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Saturday, March 06, 2021

Comment of the Moment: Amazon Best Sellers: #2 - ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’ by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse + "Country Home" (Official Music Video)

With "WAY DOWN IN THE RUST BUCKET" by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse riding the top of the charts (#2 on Amazon Best Sellers last week), many are coming around to Poncho's recent pronouncement that the album "is the best Crazy Horse record we ever recorded."


"Country Home"
Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse 

So here is the  Comment of the Moment on Amazon Best Sellers: #2 - ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’ by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse by Ian, The Metamorphic Rocker:

It has been a blast listening to Rust Bucket.

Quite possibly the best Cinnamon Girl I’ve ever heard; fantastic, wild Danger Bird, Hurricane, and Cortez. Surfer Joe and T-Bone acquit themselves well.  The RG songs hold up overall although I personally wouldn’t open with Country Home—I prefer its placement on Earth, barnyard sounds and all. Special mention to LAOL and Over and Over.

I do think the album gets stronger as it goes on. Sometimes, Neil front loads the sequence/set list, sometimes he does not. This is a case of the latter, where most of the true delights come later in the set after an unassuming start. There’s an art to starting an album strong without blowing your load (for lack of a better term), and it’s debatable whether the sweet spot was hit in this case. Although the Horse itself is in superb form start to finish, the selection of material is occasionally a matter of taste: Bite the Bullet, Farmer John.

Once you hit Danger Bird and Sedan Delivery, though, there’s no stopping the ride. I can’t emphasize enough: the high points are incredibly high. If I seem like somewhat of a consensus buster, it’s only because I hear how the Horse grew throughout the ‘90s and galloped full circle with Psychedelic Pill and Colorado. The evolution, musically, from Mansion on the Hill, Days that Used to Be to Walk Like a Giant is its own journey for me.

Currently in process of putting together a highlights playlist from DITRB. I’m calling it ‘Buckets of Rust’, which those familiar with Bob’s back pages may appreciate. 

After all this high octane Rust, I find myself tempted to spin Year of the Horse to turn down the temperature.

Thanks Meta Rocker!  Glad you're enjoying Neil & The Horse.  It looks like we'll have lots of music to enjoy in the coming month and years, as well as, much to unpack as the bounty unfurls.

So --  as we often like to say to anyone who cares to listen, see and hear: "May The Horse Be With You & Yours!"

More on Amazon Best Sellers: #2 - ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’ by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse.


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At 3/06/2021 11:47:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Good writing and opinions, although I still say Country Home is a great opener and reminds me of every single (6) Old Princeton Landing shows I attended in which that was the constant opener. It makes perfect sense to me. Its laid back, relaxed, and yet powerful. It invites us into a natural world, another world, maybe one we live in every day if we're lucky. But I know Neil can park on a hill! And as mentioned, "There's no accounting for taste."

As far as turning down the temperature by listening to Year of the Horse live, I will just say, that live version of Barstool Blues is one of my all time favorite live NY recordings. I love it eternally. It'd be high in the running if I had to listen to only one song for the rest of my life! Thank goodness we have choices. Perhaps my love of that version of that song is tied to anohter OPL memory when I saw them play that very song (and 5 others from Zuma in one night!). And I was dancing next to a beautiful woman, and when the line came up, "Let me see your face again, before I have to go." we turned and looked at each other and she smiled and I "fell in love" even tho I didn't know her name. I later met my own "Cinnamon Girl" and had some babies; still going strong 20 years later, even tho we had our own "Toast" chapter, our own "Are You Passionate?" chapter. Burned ourselves up, and then rose like the Phoenix once again to walk, hand in hand, together again in Love. Even had a great soundtrack. Thanks Neil. Please release Toast! -Alan in Seattle

At 3/07/2021 11:58:00 AM, Blogger JohnnyBeGoode said...

What a beautiful comment, Alan!

At 3/07/2021 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I am so pleased that Ralph is way up front in the mix of one plays drums like Ralph Molina & to my ear, his playing is noticeably in your face for this album...long long ago when I was slowly becoming a Crazy Horse fan, it was Ralph's playing that seemed to draw me in to what the 4 of them were doing as a unit...obviously Neil's songs are crucial but the groove that Ralph is able to lock into while still throwing tasteful fills here & there never bores me for a second...Billy big big notes right there with him...screw the critics who ever said that the Horse can't play...

At 3/07/2021 03:58:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Jonathan, Agreed on Ralph's drums, a very distinctive, muscular sound.

Thanks for the shout-out, thrasher. As has been the beautiful pattern with Archives releases, Rust Bucket has expanded and freshened up my appreciation for, in this case, the Ragged Glory material. Bluenote Cafe similarly illuminated This Note's For You, and before that, Dreamin' Man Live '92 gave new vitality to the Harvest Moon songs. I can't help feeling that 'Moon', while quite good in places, is overproduced. Also, Dreamin' Man as an opener just works way better for me than Unknown Legend, which I think sits more comfortably somewhere in the middle of the set. Where Rust Bucket is all about cutting the Horse loose and making plenty of noise (which is a good thing!), the contrasting value of DM92 is to strip away all the shiny (dare I call it "sentimental"?) production to let the songs breath. In both cases, the unvarnished ambiance and energy of live performance has allowed me to discover much of the natural beauty in certain songs, a beauty which may have been artificially (yet necessarily) condensed in the studio environment.

Silver & Gold remains my standard for what a Neil Young acoustic/folk album sounds like when not overproduced. I'm not talking just about the totally solo numbers (Without Rings, title song), but the arrangements throughout S&G are consistently tasteful, unobtrusive, and--again--let the songs breathe, quietly and evenly. You can listen to Razor Love almost without noticing the piano and drums--and I like that. The "Friends and Relatives" constellation Neil used during that period remains underrated: Keltner, "Duck" Dunn, Spooner Oldham, and Ben Keith. Of course, it's not on the same emotional wavelength as the Horse, but for pure musicianship and sensitive accompaniment to the songs Neil was playing at the time, the Friends and Relatives ensemble is hard to beat. Although the Road Rock CD did not necessarily capture it well, Red Rocks Live remains one of my favorite Neil concert films and includes one of my all-time favorite Cowgirls, even without the Horse.

All of which is to say there are many layers to the Neil onion, and perhaps to explain some of my particular musical tastes and leanings by way of providing context for what is, I think, a somewhat different response I've had to Rust Bucket than what others may have felt.


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