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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOUNG PLAYS OLD
The Neil Young publicity machine has been going at full throttle recently,an album stream ,via a national newspaper,a half hour interview on Radio Four,and news of at least two "new" projects in the pipeline.
I have lived with the new album for a couple of weeks.via the website,and now the physical release has arrived,as one reviewer has stated,as noted on the...
Published 22 months ago by Finbar the looney

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shambolic, spontaneous and glorious
I don't think there has been a completely essential Neil Young release in quite a while - and I include 'Prairie Wind' and 'Le Noise'. 'Americana' isn't either, but it's a jaunty, rollicking ride with Crazy Horse doing what they do best or worst, depending on your preference. Played loud, from start to finish, this has some real pleasures to enjoy with those crunchy Young...
Published 22 months ago by zuma76


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOUNG PLAYS OLD, 10 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
The Neil Young publicity machine has been going at full throttle recently,an album stream ,via a national newspaper,a half hour interview on Radio Four,and news of at least two "new" projects in the pipeline.
I have lived with the new album for a couple of weeks.via the website,and now the physical release has arrived,as one reviewer has stated,as noted on the sticker on the cover this "gleefully irreverant and shambolic garage rocker"is still as mesmerising as ever
if you are expecting a re run of "Harvest"then do not buy this record,for this is Neil rocking as only he can.
"Oh Susannah" is a great starter,it rocks and rolls its way into your brain ,"i come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee"so says the lyric,do Lynryd skynrd know this?
"Clementine" will be familiar to most,but not sung like this,this is a very good version of the old song written way back in 1863.
"Tom Pula" also known as" Tom Dooley",written in 1866 is at over 8 minutes,the longest song yet,and yet again shows YOung on good form.
"Gallows Pole" was of course covered by Led zepelin,as well as some others,this version,is far more strident,ubeat and happy,ironically it is about seeing someone hanging on a pole!
"Get a job" i seem to recall a rock'n'roll band,maybe Sha na na in the mid sixties doing this song,apparently
according to the booklet it was "The silhouettes" in 1957,oh well,you can't win em all!
"Travel on" dates from a recording in 1958,and is based on a British folk song,this six minute song,is a good old hoe down type song.
"High flying bird" dates from the mid sixties and Stephen Stills,ex Young band member played on the original.
"Jesus chariot"also known as "She'll be coming round the mountain"was written in the 1800s and is based on a negro spiritual and is about the second coming of Jesus.
"This land is your land"was written in the mid 1940s by Woody Guthrie,and has since become one of the most famous protest songs ever.
"Wayfarin'stranger" was written in the1900s and still sounds good to me
"God save the Queen" is a brilliant version,of the National anthem,and not a Sex pistols tribute.
Neil Young and crazy horse have made an original and idiosyncratic album that is great to listen to,and funto play.
I look forward to his next reissue project with high expectation!!
The packaging is a gatefold sleeve with extensive notes in the booklet.

NEIL YOUNG
RALPH MOLINA
BILLY TALBOT
PONCHO SANPEDRO

56.55

RELEASED IN 2012

REPRISE RECORDS
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shambolic, spontaneous and glorious, 27 Jun 2012
This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
I don't think there has been a completely essential Neil Young release in quite a while - and I include 'Prairie Wind' and 'Le Noise'. 'Americana' isn't either, but it's a jaunty, rollicking ride with Crazy Horse doing what they do best or worst, depending on your preference. Played loud, from start to finish, this has some real pleasures to enjoy with those crunchy Young and Sampedro guitar parts and Talbot/Molina groove. Of course it's not refined - and in some cases - in tune, but that's the deal with NY & CH. Maybe some listeners will miss the melodies of the original (or most popular) versions of these folk songs, but the Americana interpretions give them a new edge and fit the Crazy Horse style perfectly. With the exception of 'Get a Job' (worryingly straying close to The Shocking Pinks era), the songs and arrangements hang together well. It reminds me a little of 'Living With War', but with a much looser feel given the band. Standout tracks ? Probably none, as I'm reminded of the quip 'Its all one song' - but that's no bad thing. Having said that, the gentle and sparse take on 'Wayfaring Stranger' is wonderful. Go for it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Dislocation, 13 Jun 2012
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
There is an alchemy when it comes to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. This is a mixture that just works. They have been called workmanlike and many more derogatory names and yet they have an easy and enjoyable vibe which makes their music somehow work. So any reunion of Neil Young and Crazy Horse does stir a lot of emotions and feelings. Then to hear that its just a rehashing of old songs from American history, for me at least, poured cold water over any interest I had. My expectations were lowered. So this is a bit of welcome relief. Its not a legendary album like their 70's collaborations or Ragged Glory, but its not bad.

