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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2004
While there are more than enough individual tracks dotted around his huge number of recordings to justify Neil Young’s major reputation there are only a few albums that, on their own, hold together as satisfyingly complete “works”. And… in the (self imposed) absence of any sensible retrospectives since 1977’s “Decade” (definitely the best place to start for any “casual buyer”) those not “in the know” could be in for some seriously expensive mistakes. So, what’s been worth the money since then? Well…for anyone looking for the mellower side of this brilliantly mercurial but annoyingly erratic artist here’s a few suggestions: “Comes a Time” (1978), “Freedom” (1989), “Harvest Moon” (1992) and “Unplugged” (1995).
“Unplugged”, a review of some of his best tracks from the previous 25 years, takes this often tired format to its highest levels. Opening with “The Old Laughing Lady” (a wonderfully laid-back acoustic re-working of a stand-out track from his first solo album) and followed by a beautifully low-key version of his Buffalo Springfield hit “Mr Soul”, the album just flows from start to finish. And… on the way through you get arguably better versions than the original outings of “Pocahontas”, “Harvest Moon”, “Look Out for My Love” & “Transformer Man”. Played and sung with the sincerity of an artist who wants to deliver a cohesive retrospective of his career, and impressive in that it avoids revisiting many of his better known, more obvious choices, this is mellow music at its very best and an album that leaves you feeling… happy. Money well spent!
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on 13 September 2002
A beautiful album from Neil.The start of the Album is very intense,where he performs a great version of "Mr Soul".The set is nicely varied and the first surprise is a lovely song called "Stringman",a song about Stephen Stills(So they say)Next up is the brilliant reworking of "Like a hurricane" with Neil on pump organ and Harmonica.Things become more laid back when his friends join him on stage,Nils Lofgren plays accordion on "Helpless"Another good reworking is "Transformer man" and the final part of the album are tracks taken from "Harvest moon",although another surprise is the delightful "Look out for my love" and a lovely "Long may you run"
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there are few people who doubt that Neil Young is a genius at both writing and playing music, if this is so then Neil Young's MTV Unplugged is without doubt one of the finest works of art to emerge from the last century. His delecate, melodic and mature approach to such songs as 'Like a Hurricane', 'Helpless' and 'Mr. Soul'and his simplistic and appropriate use of instruments leaves any listener, whether a fan of Young or not, with an emotion undiscribable and which forces them to play it over again and again. The very prominant lead vocals of Young and angelic backing vocals adds to a very light and almost untouchable atmosphere. The songs are re-written in the true unplugged style and hearing songs such as 'Like a Hurricane'and 'Mr. Soul' somewhat lacking in burning guitar solos only makes it more enjoyable to listen to. Young really comes into his own in his performance of 'Pocahontas'which still shows he is as good solo performer as he is band member in Crazy Horse. He still retains his excellent vocals and distinctive harmonica playing that make him enjoyable to listen to.
Like so few albums Neil Young Unplugged is one you can just simply play again and again, it really is like a hurricane.
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on 17 December 2015
There are few things in this life that match the intensity of the first half dozen or so songs. For me the 2nd Test Match between the British Lions and the Springboks in 2009 comes closest. Love old Neily.
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on 20 May 2014
I'm probably not alone in enjoying Neil Young's acoustic music better than his electric output - I saw him live last year with Crazy Horse and his three acoustic songs ( a new one, Helpless and Blowin' in the Wind) got far more applause than the songs with the band. Whereas some Unplugged albums were band trying a different format for NY this was him doing what he does best. It's not a disc of gentle guitar strumming, and the pump-organ accompanied Like a Hurricane is as exciting and dramatic as any of his other versions.
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on 2 January 2004
for this album which is almost up to the quality of Live Rust. The collection of tracks works well and is a good representation of the extreme highs and lows of his output. It may not feature Cowgirl in the Sand or Cortez but the versions of Helpless, Unknown Legend, Harvest Moon , well in fact every track, represent excellent versions of these tracks. That is what works so well with Neil Youngs music, acoustic versions sound as good as the more "heavy" versions.
As previously stated in one of the other reviews, the star of this collection is Like a Hurricane. the use of the pump organ was inspired.
If you need to try Neil Young, as everyone should, this album gives you one side of the equation. Try Live Rust for the other.
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There are so many great tracks on this album that this could easily be a best of! The unplugged format is perfect for Neil Young and really shows his songs off in their best light and his voice goes just perfectly with acoustic guitar. This is where I began my love of Neil Young and I really believe it is a great starting point in his music and style before delving deeper into his other albums. A great album.

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on 4 August 2014
This is a live album, of course, and ,for me, doesn't get going until track 9. I think this one is for dedicated Neil Young fans only, but, having said that, if you can buy it fairly cheaply, and you like Harvest Moon, then,well, take a punt!
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on 14 December 2000
This album came into my life a few months ago and has rarely been out of the CD player. It is just outstanding. Every song is a stand-out from the opening bars of 'Old Laughing Lady' through to the closing chords of the superb 'From Hank to Hendrix'. If you enjoy Young's distinctive voice and guitar playing, you will treasure this outstanding collection of songs.
Especially good after a few beers!
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on 14 May 2009
Quite possibly the best album Neil Young has ever released. The acoustic, stripped back arrangements really suit the selection of songs and highten their emotional impact. An excellent starting point for those who want to get to know Neil's music. Certainly, it was the first album I bought by Neil and I immediately wanted to hear more of his work. A simply stunning record that I still enjoy listening to years after first hearing it.
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