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Trans Import

4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 209.80
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal/Geffen
  • ASIN: B000005RVK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
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1. Little Thing Called Love
2. Computer Age
3. We R In Control
4. Transformer Man
5. Computer Cowboy (Aka Sycrusher)
6. Hold On To Your Love
7. Sample And Hold
8. Mr. Soul
9. Like An Inca

Product Description

Unavailable on CD in the U.S.! Originally released in 1982, Trans was a bold and bewildering move into the 'modern age' for the veteran singer/songwriter. While it's been called his 'Electronic' album, Trans doesn't transport Neil into Depeche Mode territory. Instead, Trans finds Neil experimenting with an array of computers, keyboards and vocoders along with his standard guitar/bass/drums backbone. Nine tracks, including 'Little Thing Called Love', 'Computer Age', 'Transformer Man' and a drastically different version of his Buffalo Springfield classic 'Mr. Soul'. Universal.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I really like this album. I was a synth/electronica junkie in the '80s, and this album was unlike anything I'd ever heard: techno with a ton of soul; thick synths but with real, big-sounding drums and good crunchy guitar work. The first and last tracks sound more like typical Neil Young. On most of the rest, almost all the vocals are done through vocoders, and it's the vocoder that gives this album its techno feel. Best tracks, in my opinion: the heavy-handed and lyrically clever "Computer Cowboy" with its crunchy, hard-hitting guitar riffs (100% vocoder vocals); the bizzarre remake of "Mr. Soul", with its flanged lead vocal with vocoder harmonization and wild guitar solo; and the lighthearted but uptempo and lyrically entertaining "We R In Control" (100% vocoder vocals). I give 4 stars instead of 5 because Sample and Hold is not the original, but a remix with most of the soul stripped out. I agree with one of the other reviewers here; why do they do that? The slow, completely non-electronic, non-techno "Hold On To Your Love" (0% vocoder vocals) is a strange and seemingly out of place addition to this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Okay, "Trans" isn't your "typical" Neil Young record. Then again, given his amazing diversity it is hard to say exactly what IS typical for Neil. "Trans" gets a lot of heat because it began Neil's strange journey through the 1980's, in which he tried out just about every style of popular music around. Suprisingly, the weird synthesizer sound of "trans" not only fit him better than his other stylistic detours, but also showed him as being ahead of his time making electronic music. Call it "Nine Inch Neil." The highlights of "Trans" are a pair of excellent mid-tempo rockers, "Sample and Hold" and "Transformer Man," both recorded with the strange digitalized vocals that so turned off many of Neil's longtime fans. The former rocks strongly while the latter is one of Young's prettiest melodies (for proof, check out the amazing accoustic version of the song on Neil's "Unplugged" album). "Little Thing Called Love" (with normal singing) is the kind of simple uptempo love song the Neil can write in his sleep, while the reworking of "Mr. Soul" is very adventurous.
The one complaint with "Trans" is that it is too short at nine songs to be a truly fulfilling album. Otherwise, while not among Neil's best works, it is far from being the stinker that many accused it of being.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the things you've got to admire about Neil Young is that the man does not stand still. Basically a metal-rocker at heart, if his concerts are to be relied on--he nevertheless is comfortable working in a wide array of musical genres, as is amply demonstrated by a spin though his retrospective Decade CD.
Trans marks a foray--with a vengeance-- into electronic music. Admittedly, if this is not your sound, this will not be one of your favorite albums. It is, however, one of those experimental efforts that works. It was, at the time of its release, well ahead of the power curve insofar as this genre was concerned. Moreover, it clearly stands as an experiment with a different sound and technology. Not only did Neil write material specifically for this album, but he also took to trying the sound out on some of his old standards. So, not only do we have the commercially successful written pieces, such as Transformer Man and Sample and Hold, but also electronically rendered pieces such as Mr. Soul and Hold on to Your Love.
What has made Young such a viable artist for so long-his awesome talent aside-is his willingness and ability to experiment, to evolve, to grow. Everybody knows some growth spurts can leave one awkward in the short run, but better off in the long run. It is precisely because of efforts such as this that Young remains the vital musical force and influence he is.
So, treat yourself to a bit of musical and personal history and give Trans a spin.
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Format: Audio CD
This is another album I bought when I was much younger and didn't know anything about Neil Young. Being a part of the Flock of Seagulls, After the Fire, Gary Numan etc. generation, I loved the vocoder-laden "Trans", with its muted synthesizers and hyper-distorted guitar riffs, and I now recognize it as a very entertaining experimentation by Neil Young, a lighthearted flight of fancy into a quasi-techno vein. However, I want to warn those of you who, like me, remember "Sample and Hold" and would consider buying this CD to get hold of that tune. Do not do it. The version included on this disk is some sort of watered-down Muzak version. The drums are practically inaudible, replaced by an obviously synthetic "swish" snare drum and a completely straight four-beat with synthetic hand claps. I think this remix was a very poor attempt to appeal to the European techno-pop crowd (Chemical Bros, etc.--note that this disk is an import, from Sweden), but they ruined the song in the process. "Computer Age", "We R In Control", and "Computer Cowboy" have survived intact, and because I really enjoy those tunes I give the disk three stars in spite of the fact that the producers ruined the best song on it.
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