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Re-ac-tor Original recording remastered

3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 5.41
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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  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,236 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

Top 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
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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Format: Audio CD
Of the four albums from Neil Young's back catalog that have finally been issued on CD (for the first time) in August 2003, "Re-ac-tor", originally released in 1981, is the least interesting. It probably seemed like a great idea at the time - an album consisting of pure, 100% Crazy Horse rockers - something that Neil had never done before. But even Crazy Horse needs some goods songs to work with, and good songs are in short supply here. (In 1990 Neil took another crack at the same concept, with much better results, on "Ragged Glory".) In spite of the shortcomings, there are some distinct pleaures to be found on "Re-ac-tor". The highlight, by a longshot, is "Shots", a nearly 8 minute long burst of frenzied, distorted guitar married to the album's best melody. It ranks right up there with previous classics like "Southern Man", "Like A Hurricane", and "Down By The River". After that, there is a sharp drop off in quality to a few moderately interesting songs such as "Opera Star", "Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze", "Southern Pacific", and "Rapid Transit". The rest would likely be of interest only to fanatics. One other song merits mention - "T-Bone", a 9-plus-minute angry rocker with the only lyrics being "Got mashed potatoes, ain't got no t-bone", repeated ad-nauseum. Maybe it's Neil's commentary on hunger, he sure does seem ticked-off about that potato diet, but it's just too repetitive to really be of much interest. Crazy Horse sounds good though, even on the most mediocre songs, so Neil's more enthusiastic fans (including me) will want to have this. Casual fans can certainly get by without it.
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