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On the Beach [Enhanced, Original recording remastered]

Neil Young Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

On the Beach + Zuma + Tonight's the Night
Price For All Three: CDN$ 36.06

  • Zuma CDN$ 10.01
  • Tonight's the Night CDN$ 12.62

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Walk On
2. See The Sky About To Rain
3. Revolution Blues
4. For The Turnstiles
5. Vampire Blues
6. On The Beach
7. Motion Pictures
8. Ambulance Blues

Product Description

Product Description

This 1974 release has, over the years, come to be regarded as a classic. It's definitely Neil at his most uncompromising-a little like its predecessor Tonight's the Night except more full of rage than sorrow, and downright funny at times. A must.


Sparse, underproduced, and at times downright dour, On the Beach was Neil Young's first studio album after Harvest had transformed him into a mainstream superstar two years before. It was a career move akin to "pissin' in the wind," as the artist himself describes life on one of the album's most famous lines. Young had already recorded the harrowing Tonight's the Night, his indictment of '60s drug culture and the damage done, but his label rejected it as too abrasive. So the artist gave them this instead. Less mournful but still haunting, the album is basically Young's rejection of rock stardom and what had become of the counterculture, covering a range of subjects, including Richard Nixon and Patty Hearst (the epic "Ambulance Blues"), his affair with actress Carrie Snodgrass ("Motion Pictures"), and, most famously, years before it became "chic" to do so, Charles Manson (the rocking "Revolution Blues"). "Vampire Blues," meanwhile, seemed to be about all those topics, as well as Young himself. Full of despair and little hope, On the Beach would nevertheless eventually come to be reappraised as a rock culture masterpiece. --Bill Holdship

