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On the Beach Original recording remastered

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Amazon's Neil Young Store


Image of album by Neil Young


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Neil Young will release his latest studio album ‘Storytone’ on November 3rd via Reprise Records. ‘Storytone’ features ten brand new compositions recorded live in the studio with a 92-piece orchestra and choir. The deluxe edition comes with a bonus disc including a solo album of Storytone.

Neil Young took a different approach with this record, first recording the ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Young Store

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On the Beach + Tonight's The Night + Zuma
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 July 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00009P1O0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  DVD Audio  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,818 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Walk On (Remastered Album Version) 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. See The Sky (Remastered Album Version) 5:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Revolution Blues (Remastered Album Version) 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. For The Turnstiles (Remastered Album Version) 3:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Vampire Blues (Remastered Album Version) 4:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. On The Beach (Remastered Album Version) 6:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Motion Pictures (For Carrie) (Remastered Album Version) 4:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ambulance Blues (Remastered Album Version) 8:56£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Ask any Neil Young fan about his back catalogue and they'll always mutter darkly about albums never released on CD. There were, until now, at least seven major releases that have never seen the light of day. Suddenly Young appears to have (partly) relented and allowed a new generation to hear four of them (On The Beach, American Stars And Bars, Hawks And Doves, and Re-Actor). Yet only one of these albums has websites devoted to petitioning for its release. And only one has, over the years, come to rival Young's other searingly unguarded moment -Tonight's The Night - for the title of his greatest work. So after 30 years in the dark, does On The Beach live up to its reputation?

Whereas Tonight's... has the air of a drunken wake about it, OTB is more of a singular stoner's take on his life in relation to world events. It's a wake for a whole decade. As he says on the opener ''Walk On'': 'Sooner or later, it all gets real...' You have to remember that Young lived at the centre of many of the counterculture's greatest and worst moments. Not only had he been present at Woodstock (and refused to be filmed, due to his increasing suspicion that the revolution had been commercialized), but he'd known Charles Manson personally. He'd even suggested to Warners that they give him a recording contract! 1973 was a major crossroads in his life. His marriage to actress Carrie Snodgrass was on the skids; he'd still not come to terms with the loss of guitarist Danny Whitten; his label had balked at releasing his blitzed lament to lost friends (Tonight's...) and the huge success of CSN&Y had brought him no comfort. So it was, that Young, along with a disparate crew that included Levon Helm of the Band and the larger-than-life backwoodsman Rusty Kershaw (on fiddle and Dobro), proceeded to get wasted and tape what happened.

Nothing and no one is spared. Nixon (''Ambulance Blues''), global fuel conglomerates (''Vampire Blues''), Manson and the whole West Coast 'me' generation (''Revolution Blues''), the wife (''Motion Pictures''), but most of all himself. It's as if Young needed to lay it all out to really find out where he could go next. The title track pinpoints exactly the artist's need for validation, along with his need to remain apart from the pack (''I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day''). It's as contradictory as Young's life itself has often seemed. But above all he realises his own place in the universe (''Though my troubles are meaningless - that don't make them go away''). Such a public catharsis scared both his audience and his label. It was the worst selling of his albums to date.

