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Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Comment of the Moment: 50th Anniversary Edition of Neil Young's On The Beach Album Planned

Neil Young's On The Beach - 1974
 (Click photo to enlarge)

Yesterday, we shared the news that Neil Young is planning a 50th anniversary edition of the album On The Beach.

Our Comment of the Moment on 50th Anniversary Edition of Neil Young's On The Beach Album Planned by Richie Cruz:

Please leave On The Beach as it is, always was, and hopefully always will be. No extra songs, no outtakes, no filler, none of that garbage.

You released a perfect album in 1974, nothing can improve on that. Anything you add takes away from the masterpiece, which is often the case when artists cash in on some meaningless anniversary crap. If anything was left off the original, there's a reason. What was originally released was perfect.

I know I'm probably a lone wolf on the subject, but I've always believed you're okay being a lone wolf most of the time as well. I know the Neil Young of 1974 would think this is a bad idea, I'm hoping the Neil Young of 2023 still feels the same. Please leave On The Beach as it was meant to be. 

Hope you think about it.

Ok, got it Richie and we hear your passion for perfection.  We tend to agree not to mess with the original release. But...

How about the outtakes, demos, etc be on a separate disc? Maybe include the OTB poster? And prints from the OTB photo session?  Along with proper vinyl reprinting to include the umbrella design inside jacket.

Rare "On The Beach" Poster with Neil facing camera
 (Click photo to enlarge)


More on Neil Young's "Ditch Trilogy/Quadrilogy".

Neil Young's "Ditch Quadrilogy" 
(see Neil Young's "Ditch Quadrilogy" Re-Re-Release is Finally Coming! Official Release Series Discs 5-8 (4CD): May 12, 2017 Release)


"The Drought" & "On The Beach"
(see The Surrealism of Neil Young's "On The Beach" Album )


Also, see:


Neil Young On The Beach: Reflecting on Reflections 

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At 4/11/2023 05:17:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

What I think would be really cool, would be an Alternate ‘On The Beach’. Including demos, outtakes, live performances, etc. Along with an Alternate cover, poster, and record label. Keep the same song sequence, but provide a completely different version of this masterpiece. As long as they don’t repeat the ‘After The Gold Rush’ fiasco, I’ll be happy.

Peace 🙏

At 4/12/2023 03:17:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Dan : Agreed! Great idea!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 4/13/2023 07:23:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Ducks landing around the globe. Elaborate lyrics on a tune titled "Hey Now"... But, yes, this favourite guitar sound is there, albeit in completely different musical environment.

At 4/13/2023 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

It is hard to recall what it meant listening to On the Beach in 1974-1980? This is an album that speaks in universals and reveals truths about human beings but is, at the same time, bound (relatively) tightly to a context. I know that there are many similarities between 1975 (say) and now as there have to be. The reality of a Trump has always been there but it took only so much time for this to be revealed as a full on political reality. As Dr. Hunter Thompson said in his magnificent obituary of Nixon: "this man always took the low road." As Neil spoke in universals, "I never knew a man who could tell so many lies" (read: human beings are liars, especially as they seek power. But the meaning in the listening is not the same, the album presupposes that booze and drug sodden time in US history with death, corruption, and the end of any hippie dream in the air thick as a harbor fog. One might say with some pleasure that the hippie dream had to end, and Neil saw this so very clearly in "Down by the River." As we forge causal links we can recreate some of that original context which is so deeply historical: free love is an oxymoron, as anything as profoundly human as "love" comes with weight, contradictions, and lasting conflicts. Passion can burn its way into resentment. On the Beach took up a large portion of this weight and Neil Young, I am fairly certain, paid his own price for his brand of assault on "success" (again with contradictions). I do not care so much about what comes with this 50 year anniversary business as I do in holding on to the context of the albums's youth. We cannot bring that context back but we can look backwards and forwards at the same time with this cycle of songs, which is at least an element of what we call "universal themes." The eternal is generally understood as "outside of time" and "not bound by time" and so the traditional God, the omni-God can see all of time at once. On the Beach is a song cycle that does a sort of human imitation of the eternal and it is here that we can see the traces of full blown tragedy. The revelation of our flaws are supposed to be constructive, we learn about ourselves. Despair is part of that process, but there is another side.

At 4/13/2023 01:43:00 PM, Blogger willforestwater said...

Richie Cruz, you already have what you want. On the Beach is out there, preserved in metaphorical amber, just as you like it. There's nothing you or anyone else will lose when the 50th Anniversary edition arrives.

But I want to hear what you consider 'garbage'. Alternative versions, studio chatter, more photos, lost songs that might have made the album but didn't, etc. These things are absolutely not garbage to me, but lost parts that resulted in a great album.

Feel free to keep your head in the sand when this comes out. I won't cry any tears for you.

At 4/13/2023 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Curating a musical monument can go three ways at least, just re-issue the whole thing with the essential elements (the music of the Bottom Line bootleg and the original OTB), (re-)creating a backdrop for these essentials with extensive documentation (a book, pictures, video) such as with the "Harvest 50th Anniversary box, or putting out a relativity morass of alternates and outtakes that instead of making the original shine again is just blurring the iconic quality of these recordings. I forgot the ATGR anniversary approach: just re-issue the album and throw in another track that has been released in 15 different versions already. So I do understand both, Richie and willforestwater, a re-issue with additional quality but non-music material like with "Harvest" might not be possible with OTB and another shambolic anniversary edition of the ATGR kind is just superfluous.
In the meantime I am high flyin' the Ducks one more time. This track "Silver Wings" sounds a bit like "Too Lonely". And "Windward Passage" has been one of my favourite instrumentals back in the b/p days.

At 4/13/2023 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Searching for quality
Having to have the very best
Now scrounging for quantity
Never taking the time to do the test

As I get older and the world gets stranger, I find myself clinging to the old axiom, Less is More. It's a good way to think and live, especially for those of us with our heads in the sand On The Beach.


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