On Broken Arrow, the latest Reprise Records release from Neil Young with Crazy Horse, a new chapter is opened on one of rock and roll's longest running musical collaborations. Young and the group - Poncho Sampedro, vocals, guitar; Billy Talbot, vocals, bass; and Ralph Molina, vocals, drums, percussion - have been playing together, on and off, since 1969, when original member Danny Whitten helped found Crazy Horse with Young. The group and its legendary frontman went on to record such epochal albums as Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, Zuma (featuring the newly recruited Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, replacing the deceased Whitten), Comes A Time and a string of albums throughout the Eighties that included Re Ac Tor and Life. Young and Crazy Horse then went on to explore a new era of cutting edge rock with 1990's Ragged Glory and 1994's Sleeps With Angels. Now, with the release of Broken Arrow, nearly three decades of music-making make way for an extraordinary new expression of creative camaraderie and consensual risk-taking. One of the most resonant and riveting offerings in the entire spectrum of Neil Youngand Crazy Horse's on-going sonic explorations, Broken Arrow features seven new NeilYoung originals, plus a relentlessly raw rendition of the Jimmy Reed classic "Baby What You Want Me To Do" recorded live at the frontlines of the quartet's continuing assault on the boundaries of electric expression. With Broken Arrow, Neil Young with Crazy Horse have set the standards for real rock 'n' roll into the oncoming millennium.
The Youngian reaction principle--which dictates that our hero follow commercial monsters (After the Goldrush/Harvest
, Rust Never Sleeps
) with willfully difficult busts (Time Fades Away
, Hawks & Doves
)--finally kicks into effect after a long string of straightahead bestsellers. The man's unpredictability has been a major reason he's remained vital for nigh on 30 years, so it's good to see he's still cranky enough to serve up these raw, sloppy, and, for hardcore fans, invigorating jam sessions with his fave band. --Jeff Bateman