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Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Neil Young (Revisited)

Neil Young
Frame from A Day At The Gallery
(Click photo to enlarge)


Back in 2012, we posted on The Unbearable Lightness of Being Neil Young where we explored how the lightness of being Neil must be just so unbearable.

No matter what Neil did/does, some folks always seem to think they know what is best for Neil.  They seem to know Neil better than Neil himself.

Which -- naturally -- brings us to today's post where we revisit the subject yet again in our deja vu-ish fashion, again and again, over and over.

In today's Neil Young Archives | Times-Contrarian post, Neil writes about what it is like to release an album today vs long ago at the Dawn of The Age of the Album.

A MESSAGE FROM NEIL: Making An Album Today 


From NYA | T-C:

When I first started, albums would be released in their entirety. The most popular song would be made into a single. That single was made into a 45rpm vinyl disc and played on radio.

Today, the first release is chosen by a group of professionals who try to figure out which song from the album it should be. That is the only song that is heard for weeks. People talk about it only. They have no idea what the album is or what it feels like to hear it.

As you may recall, last week, Neil Young dropped the 1st preview track -- "Love Earth" -- from the upcoming album "WORLD RECORD" recorded with Crazy Horse and Produced by Rick Rubin.  As we noted in comments at the time, some rusties initial reaction was a bit on the tepid side -- which was similar to BARN, where it started off sort of slow but then grew in intensity as the tracks spooled out.

image via Official Music Video directed by dhlovelife


We even featured a Comment of the Moment: "Love Earth" by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse by The Metamorphic Rocker examining the exact subject of neil's current bewilderedness/amusement over the state of fan's expectations.

So we look ahead by looking back.  The Big Loop circles on while Big Shift grinds away.

As we are always reminded every single day here at TW, nothing is written in stone ...  Words ...


Labels: , , ,


At 10/08/2022 01:46:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

It’s 7.20 am in Central Europe on Saturday October 8. I am kind of an early bird and go through my usual morning linklist which happens to include the NYA site. On Wednesdays and Thursdays I always do this with the anticipation of a new batch of letters being answered by Neil. Having posted to LTTE on occasion I do not have any qeuestions as to who is answering these letters. This week’s different: no letters on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (our Friday in Europe) With Neil Young having described his approach to working on the archives website delays or even weeks without LTTE always have some significance (Holidays, building the 3-Rail World with the grandkids, working on songs, recording albums etc.). These gaps occur also when a new album is imminent. Now, that could also be part of the marketing strategy (NYA is first and foremost a marketinmg tool, although a very special one), to remain silent on the LTTE section after releasing a first song as a teaser or incentive to pre-order the album. The other aspect is, that an artist does not have to justify, clarify or explain his or her doings with respect to a work of art. It is what it is full stop.

So in this light Neil Young’s recent statement (and also the piece on “Artists” by another artist) is of some major interest. It provides some insight in the process of marketing a new release while at the same time is defending the autonomy of the artist.
Waiting for the newest load of LTTE and Neil Young’s responses. I am curious how the reaction will be with regards to critical voices concerning “Love Earth”.

It’s almost like a walk on a razorblade: to not jeopardize the marketing strategies and tools and to still come across as an independent mind … and as a human being who has been thriving on applause and denial of applause for most of his life. I already hear people commenting in the vain “If it’s too hot in the kirchen, then don’t become a cook.” But I think Neil Young long ago has left the top 40’s behind. The notion he has to prove over and over again that he “still got it” (the raucous CH sound e.g.) is immature and not matching the person releasing a CH album in 2022.

Now it’s 7.45, maybe the LTTE have been uploaded, I’ll go check.

At 10/08/2022 01:53:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

*kitchen, and no: there are no LTTE as of yet.

At 10/10/2022 09:45:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

thanks Dionys. All still quiet along the eastern front presumably.

agree that the notion NY has to prove anything is if not "immature", certainly unrealistic and presumptuous.

you may notice that this topic is something that has come up over & over, over the decades.

Neil goes solo and fans want Crazy Horse.

Or Neil goes electric and fans want acoustic.

round & round

At 10/10/2022 01:21:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Yeah, but with the progress of time it becomes increasingly bizarre that 50+ year olds expect from an over 70+ year old to push the repeat button over and over again. That reminds me of the famous story in "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" by Oliver Sacks, wherein he decribes a a case of psychological problem of a Grateful Dead fan being stuck in time of the original line-up. "WHere's Pigpen?" So this begs the question at what stage of fandom the generation 50+ have arrived. Is this the Sherlockian stage of "It's always 1894"?


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