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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great NY live albums?,
'Weld' finds Young & greatest backing band Crazy Horse on another peak as their 'Don't Spook the Horse'-tour followed the potent triad 'Eldorado' (1988), 'Freedom' (1989) & 'Ragged Glory' (1990). This two disc set takes in highlights of that tour, which was set to a backdrop of Young being seen as the godfather of the movement that would become grunge and the 1991 Gulf War. Following the great 'Rust Never Sleeps'/'Live Rust' (both 1979), Young followed his muse and produced an eclectic, if unsatisfatory body of work in the 80s: soundtrack work ('Where the Buffalo Roam'), rockabilly ('Everybody's Rockin'), trad-country ('Old Ways'), Billy Joel-synthrock ('Landing on Water')& r'n'b ('This Note's for You' - whose caustic lyrics continued into songs like 'Rockin...' & 'Crime in the City'). It was only with the Crazy Horse LP 'Life' that the band seemed like the fantastic act of the 60s & 70s - songs that followed like 'Heavy Love', 'Don't Cry' & 'Cocaine Eyes' had more in common with Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom & Sonic Youth than Young's former peers...
These 16 tracks are fantastic, drawing heavily from the excellent 'Ragged Glory' LP (an epic 'Love to Burn'; the Manson-themed 'Mansion on the Hill'; 'F*!#in'Up'; 'Love and Only Love' & 'Farmer John' - a song Young had performed pre-Springfield!). 'Rockin' in the Free World' makes more sense set to the Iraq war zeitgeist & the splitting Balkans, much livelier than the 'Freedom'-version, while 'Crime in the City' sounds like Dylan/The Band 'Live 1966' as played by Dinosaur Jr - far superior to the bland studio original.
Young has always been confounding politically - against Bush but writing songs like 'Let's Roll' & ironically lionising Reagan after censuring Nixon...The cover of 'Blowin' in the Wind' feels like his attempt to unite and address all sides of the 1991 Iraq war - Public Enemy-sirens give way to feedback, Young's deliver of Dylan's classic and superb backing vocals from the Horse (as great as their backing vocals on 'Live Rust')- it's a much better version than I recall, though Low's cover is my favourite...
There are several songs that turned up on 'Live Rust' (which is also an obligatory purchase) - 'Cinnamon Girl', 'Powderfinger', 'Cortez the Killer', 'Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)', 'Tonight's the Night' & an epic 'Like a Hurricane.' These versions are just as vital - 'Cinnamon', 'Hey Hey, My My', 'Tonight's...' & 'Powder' much more potent takes while 'Cortez' & 'Hurricane' are stretched out longer. The version of 'Welfare Mothers' is also much longer, with some call/response and some of the wild Sonic Youth-approved feedback that would turn up on companion LP 'Arc'. Even better, following the fantastic 'Tonight's the Night', Young & co stick with that dark classic and deliver a fine version of 'Roll Another Number.'
Young had released a lot of live albums, and I find it hard to get passionate about the upcoming 'Heart of Gold', the so-so 'Road Rock', & the familiar 'Year of the Horse'. The ones to get remain this, 'Live Rust' and the bizarrely deleted 'Time Fades Away.' I suppose the good news that Young is going to release a 'Bootleg Series' style compilation might add to this. After all, in addition to many unreleased chestnuts mooted for the imaginary 'Decade II' there must be storming versions of 'Cowgirl in the Sand', 'Down by the River', 'Inca Queen', 'Barstool Blues', 'I'm the Ocean' & many other faves?
'Weld' is a fantastic live LP and like the best of the genre - 'Kick Out the Jams', 'It's Alive', 'The Who Live at Leeds', '...It's Too Late To Stop Now' & 'Live 1966' it adds to the studio original and shows why the Horse were probably the greatest rock'n'roll band.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savage music for the savage breast,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got home from a day Satan must have concocted for me to test my mettle. So I sat back, filled with red wine that had left me dangerously stone sober, wondered what music I could possibly play that would both complement the raging unease I was feeling and combat said vexacious spirit in one fell swoop, and remembered I hadn`t heard Weld for too damn long. It`s not a CD you`d play just anytime, it needs to be applied judiciously. Neil Young is a canny dude, and Weld is one of his most enlightened live gestures to the wild, mad-as-hell savage in all of us.
There`s so much urgent, windswept, up-yours rock here that picking out `highlights` is, frankly, absurd. Many have claimed, or tried, to be the Wild Man of Rock. Not only is NY the sole credible claimant of that hallowed title, he also (the old shape-shifter) knows how to seduce with a burst of grainy folk, or come up with an unforeseen gem few reviewers `get` but NY lovers like us love to bits, such as the wonderful, unexpected "Are You Passionate?"
What can I say? Neil tends to leave those who love him a little lost for words, such is his spell. It says a lot, to me anyway, that Dylan`s a fan. Hell, isn`t everybody?
This lengthy double live one is possibly the greatest live rock album around, with lavish helpings of Neil`s wayward guitar - he doesn`t `solo` so much as play what needs to be said until it`s all said, then gets back eventually to the song in hand and sings his Canadian heart out till closing time.
I need hardly urge you to play this one as loud as you can get away with. Play it when you have to hear it, when all else fails. Play it when you`ve just got to hear NY rocking for the world, for all our glorious sins and all our dubious virtues.
