Mideast Vacation / Long Walk Home / Around the World / Inca Queen / Too Lonely / Prisoners of Rock'n'Roll / Cryin' Eyes / When Your Lonely Heart Breaks / We Never Danced
by Gary A. Lucero
Life is Neil's last official recording with Geffen. It was released in 1987, with much of it recorded live during the Landing on Water tour. Although not as reliant on keyboards for its sound as Landing on Water, Life shares a certain feeling with its predecessor. Many of the songs, like "Mideast Vacation," "Around the World," "Too Lonely," "Prisoners of Rock'n'Roll," and "Cryin' Eyes," are rockers. They're fairly hard, and have some great guitar work. The remaining songs, "Long Walk Home," "Inca Queen," "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks," and "We Never Danced," are slow, melodic numbers. Most ofthe songs are about war, the Incas, rock, or love. One interesting thing is that the song "We Never Danced" was used as the basis for the movie "Made in Heaven," which stars Timothy Hutton and Kelli McGillis. Neil Young has a cameo role in the film as a truck driver. "We Never Danced" was unfortunately not sung by Neil in "Made in Heaven," but was used to good effect none the less. As with Landing on Water, Life was not appreciated very much by Neil Young fans at the time of its release. Rolling Stone magazine said that Freedom, which came out two years later, was more a "life" album than Life was. I disagree; real life is love, war, hate, rock-and-roll, etc., and that's what the album Life is about. Long may you run.