It is a rocker of an album in a lazy, easy going style. Tracks like Oh Susannah, Clementine, High Flyin' Bird and Jesus Chariot are the kind of tracks that make you smile and be thankful these guys still make records. Its just a good listening experience. However, there is a sense of dislocation with some of these tracks as they are (after all) old tracks and as such have influenced many tracks since. So listening to Oh Susannah (for example) I hear Venus (She's Got It) in the chorus. Maybe its just me but there are other times where I am hearing other tracks. Some tracks just don't work for me either - Get a Job is one I am yet to warm to.

However, this is a pretty good listen. Its not going to be to everyone's taste as it isn't ground breaking, epic or legendary. There are no tracks on here which sit as high on the NY & CH list as their absolute best numbers. But its a solid offering that rips along nicely and works as a reminder that when these guys get together than can almost turn lead into gold (Clementine just is proof of this as it starts off quite menacingly and the original is anything but). Listen before buying and don't expect a classic - just a solid offering.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's Nout' Wrong Wi' It!, 20 Jun 2012
By 
B. R. Hacker "djmacca" (West Country England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
I've had a feeling of late that Neil Young has decided to Harvest some overdue cash by celebrating his catalogue of coughs and sneezes. These strewn into a Nerds collection archive which may or may not be implanted into your brain directly via Blu Ray head tablet in the future. Americana has turned my head around and made me remember why i love this angry genius minstrel head and shoulders above the rest.

Americana is a new release of traditional American songs dating back to a really! really! long time ago by Crazy Horse who sound tighter, louder and almost turbo injected, the sound is so crisp, these mo fo's know how to geeeet the groove on.......i'm so wasted!!!!
Neil's voice seems to be bolstered by playing with the band reaching above the ......i'm so wasted honestly, listen to this album .I'ts the Bollocks.
I still think he earns too much though.
I'm finding it hard to do this objectively but i got ot tell you most of the tracks are excellent.
Hey they've got a female choir!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is he 'aving a larf?, 28 Jun 2012
By 
S. Green (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
Well I had to buy it being a fan - and thousands of others will have done the same. What's it like you say? Well to me nothing more than a bunch of (ahem) performance enhanced outtakes from an NY and CH jam session of 30 odd years ago. Discarded by more sober and clear headed record company execs saying "you're not using our money to release that!". Still it's Neil Young, one of the few musicians from the old days still keeping it real, so I couldn't award less than four stars. As to how many times I'll get it down off the CD shelf, dust it off and play it - well that's another matter. Personally I've bought it, listened to it and will now file under "novelty" - probably only to be brought out for my own enhanced listening sessions when I feel like playing some of the more curious parts of my collection. As I say, if your a fan you'll buy it anyway if you haven't already. As the pro reviewers probably say - "one for the completists only"
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT< BUT BRILLIANT !, 9 Jun 2012
By 
pete clack - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
I'm a huge Neil Young fan,have all of his albums, so a reunion set with Crazy Horse was something I really looked forward to.Yes there is a double album of new songs to come later, but here we have a set of basically American folk songs including our National anthem for good measure. This is not a set of nicely acoustic folk songs but garage rock by the absolute master of the genre. You may know the songs but you've never heard them played like this and that's what for me makes this such a superb NY album, they could all be his songs because they all have his stamp over them. His version of Gallows Pole, is as good as Led Zepellin's version although it's older than they are.Also his grungy version of Oh Suzanna, it's a classic reworking of a song we knew as children,mind if it had been taught like this we would have enjoyed it much more. Then there's Tom Dula, which we know much better from Lonnie Donegan's huge hit from the fifties Tom Dooley, also well known is what we used to sing She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain When She Comes,Neil and Crazyt Horse do a really wonderful grungy take on this folk song,breathing some new much needed life into it.The set finishes with God Save The Queen,when I first heard it was on this release I was facinated with what he'd do with it, our national anthem, but he adds a choir and again it sounds like a Neil/Crazy Horse song, some will love it others not so much,but to give him credit he's done a fine version of a song that began it's days in the American War Of Independance, a lot of years ago now.This album is a grower and because you may well know some of the songs,and the lyrics are included in an interesting slim line booklet, a adding to the feeling of the release, you'll soon be singing along.This could be an inspiration for us to start breathing some modern life into our old folk songs, there's plenty of them. This crelease is old and new all at the sane time,it is a hugely enjoyable album, you never pidgeon hole NY, he's an original and that's what for me makes him one of the greatest artists of all time, and this set adds to that.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Just a bundle of laughs guys....., 15 Jun 2012
By 
Justix (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
Neil is one of those guys who can do what he wants, when he wants, when it comes to making recorded music. His record company just says: do it Neil, we can sell it. And as Neil is one of those guys who likes to just play and if the mood takes him to have a laugh with a few old tunes with his mates then he does. Isn't music supposed to be fun? In the days of these songs a bunch of guys would hang around in a bar with a few fiddles and guitars, drink loads and have a bundle of laughs. Bruce has already done all the authentic ones and this is Neil's take on them. I love them and if you dont get it - I suggest you have a few drinks, turn up the volume and give them another go. It ain't serious stuff. If you still don't like it lets see what rabbit Neil pulls out of his hat next - I can't wait as he's always good value one way or the other. At least he's still got that cheeky sense of humour - tongue still firmly in cheek - make the most of it as he sure ain't getting any Younger!!
Just to add - i for one would love to be at the UK gig when Neil and the Horse do God Save the Queen - maybe this year? :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A covers record? Who saw this coming? As always with Young, expect the unexpected., 21 Sep 2012
This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
On paper, there is good cause for fans to rejoice at the announcement of Americana. It would appear that the famously mercurial and single-minded musician has put his hand deep into America's folk song history, and taken his noisiest backing band and incarnation with him.

