This is one of Neil`s most sheerly enjoyable albums. Tight, bright, sparklingly produced, gloriously played, full to bursting with ideas, uptempo big band bashes joshing with moody, neon-lit ballads and late-night torch songs, the whole thing is irresistible.
Used to have this on LP. It looked great too, as it has one of Neil`s best covers: a blearily blue-hued, rainy-looking city street with a man strolling, head down, the scene redolent of city angst but also imminent excitement. (It occurs to me, NY used to take a lot more care over his album covers - in his LP only days - but then he is on record as saying he doesn`t like CDs much.)
Neil hasn`t recorded a set of songs like this again, though `Are You Passionate?` from 2002 is a not dissimilar effort - and what a fine one too - with Booker T and the MGs. Neil`s guitar works well here in the context of a small but full-sounding band of trumpets & saxes, organ, plus the usual rhythm section. He`s always been a terrific guitarist, able to play just about anything, making his guitar speak in many tongues. He`s the only guitar player on TNFY and it`s remarkable what cats he pulls out of the bag, one moment sounding like his old hero Hank Marvin, the next the grittiest r`n`b player this side of Curtis Mayfield or Steve Cropper. And that`s just on the opening track.
It`s good to have this on CD. The enhanced sound is excellent, this being an album of moods, soundscapes, textures.
Old friends Frank Sampedro (keyboards) and the late Ben Keith (alto sax) are here, along with fine, punchy drummer Chad Cromwell, among others. None of the songs outstays its welcome on this 40-minute disc, and you wouldn`t wish it any longer or shorter. In fact, the more I listen to this wonderful surprise - well, it was back in `88 - the more it sounds like one of Neil`s most perfectly realised, musically coherent records.
One of Neil Young`s best? Hell, yeah!