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Greendale (W/ Bonus DVD)

4.3 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 28.25
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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 19 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B0000AI44Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Falling From Above
2. Double E
3. Leave The Driving
4. Bandit
5. Carmichael
6. Devil's Sidewalk
7. Grandpa's Interview
8. Bringin' Down Dinner
9. Sun Green
10. Be The Rain

Product Description

Product Description

"One of the most ambitious works of his career...a great artist once again at the peak of his game." (Chicago Tribune) "Young has rarely sounded so fresh and uncompromising artist with the courage to follow his muse." (Chicago Sun Times) For the first time in his storied career, Neil Young has created a fictional place filled with characters and incidents and written an album about them. The album, and the place, is Greendale and the people are the Green family. The songs are among the most personal he's ever penned, ranging from the dark and biting to the light and humorous. Still surprising and still stirring it up, Young adds a stunning new album to his place in rock history with Greendale.

On paper, Greendaledoesn't sound like one of Neil Young's better ideas: a whimsical concept album-cum-community theatre piece that mixes his cosy view of small-town America--insular, sentimental, occasionally xenophobic--with well-meaning if woolly anti-corporate, pro-environment sloganeering. Such clarity of purpose rarely suits Young. Indeed, the eco-hymn "Be the Rain" makes After the Goldrushsound more gnomic than ever. But what Greendalelacks in mystique, it makes up for with love and eccentricity. Though his voice is thinner than ever, Young sounds more engaged than he has in years--certainly more so than on the sleepwalking slush of 2001's Are You Passionate--and the obvious pleasure he takes from his grand idea here is enough to carry you through the album's ropier passages.

Young's peculiar blend of control-freakery and sloppiness ensure Greendale is raw where concept albums are usually over-polished. Crazy Horse play with that bewildering naivety so typical of them, and the wrinkled spirit that they and Young bring to "Devil's Sidewalk" and the beautifully aimless "Carmichael" makes you forgive most of their self-indulgences. Even the spellbindingly crass "Be the Rain" is redeemed by Young interrupting the platitudes sung by his wife, as he bawls semi-coherently through a megaphone. There are signs, too--especially in the thoughtful "Bandit"--that he's smuggling very personal reflections on age into what initially appears to be a detached drama (much as Lou Reed, an unlikely fellow traveller, did on his underrated The Raven). Try and circumnavigate the schtick: this is the most endearing Neil Young album for some time. --John Mulvey

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a longtime Neil Young fan, it pains me to tell you (and I'll prob get slammed for this) that this album is not the brilliant album so many reviewers here have described, but a shockingly mediocre, overly long album that is really a case of "the emperor is wearing no clothes".
Concept albums like "Tommy" and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" are a rarity these days. Neil brings us songs about "Greendale" (10 tracks, 78 min.), a fictional small town of about 20,000 people. Neil is so focused on the story-telling that he seems to have forgotten about the music. I can honestly say there is not a single track that "grabbed" me, purely from the musical perspective. Not a lot of tempo changes either: all the songs are mid-tempo (at best), where's the passion? Sometimes you just wish that he'd up the tempo and blast you away, but alas. The songs go from one to another and after a while it all starts to sound the same. Not to mention that this is a long, long, long labor. With just 10 tracks in 78 min, that's averaging about 8 min. per song. "Granpa's Interview" just goes on and on and on, for 12+ min, with no changes to speak of, whew!
The bonus DVD (here the St. Vicar, Ireland gig of Neil solo, in a later reissue the "Greendale" movie Neil shot with amateur actors) is a nice touch. Too bad the music simply isn't up to par.
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Format: Audio CD
His recent tour Young played all his new 'Greendale'songs.The audience was suprised in a positive way.The album out now, Young plays with Crazy Horse (without Sampedro)and will suprise his fans again. He sings and plays inspired and it has a relaxed spirit.
The album is about the Green family living in the fictional town Greendale. The songs are linked to eachother and is like a comedy book. Young shows on "Double E" his R&B influence which he had earlier in his career. That's perhaps the best conclusion of this album: Young puts all his influences in this album. The DVD which matches the album is realy outstanding and joyfull. Thanks to Greendale Neil Young is back where he belongs: at the top.
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Format: Audio CD
Whether or not Neil Young's musical tree can be traced back to rock 'n roll's Mesozoic age, he certainly isn't fooling anyone on Greendale, rife as it is with self-deprecation and disguise. Here, on what is billed as his "rock novel," Young stuffs the mouths of a peculiar array of characters with political indictments and platitudes attributable only to the man behind the masks.
I mean, it isn't as though members of the original Woodstocker wing of Young's fan base will hear him sing "we've got to save mother Earth" on "Be The Rain," Greendale's fabulously hokey coda, and drop their jaws in astonishment, declaring "Man! Now there's something I never expected out of the guy's mouth!"
Whether it is "Grandpa," the Green family's wealthy patriarch killed by media assault, or Sun Green, his granddaughter, a bandleader with a particularly overwhelming urge to protect Alaska from environmental ruin, there is rarely any question as to whom the Green family owes its gripes and eccentricities. Nor is there much surprise that Greendale's characters, each a mouthpiece for the curmudgeon who forged them, are no more distinct from one another than one shade of gray from the next.
"There's a lot going on in Greendale that I don't know about either," Young scribbles in the liner notes, "I mean, I made it up and I don't know what the hell's going on." The man's not kidding. From the FBI to Edith to Earle to Lenore to Jed's car "full-uh-cocaine" and, oh yeah, the cop he shoots dead, the action here boasts of about as much clarity and purpose as Mary Carey's candidacy for Governor of California.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been an ardent fan of Neil my entire life. He has always been the "funky one" of the CSN group and always appealed to me more than the others of that between the lines.
I honestly can say that I have every recording that Neil has ever done. 95% of them I love, some I kind of push aside. I'm still waiting for a similar album to "Harvest Moon", which I think was the best album he ever did. I just know it will come eventually!!
Anyway, this recording was a surprise for me. I wasn't really sure what I was going to get, but the moment I listened to it, it brought me back to the feelings that I got from some of Neil's earlier works.
The thing that drove it all home for me was the bonus DVD of him, in Ireland of all places, doing a complete accoustic set of the entire album. Although I loved the footage, I think it would have been better to be somewhere domestic...he is so political--so be on home turf, Neil. California would have been the spot, since it is where the "story" takes place.
Regardless, I was hooked, it was fantastic. I didn't know I was getting the DVD and tried to plug it into my car stereo where it was promptly rejected. Ok, I thought, go to the DVD player. Wow! I LOVED his communications, humor, lyrics and music. When I listened to the CD after that, I was able to envision the entire wonderful a great book.
Although I don't think this is one of his most profound ventures, I do love the album and play it all the time. It is definitely worth it if you love Neil. As always, he is ever-evolving. I'm a faithful and loyal listener and will always be grateful for whatever he conjures up!
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