“I ended up alone at the microphone”

I’m back. At long last.

Alas, job potentialities forbid me from inhabiting the legal gray areas of MP3 posting, so you will only get streaming audio from me.  It’ s a good thing you come here for the musical insights and not just for free files, right?  And everyone clicks on the “Buy [artist’s name or relevant pun]” links, right?

Since I am likely a little rusty, I need a slow pitch.  So I’m sharing what may very well be my favorite Neil Young song, the title track from 1974’s On the Beach.   Its Wurlitzer-powered alternations between minor-7 and major-7 verses are the perfect mixture of alienation and sweet, i-don’t-give-a-shit redemption.  And check out the angsty, lyrical guitar solos.  Great.

I guess it was a rough time in his life and I’ll be goddamned if he didn’t make the most of it.

Neil Young – “On the Beach” from On the Beach (1974)

Buy it – it’s like 9 bucks.

Glad to be back,

Jordy

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9 Comments

Filed under 1970s, Rock

9 responses to ““I ended up alone at the microphone”

  1. Every time I listen to this album I find a different favorite song. So great. This song and “Ambulance Blues” sound like a hangover.

  2. Blake

    Glad you’re back Jord. I bought this album, based on our love of it, this past winter. It played really well in the winter in spite of its name.

  3. Jordy

    The B-side (this tune, Motion Pictures, and Ambulance Blues) is immaculate. And you’re right, Blake – it has a bleak, wintry feel to it.

  4. Jeff Wheeler

    This just in!–after a brief obsession with the song “heart of gold” while visiting pittsburgh due to some introspection i was doing, I now REALLY REALLY dig “The Neil”–but only aspects of him. I used to only like the real rip-roarin’ rockers and absolutely loathe the balladry that dominates an album like, for example, say, “After the Gold Rush,” BUT I think I get it now. I d/l’ed h.o.g. and then dug around on allmusic.com for his best reviewed albums. Someone had recommended ‘On the Beach’ to me before and I really did not get it (and still don’t–I mean, “see the sky” is good, as is “revolution blues”), so I got a copy of “Tonight’s the Night” (which is pretty amazing, despite a weaker 2nd track), “Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere” (also amazing, although the jams at the end seem a bit longish), “Zuma” (also good but haven’t spent the time to really get a lot from it), “Gold Rush” (really like the ballads now for some reason), and the clincher, the ‘Raw Power’-like “WELD”! This album is loud and redlined and muscular and the distortion sounds like stuff is exploding and it has a lot of the hits!

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been listening to Weld daily for two weeks now and I still love it, along with a lot of other Neil stuff. My next foray will probably be the “Rust Never Sleeps” album, which I’ve heard is also a beast. So yeah, you were right about Neil Young, very right. that’s all.

    your friend,
    Jeff

  5. Jordy

    Hey Jeff, Glad to hear you’re enjoying Weld (and NY generally). It is a true rock document. Glenn will definitely back up your excitement about its sound, though I don’t get the Stooges vibe aside from the fact that they are both REALLY LOUD recordings.

    After the Goldrush is the most beautiful record of the 1970s alongside Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

    Rust Never Sleeps is pretty terrific and since I would compare it closely to Weld, I think you’ll like it, esp. B-side rockers like Powderfinger Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black). The ballads range from expendable (Ride My Llama) to excellent (Thrasher).

    Zuma is legendary for one reason: Cortez the Killer (though I would say, and I think Glenn has said, that the live Weld version is better than the studio recording). Zuma has a couple other standout tracks as well, like Barstool Blues and Lookin for a Love.

    I could go on and on and probably will someday. At any rate, glad you’re enjoying yourself.

  6. Jeff Wheeler

    One more question, Is it:

    bum bum bum, “sailing hardships through broken harbors”

    or:

    bum bum bum, “sailing heart-ships through broken harbors”?

    Also Sorry I couldn’t wind up making it to Pittsburgh when you were there. Hope you had a good time though and hopefully we can connect soon.

    -Jeff

  7. Jordy

    I’m pretty sure it’s “heart-ships” or else the metaphor wouldn’t work.

  8. Jeff, you still there?

    Are you dissing “Speakin’ Out”? That’s my favorite song on Tonight’s The Night!

  9. I like “Ambulance Blues” album

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