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Re-ac-tor Original recording remastered

35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 19 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00009P1O5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  DVD Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,609 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Opera Star
2. Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze
3. T-Bone
4. Get Back on it
5. Southern Pacific
6. Motor City
7. Rapid Transit
8. Shots

Product Description

Neil's back with Crazy Horse for this 1981 rocker, and the results are loud and loose!

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
There is a certain segment of Neil Young's fan base that is in it primarily for the decibels. They want to hear "Hey Hey My My", not "My My Hey Hey". They want Crazy Horse, and it better not be 'Greendale'. While I share their passion, I do have a corresponding affinity for much of Young's kinder and gentler fare, such as 'Comes a Time'. There does come a time, however, when the mood strikes for something striking, and nothing can strike that chord like Neil's ''. In that sense, this may well be Neil's most underrated effort. Indeed, it is not difficult to find people who would place this disc in an inferno, creating a disc.oh!!
'' is an explosive chain reaction (since there is no song called '' on the disc, one must speculate on the significance of the title, including it's syllabled graphic style, and absence of capital letters, which may symbolize being broken down to essential elements; the song titles receive the same curious treatment). The cover is odd and striking, a bold red sideways pyramid flanked top and bottom by black panels. I suppose it conveys contained, yet invasive heat, another good analogy for the aural content within. The 1981 release of '' followed the 1980 release of Young's 'Hawks and Doves' almost one year to the day, another album with a similarly simple yet symbolic cover, a large white star surrounded by blue background.
While 'Hawks and Doves' embraced a patriotic theme, '' embraces everything hedonistic. Drugs and rock open things up in ' star'; "women", "booze" and "a pleasure cruise" are the tangible elements in 'surf.
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Format: Audio CD
Neil Young delivered his second eighties album following Hawks and Doves, and it got horrible reviews, just like its predecessor and just about every album he produced in the decade. But I must defend this album as one of his best, even if most don't. "Shots" is a phenomenal song, and "Motor City" is a snapshot of the times as the US auto market bowed more and more to Japan. "Southern Pacific" is about Neil's love for trains but is still excellent, and "Rapid Transit" is a good-natured and scathing swipe at the so-called "New Wave" music. The rest of the songs may not be at the level of these four, but are still worth the price, especially "Opera Star" and "Get Back On It." For sheer pointlessness, nothing can top "T-Bone," a nine-minute late night electric guitar jam with the endlessly repetative lyric "Got mashed potatoes, ain't got no T-Bone." While it might be mindless, it is enjoyable (although I usually skip past it after about five minutes). "Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze" is a dig at his record company execs, good-natured but perhaps prophetic as this proved to be Neil's last Reprise album before leaving for his ill-fated five album deal with Geffen (after which, of course, he returned to Reprise). So there are really no tracks on the album that are bad, and at least five that are extremely good. My final assessment: by no means is this (and Hawks & Doves, as I have seen reviewed here) an album for completists only; it is an essential chapter in the Neil Young saga.
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By Nathan Kiner on Aug. 29 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is mostly just okay, although some songs actually manage to be so bad they're good. The psuedo opera singing before the chorus of opera star for example is hilarious. Then there's T-Bone, the lyrics of which are nothing but endless repetions of 'Got mashed potatoes, ain't got no T Bone'. The lyric sheet helpfully writes out every single repition of this. Thanks Neil! :) And sadly, those are the better songs. There are some good guitar licks on this one, of the loud and distorted variety, something Neil should do more of. But the songs just aren't really there. Neil himself admits his heart wasn't in this one. At the time of its release he was involved in an intensive program with his autistic son that left little time to focus on music.
I am glad to see this one is finally back out there, so collectors like myself can grab them. Neil may sometimes be hit and miss, but he never fails to at least be interesting. :) If you're intrigued by the 4 new re-releases, go grab On The Beach, a true lost classic, and save this one for another day.
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By owlberg on Aug. 25 2003
Format: Audio CD
This one never really got the respect it deserved, but in 1981, it was all about the synth (which makes a couple of appearances here, mostly as atmospheric filler amongst the familiar chaos of guitars, drums and bass).
It's a big, sludgy mess, of course, which is why it's so delicious. "Opera Star" is hysterically funny, because it's just so damn STOOPID. "Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze" carries a serious wallop, a killer riff, and not much more. "T-bone" gets even more granular: one huge riff pounded into oblivion for nine-plus minutes, while Neil laments the fact that he's "got mashed potatoes, ain't got no T-bone" over and over and over.
"Get Back On It" isn't gonna make things any harder for you: over one of the most basic of 'oldies rock' structures, Neil and Horse muse on the virtues and pitfalls of getting back on the road. Do they miss some of the simplest chord changes in rock history, more than once? Do they sound like a bunch of drunks trying to remember a Little Richard song on barely-adequate equipment? Oh yes they do, and it's a joy. NOBODY makes looseness sound quite this... uh... loose. It just goes from there. Neil sounds like he's having a total blast on this one.
Is it essential Neil Young? Probably not. Neil has written some tremendously insightful, thoughtful songs. He's written some fierce, timeless rock anthems. He's experimented with electronics and bluegrass and old-school country. Don't look for anything like that here.
This is the Neil Young you know from side two of RUST NEVER SLEEPS. This is the Neil Young of SLEEPS WITH ANGELS' 'Trans Am'. This is the 'whoo' thrown off before the solo in 'Cinnamon Girl'. It's just good ol' fashioned blast-in-the-car riffage. Take as needed.
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