Reviews of the album...|
Hop down to:
My copy of Road Rock is spinning right now in my CD player. I have only one simple thing to say:
AWESOME!Great sound -- not bootleg-like, it's beautifully clear. Sttellar performances. Lovely artwork -- wonderful picture of the band inside the CD jewel case... A masterpiece of a live album!
Everybody will love it... Both the Neil-fanatics and the neophytes, too...
What a great artist, what music... I'm glad Neil is still rocking and I hope he'll do it until he's 90 years old... The older he gets, the better he sounds.
This record ROCKS......
Mr. Grumpy, the devoted Rustie... (in Italy)
Just got an advance promo of the Road Rock CD and I'm happy to report that it sounds great. Early reports of "bootleg sound quality" are somewhat misleading - it's obviously a soundboard recording but there was definitely a separate mic out in audience. There's plenty of ambient crowd noise present throughout the recording. Between songs it does sound somewhat like a bootleg, albeit an extremely high quality one -- I don't think they were using stealth mics! What we get is the best of both worlds - a hybrid soundboard / audience recording.
One other weird thing - the songs are seamlessly edited together, so this appears as one continuous recording. But we all know that this isn't the case.
The promo CD I received was in a little plastic sleeve with nothing else except a copy of what I assume is the cover art. No credits, venue info, etc. Given Neil's history with live albums, I think the best we can hope for is vague info ala Year Of The Horse. Assuming the official album is released sans venue info, I'm sure there will be a mad rush to compare the Road Rock tracks with the appropriate live recordings in best Rustie tradition. Obviously, it will be easier to track down Fool For Your Love than, say, Peace Of Mind (which was played at nearly every show). Sherlock Holmes ain't got nothing on a dedicated Rustie armed with a stack of boots! Not that I would ever do anything like that... : )
Oh yeah, it finally dawned on me why the whole thing is seamlessly edited together: It's all one song!
Later...Paul Larson..."sacred roots" (in the US)
Hi, I'm the editor of Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung record page and DJ of a Munich late night show. I got my advance copy of Road Rock today and wanted to share my first impression.
The first half is hard to endure, even for a devoted Neil-Fan. Shaky shaky voice... Background singers never hit the right note... I just don't know what made NY pick these tunes.
Words is the first highlight, but is just something like a better bootleg tune, as is much of the rest. Motorcycle Mama makes me sing: "Background singer won't you lay your big mic down."
But before I appear to be a desperate cynic: There's Tonight's The Night -- a mighty version of that song. First class! It's followed by a solidly rocking All Along The Watchtower.
Except for Tonight's The Night, I don't know why anybody except the die-hard fan whould need this record.
Karl Bruckmaier (in Munich)
For those anxiously waiting for release-day to hear the sound of Neil from the road last summer: Here are a few notes after listening to the new live album...
I think someone mentioned the "bizarre" production. Indeed, this new live CD does not sound so pure and well-mixed as Weld. But don't worry. And don't expect the extremes, as what happened on the otherwise excellent Year Of The Horse. Only now and then will you get the impression that someone was not sober at the mixing desk...
Odd choice to kick off the album with Cowgirl. Perhaps Neil decided to give his longest solo at the beginning for the press. In that case, they already heard too much. Once you can forget this is the album's opener, the fun starts. Cowgirl is as loose as you can get -- over eightteen minutes long with great guitar duelling from both Neil and Ben.
But the three album highlights are
This is a guitar album, but without Neil's routine feedback. The strength lies in the hands of this wonderful band. It's a shame that we don't hear the ladies as much as we did at the shows. Of course, we sadly miss a few songs -- since there's about fifteen minutes of space left on the CD, imagine having Mellow My Mind, Everybody Knows or the electric Dance Dance Dance added.
Stunning artwork, with a eight page folded booklet. Beautiful shots of all band members, and correct credit notes (even for Zeke, who's credited as audio recording engineer). Can't wait to hear the DVD version...
pete buffalo (in Belgium)
Bregt Bad Boy Of Rock Depreeuw's Real-time Review
Yesterday I finally got my very own official copy of Road Rock... It felt great to get my greedy little hands on this CD. If you don't mind, I'll share my opnions and remarks with you. (If you do mind, I'll still go on with what I'm doing. ;-)
Let's begin with the artwork. I got the CD in a jewel case with see-through trikes (you know, the part that holds your cd). The first thing I noticed when I finally had the CD in my hands was the smell... The paper has that particular smell again. If you don't know what I mean, take out your Silver & Gold and smell the paper!
On the front of the jewel case there is a sticker saying: "Live -- Featuring: Fool For Your Love (previously unreleased) -- All Along The Watchtower (featuring Chrissie Hynde)". When I read the sticker I had mixed feelings... On the one hand I was thinking: 'Great that Neil finally gets out an old "new song" for his fans.' On the other hand I thought: 'Smart move Mr. Young (or Mr. Roberts), now everyone is going to buy the CD for that new song'. But when I listened to the CD later, a 'Thank you Neil' feeling won the game...
