In Neil Young's world--to paraphrase John Lennon (who was quoting Harry Nilsson)--everything is the opposite of what it is. The fragile is epic, the epic is personal, the personal is a collective dream. Young's best songs are like Tennyson's poems, somehow always shimmering under scrutiny, somehow all the more soulful for evading fixed points of meaning. While there was nothing evasive about Young's negative opinions of MTV in the 1980s, both he and the cable channel had broad enough shoulders to collaborate on an Unplugged installment in 1993 featuring Young and a few of his friends. The result was one of the best events in the innovative series, a strong but relaxed, sharp but dreamy acoustic performance with several of Young's best live recordings in the '90s. Starting with a couple of folk-rock mysteries--the sorrowful "The Old Laughing Lady" and eerie classic "Mr. Soul"--Young lumbers beautifully from the fantastic, hippie elegy of "Pocahontas" to an unlikely psychedelic spin on "Like a Hurricane" (sounding a bit like "Strawberry Fields Forever").
The second half of the show finds a few other musicians strolling in, including Young's old ally, Nils Lofgren, with accordian, guitar, and harmonies at the ready. Young's unequivocally nongrungy sister, Astrid, and the late Nicolette Larson sweeten the vocals and add warmth to the instant-community atmosphere. Together, everyone reshapes the never-quite-on-the-money CSN&Y classic "Helpless" into a taut, private prayer, teases the tenderness and fun out of "Transformer Man," and makes "Harvest Moon" sound so delicate that anything else on the radio seems slightly obscene. The program ends with an encore performance of "From Hank to Hendrix," which, in this MTV context, comes across as a nonsubtle plea from a rock godfather to beware the momentum of time and change on popular music, to "still get it together" despite the pressures of fashion. A very satisfying experience all around. --Tom Keogh
excellent cd and lot of good old songs I really love it and I recommand it to all my friendsPublished 22 months ago by Claude Couillard
Neil Young's acoustic musicianship is so appropriate to much of his music. Great collection of his songs, and wonderful performances.Published on April 3 2013 by jwarrack
Neil doesn't disappoint. I would love to see him in concert and do the national anthem Hendrix-style. That would be interesting.
From "Mr. Read more
This album is probably the best acoustic performance Neil has done in awhile. Everyone knows this is a great album. I just want to clarify that the version of "Mr. Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Garrett Sanders
The tense atmosphere of this acoustic performance(Created undoubtedly by Young himself as he barely exchanges a word with his wooed audience) works well on haunting numbers like... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2003 by Neil Fenton
Neil Young Unplugged is gorgeous. Each rendition of Neal's captivating songs sounds poignant, nostalgic and beautiful. There isn't one note that goes to waste here. Read morePublished on June 22 2003 by Blackberries
When this MTV Unplugged concert of Neil Young originally aired on MTV, I made sure to tape it, as Neil Young is one of my favorite musicians. Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2002 by Carla J. Dinsmore
This is one of those rare CDs that's great to put on anytime, whether you're down, tired, or happy. It flows perfectly from "The Old Laughing Lady" right through... Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2002 by wondermike45