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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Comment of the Moment #2: First Impressions - Toast by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse

 
"TOAST":  
Neil Young Unreleased 2001 Album w/ Crazy Horse 
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The Comment of the Moment is from the post First Impressions - Toast by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse by Ron:


I have been really enjoying listening to Toast on NYA (is it OK to ‘enjoy’ it given the subject matter?

I guess Neil wouldn’t have released it if not). Great to read on here what other people think too – many great comments and insights.

I saw Neil and Crazy Horse in June 2001 at the NEC Birmingham England on their Eurotour ‘01 and I have been thinking about that show a lot and reflecting on the setlist and performances given what we now know about the background. Of course I didn’t know it at the time but Toast had been recorded the preceding Nov/Dec/Feb.

Goin’ Home was a major highlight for me that night. The battle drums, instantly catchy melody and epic soloing received a great reaction from the crowd. They followed this with When I Hold You In My Arms. Neil sitting on a stool playing piano with Old Black strapped on his back and switching effortlessly between the two throughout the song was great to see. I liked this song and performance a lot, but it was strikingly different to what had gone before it and not typical for Crazy Horse. Of course I can now see that Neil had already recorded it in May with Booker T and the MGs so it makes more sense now.

Standing in the Light of Love and Gateway of Love were the first songs following a short acoustic set from Neil. I thought these were good at the time but they were kind of overshadowed as they were followed by Hey Hey My My, Like a Hurricane, Sedan Delivery, Rockin’ in the Free World and F*!#in’ Up. The intro to Gateway was so long I thought it was maybe going to be an instrumental. I now love the Toast version of Gateway of Love though.

All in all it was a great show and had me eagerly looking forward to the next album. I found a great version of Goin’ Home from Montreux on YouTube and played that regularly but when Are You Passionate? came out in April 2002 I have to say for me it was quite a disappointment. I was expecting/hoping for a Crazy Horse album I guess. The sound of Goin’ Home didn’t seem quite right and somehow didn’t quite live up to the live performance. It was still my favourite track on the album though. I know others really like this album, and I like some of Neil’s guitar playing on it and some of the lyrics were strikingly personal even then, but I am not a big fan overall and much prefer the Toast versions of the songs that are on both. The tracks I have listened to most since it came out are the ones that are also on Toast plus the closing Are You Passionate? track. I think it would be great to hear Crazy Horse tackle this song.

So last night I watched a recording of Neil and Crazy Horse from the Fuji festival July 2001 on YouTube. This show immediately followed the completion of Eurotour ’01 and was just 6 weeks after I saw them in Birmingham. The recording is not the complete show as it does not have the closing run of classics but it includes Goin’ Home, When I Hold You In My Arms, Standing In the Light of Love and Gateway of Love. The performances are great and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested to see how Neil and Crazy Horse performed these songs back then.

One thing that struck me watching the show was the choice of the other tracks that made up the setlist for that tour. Given what Neil has said now about his personal life at that time, the inclusion of Don’t Cry No Tears, I’ve Been Waiting For You and Only Love Can Break Your Heart for example are perhaps more significant than I realised back then.

So in conclusion and as others have said what a great time to be a Neil fan! So much to listen to and watch. Neil sounds pretty excited about the new album with Rick Rubin – can’t wait! 


Thanks much for the comment Ron.  We need to check out the Fuji festival 2001 --  its been quite awhile.  So great you made it to the 2001 concerts and are able to share your journey to the future with us.

 

"TOAST" & "Are You Passionate?" 
 

 Also, see:



Labels: , , , , ,


2 Comments:

At 7/18/2022 01:18:00 PM, Blogger Ron said...

Cheers Thrasher - can't believe it was 21 years ago!
If you do watch the Fuji show look out for what I am pretty sure is Larry Cragg playing the piano parts on Goin' Home. Looks like he is enjoying himself!
Thanks for running this great site for so long - it's really appreciated. long may you run.

 
At 7/18/2022 02:43:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

good suggestion Ron!

Just checked out Fuji & posted @

http://neilyoungnews.thrasherswheat.org/2022/07/video-neil-young-w-crazy-horse-fuji.html

man, Poncho pounding on Neil's back @ ~28:00:00 during "Goin' Home" w/ Ralph's tribal drums is so worth it alone.

priceless

 

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