The opening strains of Oh Susannah greet this first record that Young has made with the full Crazy Horse line-up since the underwhelming Broken Arrow in 1996, with a splutter and a drum rattle showcasing a band struggling to locate a tune. It's a bewildering and tuneless opening 40-odd seconds, but the band soon find their feet and Young beckons in the chant from the choir. And so the record opens out for the next 57 mins of a trip through the heritage of American song, until the dying strains of a stupefying take on 'God Save The Queen' fade out. This is certainly not bucolic dotage like many of his peers.

Whilst an imperfect record, the virtues of Americana should not be taken lightly. Amongst the long winded passages that do not always pay off, there are flatteringly loose and effective arrangements on cliched standards. There's a rumbling take on She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain (called Jesus' Chariot here) that fizzes and bangs, a classic Crazy Horse jam on High Flyin' Bird, a pretty acoustic touch on Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land and the skiffle stomp of Gallows Pole that doesn't reflect too badly against Led Zeppelin's own take from III.

There is a feeling that this album was recorded with few takes, and even fewer rehearsals. You sense that the band is stretching out, and dusting off the cobwebs for what Young has already confirmed is coming next: an album of Neil Young originals, pencilled in for release before 2012 draws to a close.

With some editing, this could have been a more palatable listening experience as a whole. Most people would probably concur that Tom Dula outstays it's welcome by at least half of its running time. Similarly, the recording of God Save The Queen is a bum note that sounds pained and a sorry point on which to finish the album. It is the very sound of Neil Young that his detractors hear when they wish to criticise his style. It's a pity.

On balance, this album is a success in its own scruffy way. In a world where sheen and slickness holds court, it is refreshing to hear a unique voice of a dying breed. What comes next is anyone's guess. Young could even shelve the album of originals slated for release, and decide that what he really wants to do is to make a Euro-pop record. Let's hope he doesn't. It's good to hear this team kicking out some tunes and starting up the engine. Long may they all run.
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young Americana, 1 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
I read some of the reviews about this and was not really sure what I was going to get but went ahead and I am very happy I did.
This is a group of musicians playing old songs you have heard a million times before but in a totally new way. Its a bit raw but just a group having a great time and you can tell. Love it. HG
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Won Over Again, 12 Aug 2012
This review is from: Americana (Audio CD)
Interesting the 1 star reviews and the comments added. Some have doubted the honesty of those professing to own all his other albums, loving them, but hating this. I'd tend to agree. If you like previous stuff, you couldn't not like this. As Young himself once gloriously pronounced, "it's all one song!"

I've just checked my own collection, and find I have 43 Neil Young titles; studio and live albums, plus Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, and a whole a bunch of tribute albums since I think the songs are so strong, no one - with the possible exception of Wayne Coyne - can spoil them.

So, when Americana came out, I thought, Do I want Neil Young's take on Clementine or She'll be Coming Round the Mountain? And decided not. However...

I just spent three weeks in the States. I'd bought Plan B's Ill Manors at the airport and was looking forward to listening to it as we drove round California. It didn't work. Don't get me wrong. Ill Manors is a fantastic piece of work. Definitely 5-star stuff. But in the California sunshine it just wasn't right. So, I stopped off and bought Americana. And suddenly the car was filled with everything I've ever loved about the man and Crazy Horse.

Grinding chords and chugging basslines. Dodgy harmonies. And Young's love-it-or-hate-it idiosynchratic voice that, from my teens had transported me from the London suburbs to the Americas. And there I was, in the place itself, listening to it. Bliss.

What really struck was that Neil Young's take on these on these old classics have transformed them into his own songs. Even God Save the Queen sounds like he wrote it.

In all fairness, this isn't Neil Young's greatest record. The five stars represents the fact that 'I love it', as the Amazon rating-system reflects. After all, nothing can touch the heights of individual songs such as Expecting to Fly, Like a Hurricane, Powderfinger, Birds, See the Sky About to Rain, Pardon My Heart etc etc. (My God he's written some superb songs!) But Americana is good. Very good. It's passionate. (Ironically, my least favourite Young album is probably Are You Passionate?, which isn't!) It's raw. And everyone seems to be having a fantastic time.

I'm back home now. It still sounds great to these ears. Though since getting back Ill Manors has been blasting from the speakers twice as much!
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