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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't he unplugged already?,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)Given Neil Young's huge catalog and its inclusion of so much acoustic material, you might think that 'unplugging' him would just amount to his doing a show of his acoustic songs. Well, that certainly would have been the easy way. But if Neil took the easy way, he wouldn't be the Neil we've come to know and love.
In fact, although there is a generous helping of material on this CD that was originally released in 'acoustic' form, there are also a number of surprises. For this show, Neil took several highly non-'acoustic' songs and converted them.
One of my favorites is his bluesy, wailing version of 'Mr. Soul'. Originally a Buffalo Springfield tune, this time it's just Neil with his guitar and harmonica. I also like the stripped-down, countryfolkified performances of 'Old Laughing Lady' and 'World on a String'.
And wait until you hear what he's done with 'Transformer Man'. Even if you didn't like it before, you may like it now.
There's also 'Like a Hurricane', a blistering rocker originally released on _American Stars 'n' Bars_ (which, incidentally, is now available on CD at last!). Here Neil performs it solo, accompanying himself on pump organ.
This show took place not long after the release of the magnificent _Harvest Moon_, so there are a couple of selections from that album. And the rest is what you'd expect -- a set of solid performances of old and new favorites, some well-known and some obscure, from all stages of Neil's long career. "The Needle and the Damage Done', 'Look Out for My Love', 'Long May You Run' -- this stuff is never going to wear out its welcome.
One last highlight: Neil also does a fine tune called 'Stringman' (which I suspect is about Stephen Stills); I don't believe I'd ever heard it, or even heard _of_ it, before this release.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brilliance of Depression,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)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. Soul" on this album is the way he ORIGINALLY wrote it. He did not remake this song...the Buffalo did that in the 60's. So there's a little more incentive for you to buy this record.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good cross selection of material,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)Although Neil Young is almost universally considered one of the finest rock songwriters, he has an almost perversely huge back catalog (several of which have never been released on CD), more than a few uneven albums, and a self-imposed lack of anthologies. Young, who has always alternated between blistering, grunge-inciting guitar noise riots and gentle, acousitc folk in his own music, was a natural choice - indeed, you might even say a forebearer - for MTV's Unplugged program. Unlike many other veteran rockers (say, Dylan) who chose to offer up a "Greatest Hits" sort of set when their turn on Unplugged came, Neil's selections veer across his entire career, seeming almost arbitrary at times. Although there are some of his more prominent acoustic numbers here (The Needle And The Damage Done, Pocahontas) as well as several numbers from his most recent album at the time, Harvest Moon, there are also tracks dating back to his Buffalo Springfield days and his first solo album, as well as some definitely obscure numbers (Transformer Man, which was completely remade in this acoustic setting; the previously unreleased Stringman, and others.) It is a neat deal and quite a treat for the Young fan to see him perform such a wide cross section of material. Several songs are completely remade in this acoustic context (Mr. Soul, Transformer Man), and many others have already mentioned the standout pump organ/harmonica-led version of Like A Hurricane. This is an essential purchase for the Neil Young fan, and, in point of fact, not a bad early pick for the neophyte.
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young at his best.,
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This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)Neil Young's acoustic musicianship is so appropriate to much of his music. Great collection of his songs, and wonderful performances.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Artist..That's for Sure!,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)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. Soul" to "Hurricane" this is a great collection!
Alot of us in our 40's are still very fond of Neil.
5.0 out of 5 stars dour, gripping, uptight and brilliant performance.,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)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 the brilliant 'Pocahontas' and 'Mr Soul'. The one sour point is that he didn't play some of his more upbeat country numbers to lighten the atmosphere. '' I hear myself sing like a long lost friend'' whines Young on 'Hank to Hendrix' pretty much summing up this performance-Dark, depressing but irresistably brilliant.
Good work Neil, but relax and lighten up just a tad!
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and Him,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)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. Every song is just perfectly performed. Like A Hurricane, Harvest Moon and Transformer Man are my favorites. Give this cd a try. It won't let you down.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Fine Acoustic Concert!,
This review is from: Neil Young Unplugged > (VHS Tape)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. When I recently went to watch it, I found that it had been taped over with cartoons! (I thanked my son for that!) I really wanted a copy of this fine concert, so was very pleased to find it on Amazon.com. To me, it shows Neil Young at his purist-accompanied only by acoustic instruments. I love hearing songs like "Long May You Run" and "Pocohontas" done in an acoustic vein. The song "Stringman", which is a beautiful song, is only found on this video. I was very pleased to have a copy of that!
I highly recommend this video of Neil Young. I have my fingers crossed that one day a DVD version is released.
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent!,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)While there are more than enough individual tracks dotted around his huge number of recordings to justify Neil Young's major reputation there are only a few albums that, on their own, hold together as satisfyingly complete "works". And... in the (self imposed) absence of any sensible retrospectives since 1977's "Decade" (definitely the best place to start for any "casual buyer") those not "in the know" could be in for some seriously expensive mistakes. So, what's been worth the money since then? Well...for anyone looking for the mellower side of this brilliantly mercurial but annoyingly erratic artist here's a few suggestions: "Comes a Time" (1978), "Freedom" (1989), "Harvest Moon" (1992) and "Unplugged" (1995).
"Unplugged", a review of some of his best tracks from the previous 25 years, takes this often tired format to its highest levels. Opening with "The Old Laughing Lady" (a wonderfully laid-back acoustic re-working of a stand-out track from his first solo album) and followed by a beautifully low-key version of his Buffalo Springfield hit "Mr Soul", the album just flows from start to finish. And... on the way through you get arguably better versions than the original outings of "Pocahontas", "Harvest Moon", "Look Out for My Love" & "Transformer Man". Played and sung with the sincerity of an artist who wants to deliver a cohesive retrospective of his career, and impressive in that it avoids revisiting many of his better known, more obvious choices, this is mellow music at its very best and an album that leaves you feeling... happy. Money well spent!
5.0 out of 5 stars An album for all occasions,
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)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 "From Hank To Hendrix." "Mr. Soul" sounds great here recast as a mellow dirge, "Stringman," a soft ode to a friend who's seen better times (reportedly Stephen Stills, circa 1976) is a fabulous addition to the Neil cannon, and enough good cannot be said about the organ driven "Like A Hurricane." That said, plus a host of other Young essentials, such as "Harvest Moon" and "Helpless" to name yet two more, this album is a must-have.
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