The front artwork is great... I think the title 'Neil Young -- Friends & Relatives' is quite funny... I really like the colours of the covers. I must imitate that when I design a cover for a bootleg! :-) By the way, is that rain coming down on the picture?
The inside picture of the CD is really beautiful! They should make a poster out of that! It features Neil like I love him... He's in the cool, "leaning back bending through his knees yeah this is a great solo" position.
The inlay picture is a picture of all the friends and relatives sitting around a garden-table. Neil has the starngest little laugh on this pic. I've never seen him laughing like this. It's like he is forcing a smile for the picture. He's also dressed "young". It's probably because Pegi is in the pic too. I can just hear it...
The booklet is a typical fold out booklet that is 4 pages long. On the inside there are lots and lots of beautiful pictures... When I looked at the pictures I hadn't listened to the disc yet, so I was happy to see Neil Percy in various rockin' positions (even the one where he jumps on one leg and stamps the foot on the other leg - wow!)
Of course you have your normal tracklist with the length of each song. When I read the notes I suddenly realized that this is very much a family project. Neil Young on guitar, piano and vocals; Pegi and Astrid Young on vocals and Zeke Young, the audio recordist. Two strange things...
Now let us go on to the music. For me this was quite special, as I only have 1 song from the MIH Tour and I've hardly even listened to it... So I was very curious to know how Neil sounds now. I wasn't thinking that Neil is bringing out ANOTHER live one just for the $$$... I was thinking this is one for the fans. Because it's not really a "best-of" collection.
When I heard the first notes I didn't know what to expect... Neil's rocking again!!! The first words I said out loud were: 'Neil is fuckin' baaaaaaaaaaaack! I luv yaaaaaaaaa!!!!'... I really didn't realize that this tour was as 'rocky' as this.
Okay... The first song is Cowgirl In The Sand (18:00). Great song and great intro! It sounds as if Neil is trying to convince the audience that he is going to burst out into Like A Hurricane. He even plays that famous opening note a few times... But then he bursts out into a great Cowgirl.
The second song is Walk On (4:30). Fabulous... He hadn't played this for a long time, had he? Superb version, really great! I always loved this song from On The Beach...
The next song is the 'new' one, Fool For Your Love (3:06). I think I heard this on ABD2K... Special song! It stands out here because of the Bluenotes-mood it has to it. Well done, Neil!!!
Song number 4 is Peace of Mind (5:00)... Great song of course, but I think I liked the original background vocals better. It's still a great version of the song, but... it could have been better.
On the next song the background-vocals are truly great... The song I'm talking about is Words (11:00). This is truly unique!!! One of Neil's best songs ever! I can imagine how the fans felt when he suddenly started to play this long forgotten song. This is unbelievable! The great lyrics stand out even more on this version!
Song number six is Motorcycle Mama (5:30). As I'm writing this, I'm hearing the song for the first time... I'm afraid that they won't be able to do the original Nicolette Larson part in the same wondeful way as on Comes A Time. Here it comes... OKay, I heard Astrid singing the part now... She does a good job, but of course it's impossible to do it as great as on the original album... Still, she does a good job! [HyperRust editor's note: I guess Bregt didn't notice that Pegi did the second female-lead verse...]
Song number 7 is Tonight's The Night (10:00). Again I'm hearing this for the first time... And wow!!! One of the best versions I ever heard! It sounds very, very different than the usual versions of this song. This version is much slower, laid-back... And the guitar parts are even bluesier than normal!!! This is probably my fav live version of the song! Hurray for Neil!
The last song is All Along The Watchtower (7:50). A special song, not just because Neil is backed by Chrissie Hynde here, but also because of the fact that this is the first time this song appears on an all-Neil album. I'm still waiting to hear this version of the song for the first. I'm very curious how this is going to sound. It's not going to be possible for Neil to do a better version than at the Bobfest... Back then, he came out and 'wham-bam-thank-you-mam' won the crowd... Okay, now I'm now listening to the opening solo... Very powerful. Our man hasn't lost it. Okay now -- this is 'Da Tits', as Randy would say. Chrissie Hynde does a great job...
CONCLUSION: You must get this CD. It's not the FIRST Neil-CD a new Neil-fan should buy -- but for us longer-time fans this should be a very welcome disc.
Thank you Neil for giving us this... I would rather see you doing these songs live in Europe, but this is a good start.
One more last thing: You Americans have to learn to SHUT UP during concerts... Please, no "yeeee-haw"s, "Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeil"s, or "WHOOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOO"ing during concerts please.
Oh and Neil: come to Europe pleaze!!!!!!!
Keep on Rockin'
. . .Bregt Depreeuw aka The Belgian Bad Boy of Rock