It was also entirely necessary in order for Young to retain his sense of integrity and move on. Within 12 months he'd reformed Crazy Horse and was headed for louder, rougher pastures. Thirty years on this remains an essential album if you ever want to get even the slightest glimpse of what makes Young an enigma and a genius. Raw, ragged, desultory: it's all of the above. It's also staggeringly moving and, yes, it's probably his best album. But don't take my word for it...Now can we have Time Fades Away please, Neil? --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Mick Fitzsimmons on 18 July 2003
Format: Audio CD
The centrepeice of the so-called Doom trilogy (also featuring the as yet unavailable on CD Time Fades Away and Tonight's the Night) makes it to CD at last, and it's been worth the wait. Long acknowledged as a pivotal album in Young's career, On the Beach is also one of the greatest albums of the mid seventies, rooted in the uncertainties and contradictions of the Nixon era.
It's also a fairly subdued affair, the world weary tempos of much of the album echoing the stoned ennui of the time. This is perfectly encapsulated in the iconic cover shot of Young standing on the edge of the ocean surrounded by the detritus of the disintegrating west coast lifetstyle. Revolution Blues, with its images of bloody fountains and murder, captures the feeling of impending disaster and paranoia endemic in LA after the Manson murders had ended the hippy dream - clearly all was not right in paradise.
For the Turnstiles, with its spare banjo and dobro backing and tense, strained vocal, bemoans the creeping spectre of commerce which was gradually taking over music in the 70s, inspired by the bacchanalian excesses of the 1974 CSN&Y stadium tour. The title track finds Young simultaneously acknowledging the need for adulation even as he recoils from it (I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day) - there's no better emblem for Young's reclusive and enigmatic nature. Walk On, with its jaunty guitar riffs and playful slide playing, is offset by a lyric in which Young hits back at his critics and also looks back to the days before money got in the way of art. This theme of lost innocence also informs the epic closer, Ambulance Blues, one of Young's greatest and most widely analysed compositions.
On the Beach may not be to everyone's taste.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By pikeyboy on 20 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Years ago, I bought 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' on the recommendation of a trusted friend, who told me it was considered an idiosyncratic masterpiece in the vein of 'Astral Weeks,' though musically miles apart. Whereas I liked the album, I was never the biggest fan of extended musical jams, which 'Cowgirl In The Sand' and 'Down By The River' sounded like to me. In short, I couldn't love it, and I already knew 'Harvest,' 'After The Goldrush' and Youngs work with Buffalo Springfield particularly well. What I was looking for was that rare nugget that makes you fall in love with music all over again. Then, recently, I was drawn in by the effusive reviews of the reissued 'John, The Wolfking Of L.A.' by John Phillips, and it is a fairly consistent and good portrait of the West Coast scene of the early seventies, but once again, I couldn't think of it as this great lost masterpiece that others assured me it was. So, when I read the reviews of 'On The Beach' which mentioned Nixon, Manson, and a whole host of other themes in connection with this album, I was a bit sceptical. Then, someone said, listen to it first, before you part with your pennies, but I either want something or I don't have it, so I bought it last sunday, and suddenly my whole faith in the marriage of mind and music and lyrical genius was once again well and truly restored. Not only with this album, but also 'Tonight's The Night' which also looked chancey at first, but it is hard to separate the two as they're both so different in their way, but both leagues away from 'Everybody Knows...' in my opinion. Young has a genuine, honest voice, and a feeling for people and situations that most reminds me of Lou Reed in his most tender moments, though again, they are musically unalike.Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Harvey on 18 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
After the success of the single Heart of Gold from the hugely popular Harvest album, Young famously said "the song put me in the middle of the road, which became a bore so I headed for the ditch". To prove the point he made three albums that contained none of the mainstream appeal of Harvest. On the Beach was the last of the three 'ditch' albums recorded, but was second released; Tonight's The Night (second recorded) was kept on ice, but apart from this, Tonight is the only other album in the trilogy currently available on CD. Not only is On The Beach the best album Neil ever made, it is also one of the three best albums I have ever owned by anyone. I came to the table via the oft travelled Harvest/Goldrush route, and amazingly, when I think about it now, when I first heard Beach I hated it and put it in the cupboard for two years. When I heard it again, I became progressively enchanted.

The despairing tone of Tonight's the Night is replaced with barbed cynicism that is musically and lyrically mesmerising. The album simmers with brooding classics like Revolution Blues, an apocolyptic vision of LA and the Manson murders, which occured after Young had recommended Manson to the record company. "I hate them worse than lepers and I kill them in their cars" is probably a reference to the bloody murder of an 18 year old kid in his car on the night of the Tate masacre. He was visiting staff and was unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The word Revolution is too respectable for Manson's Helter Skelter madness. Vampire Blues, is a swipe at the culture of big cars and the oil industry. (A typical bit of Young hypocricy since his penchant for thirsty vehicles at that time is well known).
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