Ten Men Workin' / This Note's for You / Coupe de Ville / Life in the City / Twilight / Married Man / Sunny Inside / Can't Believe Your Lyin' / Hey Hey / One Thing
by David G Skoglund
"My songs are all so long
And my words are all so sad"
- Neil Young
After re-signing with Reprise, Neil created another excursion into a different musical style - big-band electric blues. During the North American tour with Crazy Horse in the summer of 1987, there was a short set of blues number between the opening, acoustic set and the Crazy Horse electric set. The new style began to draw Neil's interest. In November of that year Neil Young and the Bluenotes (Crazy Horse plus a horn section) did a small tour of clubs on the West Coast. The material ranged from newly-written songs to numbers written back in Neil's teen years in Canada. Shortly after the tour, the band headed into the studio, but only after a few changes. The Crazy Horse rhythm section of Talbot and Molina was replaced by Chad Cromwell on drums and Rick (The Bass Player) Rojas on bass, and in the intervening time Neil had written more material. In April of 1988, the album This Note's For You was released. It can be roughly divided into two styles, the up-tempo "power swing" numbers and the atmospheric ballads. The two styles mix nicely together, much in the manner of the acoustic / electric split of other albums. The album features some of Neil's most technically proficient guitar playing in a long time, especially on the slower numbers. Some of the standout tracks include "Coup Deville," "Twilight" (both ballads), "Hey Hey," "Life In The City," and the title track, "This Note's For You." The title track would prove to be a point of controversy, especially where the video was concerned. Originally banned by MTV, the clip went on to win best video of the year - go figure. On the album, the song appears in a heavily edited version (at little more than two minutes long) and is almost a throw away. The live version that was later released on Lucky Thirteen is more representative. This period is said to be very prolific for Neil in terms of song writing, and this was proven true when the band hit the road in the summer of 1988 with even more new material. In retrospect, it would have been nice if the band had recorded the album at the end of its time together rather than the beginning, as the songs from the summer tour have a little more fire than the ones that made it to the record. A planned live album by the Bluenotes never materialized, but it's rumored that the Archives project will contain a lot of Bluenotes material that never saw release. In the eyes of many mainstream critics, this album marked the beginning of Neil's "comeback." This opinion would be cemented by the release of Eldorado and Freedom a year-and-a-half later.