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite Neil release. Dec 8 2003
Format:Audio CD
[WARNING: Long review]
Neil Young is a widely varying, sometimes frustratingly inconsistent artist. However, he was clearly at his peak in the late '60s and early '70s, putting out at least five studio albums that could be deemed classic: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After The Gold Rush, Tonight's The Night, On The Beach, and Zuma.
You may notice I didn't put Harvest in that list. While Harvest is certainly a good album, it's almost TOO accessible and tries too hard, in my opinion, to be commercially successful. It also suffers from the two London Symphony Orchestra tracks. Neil's best work often came when he didn't give a damn about what his audience or record label wanted, and so that puts Harvest out of the running for best in my book. After The Gold Rush was a great album, as was Everybody Knows.. and Zuma, but each album had one or two tracks that didn't feel up to par.
That leaves just two PERFECT Neil albums, both released in the dark period of the early Seventies after losing Bruce Berry and Danny Whitten (members of his backing band Crazy Horse) to drug abuse. Tonight's The Night is a dark, harrowing, bleak trip through a shattered hippie dream, an amazing album but nowhere near accessible, maybe a little TOO dark for some. 1974's On The Beach is more easily digestible and lighter, but still quite bleak and very personal. It has remained inexplicably out of print for almost 25 years, but thankfully Neil has brought it back with a remaster (now, if he would only release Time Fades Away to complete the "Doom Trilogy").
On The Beach ranges from moodily atmospheric (the title track) to quite upbeat (Walk On) but throughout Neil's mood is bitter and confessional.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil's masterpiece April 27 2004
By Claudio
Format:Audio CD
Let me try to write a few notes on the album:
1) the album contains some of the greatest songs NY ever wrote, in particular "On the beach", "Revolution blues" and "Ambulance blues". These songs are just Neil Young at its best
2) this is not similar at all to Harvest or Rust Never Sleeps, this was written during a very bad period in which Neil was haunted by several demons (a friend had died, he had split form his wife, he was really too popular, and I think he was drinking far too much...)
3)the album was never released in CD until this year, this was a crime by Neil Young, who probably hated the record (or loved it too much). However some clever guy made a site on the internet with a petition by fans to release the record, I think he got a few thousand signatures on the petition (included mine) and probably Neil found out about it (at least I like to think this was the reason)
4)the record is interesting because it's not similar to anything else by Neil, in general the songs are a bit bluesy, with some ballads like "see the sky about to rain", "Ambulance Blues" and "for the turnstiles" who are more acoustic, and some very slow blues songs like "On the beach" and "Vampire blues". There is also a blues-rock piece, called "Revolution Blues", which is one of the best of the album, very aggressive both in lyrics and music
5) I rate it 5 stars because it's probably his darkest and more peculiar record, and to me his best, however if you never listened to NY you should start with Everybody Knows This is Nowhere or Rust Never Sleeps, or Zuma, this is a bit too difficult for beginners
6)Let's hope Neil keeps on rocking forever, and maybe he will give us another jewel like this.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This album is NY's Plastic Ono Band or Blood on the Tracks, and
only an artist of such great skill could even make such an honest and poignant statement. First of all, he's telling almost everybody to **** off, critics especially, and that he's come out of his despair and uses his sense of wicked satire, haunting imagery and any other means at his disposal to get his point his across. Walk on is a straight forward rocker telling people who are doggin' him to get on with their petty lives. ...oh baby that's hard to change, I can't tell them how to feel, some get stoned, some get strange, sooner or later it all gets real...Walk on, walk on. It's a very confident, self assured, well crafted tune.
See the Sky About to Rain is a lovely mellontronic melody in which he deftly strikes out at Lynyrd Skynyrd and the South...some are bound to happiness, some are bound to glory, some are bound to live with less, WHO CAN TELL YOUR STORY? Basically saying, Southern Man was right on and there really isn't anything cool about Sweet Home Alabama. Quite moving and well stated; nice uppercut Neil.
Revolution Blues is so bitterly satirical and played with
sheer guts that it would be easy to miss that he's telling all the Laurel Canyon, eclectic effete, that he despises their back stabbing sniping so much that he'd like someone like Charles Manson to just wipe those "leper's" off the face of the earth, and of course Neil is hardly an advocate of violence, so don't take what he says verbatim.
For the Turnstiles is probably the most beautiful and haunting melody he's ever written, and only Don't Let it Bring You Down off Goldrush in even its class. Played with a slide dobro accompanied by only a banjo it grabs the listener from the opening.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars cd
excellent cd and lot of good songs on it and I recommand it to my friends very good musiciens too
Published 8 months ago by Claude Couillard
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Reminder of when I was young.
Bought this originally when it first came out on vinyl . It's a marker of a time period in my life that brings back good memories.
Good music here. Cover art is very cool. Read more
Published 11 months ago by E Walmsley
5.0 out of 5 stars GET THE DVD AUDIO VERSION
I'll just amend my previous review of this and advise you to get the DVD audio version of this disc because the clarity and intimacy of the sound surpasses anything I have ever... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by o dubhthaigh
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and Angry Masterpiece!
Neil vents his anger on this one-anger at the music industry, fans, the movie industry, himself, and all the senseless drug deaths of his friends. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by J. Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars Young's best album
If you want to hear lyrics that bite like a strung out Doberman Pincher, this is the one to get. The pinacle of his songwriting career, On The Beach tackes on popular icons of the... Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Gary L. Quay
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Turn Away
"On the Beach" chronicles a long trip gone bad. It's a moody, reflective album that closes with three songs that prove that even a Canuck can sing the blues. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by Michael S. Mahoney
5.0 out of 5 stars ...and the only sound that's left after the ambulances go...
...is my jaw dropping. Thank you Neil Young for finally getting "On the Beach" out on CD. The remastering is amazing--you can hear everything so clearly. Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by J. F. Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding
Amazon says it is "underproduced"....this is exactly why it is such a good CD. If you know Neil Young, then you know what he is about and this CD is one of his best... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by "pita2@aol.com"
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Brooding Masterpiece
I am thankful for this record. It has saved my life many times over when in the throes of black, adolescent despair. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Uncle Borges
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Music for 4 AM
Where to begin... I have been a huge Neil fan for many a year and learned to play guitar playing his early stuff. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2004 by Thomas A. Horan
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