Dreamin' Man Live '92 Live
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Live release from the Rock icon containing versions of every song from his Harvest Moon release, recorded at different shows during his 1992 tour for that album. Whether as a singer, a songwriter or a guitarist, Neil Young has been one of the most influential and important artists of the Rock era. Blending Folk, Country and Rock, the acoustic and the electric, the melancholy and the hopeful, Young has been an icon for the uncompromising and unpredictable since the 1960s. Warner. 2009.
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By now most Neil Young listeners are well acquainted with (if you're not-give it a listen) the album "Harvest Moon",released in 1992. For that recording Young utilized the wonderful musicians who came to be known as "The Stray Gators". This new album "Dreamin' Man Live '92",is composed of all the songs from that album. The key difference is that this new release is a solo acoustic collection of those tracks,recorded at various venues,also in 1992. On this album Young makes use of,besides guitar,his banjo and harmonica,and piano,to add color to his songs.
The overall theme of "Harvest Moon" was a look at times past. Young was taking stock of areas and eras (love,friendship,the environment) affecting his life. With this new album,these songs take on even more of a poignant feel. With no instrumentation except his own guitar (etc.) and voice,Young has imbued these songs with a starker,more immediate feel. The honesty and longing found in these songs is even more apparent in a solo setting. From tracks like "Harvest Moon",to "One Of These Days",to "Natural Beauty",among others,Young was concerned with the passage of time and events that related to his life.
"Harvest Moon" was a good example of Young's heart-felt writings. And now,finally,we can enjoy these songs in a beautiful,"bare-bones" setting,recorded in the same year as the originally released studio album. With Young's guitar,and other instruments filling in the holes or emphasizing a particular lyric,this album will draw you in from the beginning. Never mind that its not a "complete concert",the strength of these tracks speaks for themselves. This is a look back in time with yet another fine release from Neil Young's archive. More please.
Don't get me wrong there is some fantastic performances on this release, Dreamin' Man, Such a Woman and War of Man especially shine in this stripped down format.
The problem for me is what's not here! By limiting the concept of this release to ONLY tracks from the Harvest Moon album, performances of which have been chosen from the whole of 1992's year long solo tour, we miss out on hearing unreleased gems like.
Love Art Blues
all of which were performed and recorded and the inclusion of any of the above would have made this an essential purchase.
Plus.... Silver and Gold was played every night of the first solo tour, solo acoustic versions of Tonight's the Night, Powderfinger, This Notes for You, Cripple Creek Ferry etc etc, where also performed on this tour. So it is more the concept of the release I have an issue with, as opposed to the performances which are fantastic and well worth hearing.
The sound quality is just outstanding especially if your CD player can decode HDCD and the cover art is lovely. I love Neil's vocal quality from the early 90's, really suits the reflective tone of the material from that era.
I look forward to the next Archives release, they are really coming thick and fast now. I recommend something from the Blue Note era or Tonights the Night tour Neil if your reading.
Dreamin' Man is an opportunity to share a unique experience of discovery, and to hear songs in their infancy. Honest, reflective, and insightful, Neil delivers some of his most personal songwriting with exceptional grace. Each song takes you on a journey into middle age; One Of These Days, From Hank To Hendrix, Such a Woman, and You and Me. Neil sings of his relationships; both lost and found. Natural Beauty, and War of Man, two of Neil's most powerful observations on the plight of the earth are both master works, and more powerful here in their solo versions than on Harvest Moon. He writes a song for an old hound dog with as much love and affection as he would for anyone else in his life. This is a remarkable opportunity to hear great songwriting in a live setting, and I give it my highest recommendation. As with all the past releases on the Performance Series recordings, the sound quality is perfect, and the packaging is identical to the others in the series.
And so I've long made a point to try to buy all his albums. This was never a problem until recently. In the past four or so years, since starting his Neil Young Archives Performance Series, I've had to cut back, as the man has just been releasing far too many discs for my wallet to handle. Just last year, for example, he released an epically expensive box set that I'll never be able to afford. He's been releasing at least one archival live album per year and only months ago reissued his first four studio albums (which, by the way, are worth the investment). All this while still releasing a new studio album ever 18 or so months. I love ya, Neil, but damn, how many generations of kin do you hope to spoil?
So when I first saw Dreamin' Man: Live `92 in stores I wasn't surprised - the flood continues. The record saw little-to-no press coverage and exactly zero of my friends (most of whom love Neil) have ever mentioned the record to me. People are burnt out on Neil right now; a shame, considering Dreamin' Man is one of the most worthwhile releases yet from Young's Archives Series. The '92 gives it away: Dreamin' Man is a live solo performance of Young's 1992 studio record, Harvest Moon.
Harvest Moon never grabbed me quite like Young's other quiet, twangy records, such as Harvest, After the Goldrush and Comes a Time. The record just didn't seem to feel as personal and emotional as those other classics and always felt weird sandwiched between Ragged Glory and Sleeps With Angels in the Young chronology. But now, with Dreamin' Man, I'm hearing the 10-song set with new ears. And it's beautiful. These songs, every last one of them, are worth getting to know. And I have. I've learned the core of these tunes through Dreamin' Man so much that now, when I put Harvest Moon on the player, I'm thrilled.
So, yes, Dreamin' Man: Live `92 is an at-first strange - and seemingly unnecessary - addition to the Young canon. But I'm glad it exists. It has the slow Sunday morning vibe of Comes a Time, almost feeling like a sequel to that record. And, damn, what a companion piece it will be for those who already love Harvest Moon. Great songs stripped to their core by one of the all-time masters of guitar-and-voice songwriting.
Coming on the heels of his Ragged Glory tour in the early 90's and being newly christened the "Godfather of Grunge," Neil did exactly the opposite of what everyone expected him to do. Instead of strapping on Old Black for another grunge-era classic like Ragged Glory, he did a quiet, reflective album of acoustic love songs and wistful ballads. Evoking memories of Harvest twenty years earlier, Neil assembled many of the same musicians and tried to recapture that feeling from two decades past. Indeed, "You and Me" was a song fragment Neil had since the early 70's that he didn't complete until Harvest Moon came about.
This collection is simply stunning. I was wary of him putting together a collection of these songs from different shows rather than just one concert, but it works well. Some of the songs were already bare-bones and didn't benefit much from this showcase, but others, like "Harvest Moon," "From Hank to Hendrix," and "War of Man" really sparkle in this setting. Fans of his quieter music should really enjoy this latest offering from the Archives.
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