Comment of the Moment: Silver & Gold: A Track By Track Commentary by Neil Young
As Neil Young's 2017 sabbatical continues, we've been plowing deep into the Thrasher's Wheat Archives Vaults.
Our recent post on Silver & Gold: A Track By Track Commentary by Neil Young generated a treasure chest of comments from our dear readers. Here's the Comment of the Moment by Giles M:
There are 3 tracks on Looking Forward that have the same band as the Silver and Gold band and I think they were recorded at the same sessions but with backing vocals added by CSN.
Its not the same band who contribute to the CSN tracks on Looking Forward. They are not CSNY tracks although the backing vocals on slowpoke and Looking Forward by Nash and Crosby make a great contribution.
I imagine at the time Neil just emailed them the tracks and said use these for your CSNY album. I think if you combine Slowpoke, Looking Forward and Out of Control to Silver and Gold you have arguably Neil's best solo acoustic album.
The DVD of Silver and Gold is my favorite Neil Young DVD. He is just at the top of his game, his songwriting, his voice and guitar play are just untouchable. At the time reviews for Silver and Gold were luke warm. It shows just how good he was through the 90's that when Silver and Gold landed it did not receive a huge fanfare and was perceived as somewhat his normal standard. Imagine if he released something of that standard now.
Listening back you can really appreciate how good he was and how he managed to remain so good well into his 50's. In that period his songs seemed so focused on love, family, friendship and the vulnerabilities of life. The past 10 years he has struggled to capture that as succinctly as he once did.
Also, I think its very rare that Neil gets both the songs and the production perfectly aligned as he does on Silver and Gold. He did this throughout the 70's and then hit the groove again of synchronizing good songs with complimentary production in the 90's.
Since say 2009's Fork in the Road he has struggled to get in flow with complimentary production. He has tried different things in the studio i.e. Le Noise, Storytone, A Letter Home and Earth which have not somewhat consistently complimented his songwriting prowess with supportive production.
An example to give would be 'Walk with Me'. It is a brilliant song, one of his best. Listen to it done with Pearl Jam at the end of the Pearl Jam film but I think on Le Noise the absence of a rhythm section coupled with the use of echo chambers and distortion lets it down. When I listen to it I find myself turning it down as opposed to turning it up.
Thanks for comment Giles. Nice to have you onboard and hope to see you drop by again sometime.
Maybe we'll revisit Looking Forward sometime? Let us know any other Neil Young obscurities that folks might be interested in revisiting.