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Neil Young: Journeys [DVD] 
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In May of 2011, Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown Victoria from his idyllic hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall where he intimately performed the last two nights of his solo world tour. Along the drive, Young recounted insightful and introspective stories from his youth to Academy Award® winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme. This all-new documentary includes 12 live concert performances.
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The gig contains a number of songs performed in 2011-12 using the synthetic Le Noise effect. The songs performed include new takes on Gold Rush, I Believe in You, Out of the Blue and Ohio. There's even a couple of otherwise unreleased songs for good measure. But what knocked me back was the performance of the Le Noise songs... Sign of Love, Hitchhiker, Love and War and Rumblin' are here. All good songs on the album cut, frankly (which you prefer, will be down to preference), but have a life and energy here which I would find hard to believe anyone would be able to turn away from. Two songs, however, stand above the rest. Peaceful Valley Boulevard is haunting and the finale, Walk With Me, hits notes he rarely did back in 'the day'.
Some will dismiss this on the grounds of the album it supports, but don't. Live at Berlin was a follow up to otherwise monotone Trans album, and is one of his most eye opening releases. This does the same for Le Noise, and really doesn't disappoint.
* Why do people post a "review" of a product they've neither listened to / watched, or bought?....then distort ratings by giving it 1 star or 5 stars?
* Why do amazon mix reviews from different versions of a product (eg, blu-ray v dvd / cd v sacd) when they're sometimes several years apart in release date & mastering?, and in the case of blu-ray v dvd, sometimes quite different in content/extras?
Anyway.....a clue to the lack of a UK release date for both blu-ray & dvd lies with the word "Sony". The film is on cinema release, and not scheduled to make the rounds (smaller "art" cinemas most likely) of UK cinemas until Jan/Feb, according to NY fanzine sites. The product release dates will likely be a month or so after that. If the film was on an independent label, maybe this would be different.
For long-term NY fans, I suspect this is likely to be considered a 5-star review of his pension-age life (so far), looking back on a journey through his childhood, in the small "town in North Ontario", and his much-loved Massey Hall in Toronto. The concert footage is from his solo Le Noise tour, and includes a few gems from his past, with yet more variations in the arrangements.
There are some excellent detailed reviews of this blu-ray disc from amazon.com (should appear below these UK reviews), so I won't repeat that detail here. For me, a couple of recent albums (incl Le Noise) have been a little disappointing, but Neil's always been unpredictable & always liable to hit the heights again just when some think he may be on a downhill slope.
I made the choice to buy a code-free panasonic blu-ray player (via amazon), having relied on code-free dvd players for years, to let me buy some of the commercially obscure music I like, which sometimes isn't released here. So, just over £16 for this disc from moviemars (arrived in a week), one of half a dozen region A blu-rays I've "had to" buy already. For me, this justifies the additional cost for a code-free player, but I appreciate a lot won't share this view.
Neil may well have grown into a charicature of the "Old Man" he once wrote about, but his music still stands out when he's in the mood, and the opportunity to observe the character as well as his material is certainly worth adding this to the superb Heart of Gold film by the same director, as a further chapter in NY's career.
To this new one Neil returns to his Canada roots, we take a tour around with him at times joined by his brother, with solo performances from his 'En Noise' tour. If you are sort of Neil fan this is unmissable stuff, Demmie's genius is gettinbg us to know the man more as he drives around, as he visits an old boyhood fishing spot, how things have changed in town, the ministers house, the various halls he's played there in his early days, right upto the songs throughout live loud and absolute magic (shame there's not a CD of these performances as well).
Neil Young is one of music's legendary greats but he's still moving the music forwards,still full of ideas and passionate about his music as he ever was.
This is a release of very rare and enjoyable quality, Demmie has caught the man and his music and has come up with a film to treasure.
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