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32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 12 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002LHM
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Rockin' In The Free World
2. Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero Part I)
3. Don't Cry
4. Hangin' On A Limb
5. Eldorado
6. The Ways Of Love
7. Someday
8. On Broadway
9. Wrecking Ball
10. No More
11. Too Far Gone
12. Rockin' In The Free World

Product Description

Freedom was Young's return to form after almost a decade of electronic experiments and mediocre novelty music. "Rockin' in the Free World", a howling anthem about homelessness, depression and drug dealing, bookends the album--and, in 1989, proved the singer/songwriter hadn't completely dropped into obscurity. The romantic ballads ("The Ways of Love"), grunge-predicting guitar-rockers (a siren-screaming version of "On Broadway"), and one amazing, punk-like story-song ("Crime in the City [Sixty to Zero, Part I]") constitute Young's strongest writing in years. --Steve Knopper

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Don Schmittdiel on April 27 2004
Format: Audio CD
Every 9 or 10 years its seems Neil Young reinvents himself. In 1969 Young released his first great album, 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere', his first with Crazy Horse and delivering timeless tunes such as 'Cinnamon Girl', 'Down By the River', and 'Cowgirl In the Sand'. It was, in retrospect, a monster album. Nine years down the road, with every aging 60's rocker's future perilized/paralyzed by disco fever, Young infused rock and roll with new life via 'Rust Never Sleeps' and its 'Hey Hey My My' anthem.
Fast forward ten more years through the sleepy 1980's, and here is Young announcing his return once again with the album 'Freedom'. His newfound relevance would differ from the continued relevance of other 1960's superstars such as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton: Young would not only be revitalized among his long-standing cadre of followers, but would find a new body of listeners among the youth coming of age in the early 1990's. It was a remarkable resurgence.
Interestingly, 'Freedom' borrows a bit from the success of 'My My Hey Hey'/'Hey Hey My My' by taking the albums centerpiece, 'Rockin' In the Free World', and using a live acoustic version to open the disc, and closing with a rousing electric studio version of the same song. The electric version is clearly superior as the acoustic version is marred by audience noise, and lacks the final verse, as well as the sheer power the lyrics demand. The same is true of the second song on the disc 'Crime In the City', which is presented in an acoustic version. The live electric version from the 'Weld' disc blows this one away.
I always thought it would be great fun to be able to generate a setlist for an artist like Young prior to a concert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H3@+h on July 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
I had enjoyed "Neil Young" as a casual listener before this, but "Freedom" is the first album of his that I totally absorbed and loved. Whether it's his "comeback" or not doesn't really matter, it's just near perfect in my book. It starts and ends with different versions of "Rockin' In The Free World", one of his signature songs. Both amaze. "Crime In The City (sixty to zero part 1)" is a great epic track, and "Don't Cry", "Hangin' On A Limb", and "Eldorado" are all slower, but moving, and have great guitar throughout. Other highlights to me are "Too Far Gone" and the excellent "No More", which I think was another single from this album. I'm now a huge fan of 15 years, and if I kept only 3 "Neil Young" albums, "Freedom" would easily be one of them.
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Format: Audio CD
I respect this album as the catalyst for Neil's return to his former glory after the unpredictable 80s, but I have to say I don't like this work. Granted, "Rockin' in the Free World" is arguably one of his greatest songs, especially the electric version that closes the album, but the rest of the tracks are pablum and don't compare to that song or to albums like "Rust Never Sleeps" or "Tonight's the Night." Instead of this, I recommend you buy the two albums that bookended this one, "This Note's For You" and "Ragged Glory." The former is a power swing album that polished off his 80s genre experiments in a scintillating way, and the latter is one of his best albums by far; it succeeds in a way that "Freedom" doesn't by the songwriting quality alone.
Before I say not to buy this, I do have to say that many, many people love this album and not just because others do; they see it as a thankful return to form by Neil after a disappointing decade. So those of you who read this may very well love it, so go with your instincts; I personally say that you will do better with the two I have mentioned above.
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By A Customer on May 24 2003
Format: Audio CD
After a decade of changing genres and getting no hits Neil came up with this album. It was a return to form and had a big hit with Rockin' In The Free World.
Rockin' In The Free World- this is the live acoustic version and while not as good as the electric version it is great.
Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero, Pt. I)- I liked the first 45 minutes of this song but then it got a little boring.
Don't Cry- Neil makes his guitar soung like thunder!!!
Hangin' On A Limb- Good love song.
Eldorado- I like the percussion on this track and it tells a good story.
Ways Of Love- I don't really remember this song.
Someday- One of Neil's best and he can play piano too.
On Broadway- If you don't like the guitar on this song then you don't like guitar PERIOD!!!!
Wrecking Ball- I like it.
No More- Okay.
Too Far Gone- Honky-tonk drug song.
Rockin' In The Free World- His best song and Crazy Horse joins him.
A word of advice to those who do not like their music loud or only like Neil's softer side like on Harvest: DO NOT buy this
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By S. Finefrock on Jan. 30 2003
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young had spent the majority of the 80's chasing his muse unsuccessfully by trying on numerous styles that fell outside the norm of his work. After releases that touched on horn driven blues, rockabilly and techno-pop, as well as less than satisfying efforts within his more familiar confines of rock and country influenced rock, had began to push Neil into the margins, Freedom came as welcome return to form. Although it did revisit some familiar territories, it expanded on those ideas rather than simply rehash them.
Rockin' In the Free World, Crime in the City and On Broadway cast an eye on the political side of things, while ballads like Wrecking Ball, Someday and The Ways of Love sound like prime After the Gold Rush material. The electric version of Free World, Eldorodo and No More rock like earlier Young classics such as Cortez the Killer and Tonights the Night. All the songs receive stunning arrangements, and Neil's guitar is in firey form on the rockers.
Freedom signaled a resurgence from Neil which has carried out over the ninties and returned his status to that of being a vital musician. It remains a classic thirteen years after it's release. Rockin' in the Free World is as apt today (or more so) than ever.
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