setlist might be the acoustic tour in Europe 1989. A general theme of "Freedom", for sure, but we know that the Tiananmen Square protests were specifically on Neil's mind at these shows (based on the spoken intro to Ohio). So it can't be coincidence that Powderfinger (another "freedom fighter gets killed" type song) is chosen as the final encore, after Ohio and Free World.

And then there is the Gulf War 1991 tour, where much of the second half is a succession of songs based around conflict and invasion, witnessed from different perspectives (Cortez/Powderfinger/Love And Only Love).

...Thanks Topanga (and everyone else) for your entertaining comments the last few days, great fun to read about all these tours and concert memories.



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