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Old Ways Original recording remastered
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. The Wayward Wind|
|2. Get Back To The Country|
|3. Are There Any More Real Cowboys?|
|4. Once An Angel|
|6. California Sunset|
|7. Old Ways|
|8. My Boy|
|9. Bound For Glory|
|10. Where Is The Highway Tonight?|
The country sounds and autobiographical songs of Harvest and Comes a Time returned on this 1985 Geffen LP, with Neil joined by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Bela Fleck!
Neil Young's most dependable route has always been to head for the back roads. Country-flavored releases Harvest (1972), Comes a Time ('78), Harvest Moon ('92), and Silver & Gold ('00) are among the most commercially popular titles in a fitful career, which makes Old Ways something of a anomaly. Released in 1985 as the mid-title in a misbegotten five-LP stint with Geffen, it failed to exhibit the kind of roughhewn muscle of its more robust country cousins. With Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson making vocal contributions and a mix of longtime Young sidemen and Nashville cats laying down a bed of fiddles, steel guitar, and banjo, it would seem to be cruising right up Music City's main drag of the mid-'80s. But Young being Young, he goes around the bend with "Misfits," which summons an indelible image of space-station astronauts watching reruns of Muhammad Ali fights. It happens to be the most memorable number on Old Ways, which perhaps explains why those new fans never showed up and the old ones found other things to do for awhile. --Steven Stolder
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Top Customer Reviews
It's mostly traditional, straight-up country music, with the usual Neil twists (this time it's astronauts sitting around watching reruns of Muhammed Ali). The opening track -- a beautiful take on "The Wayward Wind" -- is the only track that Neil didn't write, and it's as lovely as "Four Strong Winds" on _Comes a Time_. The guest appearances by Waylon & Willie are suitably understated. The songs are strong.
I honestly do not remember why I wasn't thrilled with this when it was first released. But whatever the reason, I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
I seem to recall that around the time this album was released, David Geffen sued Neil for putting out uncharacteristic and uncommercial music. Well, here's hoping Neil keeps that up forever.
Neil, I apologize for doubting you. I haven't got a _clue_ what I was thinking.
The album begins with an outstanding duet version of Wayward wind. It features a lady called Denise Draper who is otherwise unknown to me, but sounds a bit like Dolly. Upon first hearing this track, I looked for an album by her but could not find one, so she remains an obscure mystery.
Next come Get back to the country, the first of four tracks featuring Waylon Jennings and Are there any more real cowboys, a duet with Willie Nelson. The fourth track, Once an angel, features a chorus of background singers including Gail Davies.
The remaining tracks are mostly solo, though Waylon can be clearly heard on three of them. Of those, Bound for glory, a classic road song, is a true duet. The others are essentially Neil solos with Waylon contributing here and there. California sunset doesn't feature Waylon but it is a great, upbeat fiddle song.
The whole album is uplifting in mood and features plenty of steel and other traditional country instruments. I don't play it as often as I once did but it remains one of my all-time favorites.
And that's not even the best this record has to offer. For that, look to the absolutely gorgeous "Once an Angel" and to the
achingly sweet "My Boy" (in which Young effortly produces the touching tribute to the artist's son that John Lennon muffed on "Beatiful Boy"). And the closer, "Where is the Highway Tonight" -- can tear your heart out.
This is a concept record, for sure -- it starts out like a parody of country, and gradually, song by song, Young reveals the gut-wrenching, tear-welling power of the genre. It's quite a feat, and it should be at the top of everyone's Neil list.
A special treat is his cover of "The Wayward Wind", a classic cowboy ballad that was previously recorded by the likes of Tex Ritter, Eddy Arnold, and Gogi Grant. I respectfully disagree with a previous reviewer's complaint about Neil sounding raw and off-key on this tune - this is Neil Young, not Perry Como. You have to expect a bit of an edge.
The only departure on the album is "Misfits", a rather lackluster fantasy piece.
Fine as they may be, I enjoy this album more than "Comes A Time" or "Harvest Moon", his most comparable. I think the songs are more fully realized overall, and Waylon and Willie's vocals add depth. But then, I like classic country - I find it frustrating that so many folk and rock fans disdain it even though their biggest heroes have been so heavily influenced by it. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
had this album on cassette was really happy it was available on cd. My clients have me play it every time they get in my carPublished 22 months ago by Elona Morley
excellent cd and lot of good songs on it and I recommand it to my friends very good musiciens tooPublished 23 months ago by Claude Couillard
Exactly what I expected from Neil Young. Without a doubt, I am musically richer now, than before I bought this CD.Published on Nov. 2 2012 by Gary S. Melnyk
This CD is a hidden jewel in the Neil Young catalogue, especially for those who enjoy Neil's forays into Country Music. Read morePublished on April 8 2005 by David J. Eckebrecht
having lost this piece of vinyl about 20 years ago, i was thrilled to find it on amazon, as numerous trips to record stores proved fruitless. a classic americana c.d. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2004 by jon g dowle
Dissapointing. Young can play just about any genre well and country is no exception. The reason is: you believe him. He's not faking it. On Old Ways, he sounds like he's faking it. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003 by vladimir wang, jr.
This is for Neil Young fans and country music (not the lousy modern country-rock) fans who may like Neil Young. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2002 by T. SIMPSON
Neil Young has had a wildly eclectic career, I think everyone who cares knows that. And in such an experimental career there will be failures and there will be successes, but... Read morePublished on April 17 2002 by burritobrother
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