Mansion On The Hill is a six-minute pounder I`d happily have blasting out at my wake, his faithful Crazy Horse harmonising like fallen angels. Blowin` In The Wind is one of the relatively few Dylan covers that doesn`t disgrace itself, in fact it`s sublime. Cortez The Killer - originally on his great early album Zuma - is stunning.
If anyone, anywhere, has given this cathartic cobweb-dispersing rock masterpiece less than 5 stars - well, they`re plain wrong.
I feel better now.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass in musicology,
Neil Young for me has to reign alongside the master music makers of this century or any other, his distinct vocal voice sets him apart from just about anyone.
The weld album taken from the live concert is an utterly superb album that features some very powerful songs that have made Neil young the performer he is. Dylans blowing in the wind has got to be just about the best version I have ever heard of this song. Rockin in the free world, well a classic song that still sends shivers up my spine.
Weld is a true music lovers album, full of power and sentiment, in my humble opinion, one of the best live albums ever made. Neil young, well, a master musician and a master song writer. brilliant stuff.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Story of Johnny Rotten,
The End of Valentine's Night, listening to John Peel (alone, of course), and he plays Freigewillege Selbstkontrolle's 'My Funny Valentine'. And this makes me think, "The King is gone but he's not forgotten, this is the story of Johnny Rotten". And I dig out my copy of 'Weld' and you know what? Ten years on, it still sound astonishing. The primal heart of rock and roll beats strong in this collection. The limitations of Crazy Horse become their strengths. Neil Young? Well, I trail him in years, but whenever I'm whatever age he was whenever, I guess I hope I have his spirit then. Just Buy It. "In the valley of hearts, there's a house full of broken windows..."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loud and furious!,
Well, the cover says it all. Speakers the size of buildings and Neil cradling his broken guitar. Yes, Weld is definately powerful. The songs are as good as ever and they are all drenched in feedback. This is good. Hey Hey sets the tone, with Neil's guitar distorting at full. If you think Nirvana are the best exponants of grunge, you would do well to check this out. The version of Blowin' In The Wind is just Neil and his electric guitar but still manages to be beautiful. Crime In The City is still amazing but the best tracks here are Welfare Mothers, with some lovely white noise at the end, Rockin In The Free World, and Like A Hurricane, which at 14 minutes totally rocks and is a lesson to anyone playing guitars.
All in all, I think this is the best live album I've heard because of the sheer energy that the band puts into it. You can almost feel the sweat (well, almost). If you loved Ragged Glory, get this, because they all get the same sort of treatment. Which is great!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil and The Horse at their best!,
If you have any friends who have never heard of Neil Young (shame on them!), or simply remember him for his only hit 'Heart of Gold', then you should play them this album. At a very loud volume. This is quite simply Neil Young & Crazy Horse in their element. The music is loud, emotive, passionate. It's everything music should be but often isn't. The 13 minute version of 'Like a Hurricane' is worth the price of the CD alone, it contains some of the most electrifying guitar playing ever commited to record. 'Hey hey, my my (into the black)' is awesome, the distortion beyond belief, and the lines 'better to burn out than to fade away' give me goosebumps (R.I.P. Kurt). 'Rockin' in the free world' is far better than the studio version, Neil's guitar seems to detonate on the choruses! And for good measure he does a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the wind' which is far more powerful, and relevant (it was performed during the gulf war) than Dylan ever could have imagined.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is how good we all want to be!,
no one plays a solo like neil young. as a wannabe rockstar i've listened to guys like page, hendrix, mccready, and clapton for the majority of my influences, then my mate lent me this... young is so good, it's unreal. his voice (blowin in the wind), his riffs (crime in the city), but his sololing is out of this world. listen to any song and try and imitate his sound. he and his band are untouchable. this is what every rock bands should aim for, just loud and unrelenting rock n roll. this is your starting point...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply the BEST,
My favourite album of all time.If you purchase this it won't be long before you're singing every line, humming every note and picking up a guitar and doing it for yourself, trust me this is inspirational.love and only love.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential,
I've been a fan of Mr Young's work for something like 20 years, and yes I was a latecomer. I have most of his albums including the live Time Fades Away and Live Rust, but nothing could have prepared me for the sonic attack of Weld. There isn't a bad version here of any of the classics songs, but what particularly blew me away, if you excuse the pun, was Blowin In The Wind; I must admit to not expecting too much of it but the addition of explosions, sirens and machine gun sounds turned it into a work of art.
If you don't have this in your collection then you're missing out. Truly an essential album.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away? Yeah!,
I bought this cos I loved Hey Hey, My My - possibly the best rock n roll lyrics ever... but I got the best live album I ever bought instead. Over 2 hours long, it typifies his gigs - he usually blasts for 3 hours and doesn't leave any strings on his guitar. Sounds like it's happening here too. Skip 'Ragged Glory' as a place to start with NY- this is the best possible intro, but in saying that, everything else you will buy afterwards won't seem as hardcore.
F*!@in' Up...fantastic...Hey Hey, My My is still classic (love the recent Oasis cover), Cinnamon Girl is brilliant and Cortez The Killer is eerily great. But Welfare Mothers is probably the best. Wow. The little bit at the end (well the last 4 minutes) is absolutely mental!
Neil Young is as important today for his influence on the grunge era as he ever was with his less-mental albums. Harvest? Nah, mate...get hooked on these -scorchin'- tracks instead. Not an acoustic in sight. Just the way we like it, man.
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