Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Edition - Sgt. Pepper Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's
Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ditch Masterpiece, 18 Aug. 2008
This review is from: On the Beach (Audio CD)
After the success of the single Heart of Gold from the hugely popular Harvest album, Young famously said "the song put me in the middle of the road, which became a bore so I headed for the ditch". To prove the point he made three albums that contained none of the mainstream appeal of Harvest. On the Beach was the last of the three 'ditch' albums recorded, but was second released; Tonight's The Night (second recorded) was kept on ice, but apart from this, Tonight is the only other album in the trilogy currently available on CD. Not only is On The Beach the best album Neil ever made, it is also one of the three best albums I have ever owned by anyone. I came to the table via the oft travelled Harvest/Goldrush route, and amazingly, when I think about it now, when I first heard Beach I hated it and put it in the cupboard for two years. When I heard it again, I became progressively enchanted.

The despairing tone of Tonight's the Night is replaced with barbed cynicism that is musically and lyrically mesmerising. The album simmers with brooding classics like Revolution Blues, an apocolyptic vision of LA and the Manson murders, which occured after Young had recommended Manson to the record company. "I hate them worse than lepers and I kill them in their cars" is probably a reference to the bloody murder of an 18 year old kid in his car on the night of the Tate masacre. He was visiting staff and was unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The word Revolution is too respectable for Manson's Helter Skelter madness. Vampire Blues, is a swipe at the culture of big cars and the oil industry. (A typical bit of Young hypocricy since his penchant for thirsty vehicles at that time is well known).

The mood continues to darken right up to the last track, and man, what a last track! Ambulance Blues is a few seconds shy of nine minutes long; the very finest nine minutes in the history of recorded music. A brooding, bitter-sweet tirade about the old folky days, his musical critics, Nixon, and the ambiguous status of Young's collaborational band, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, ("You're all just pissing in the wind"). I know the song is similar to Bert Jansch's 'Needle of Death' but like other 'borrowed tunes' Young makes it sound far better than the song its melody was influenced by. On Ambulance Blues, the 'Dylan Kit' - what Neil called his harmonica and brace - is used to its best ever effect. Dylan did great things with that whistle, but even he never made it sound this good.

If you're eager to move on from Harvest and Goldrush, or you're working your way through the back catalogue, buy this album, listen to it once only, then listen to Zuma, American Stars 'n' Bars, his self named debut (underated) or something mellow like Comes a Time, then take this out again. But be warned, continued playing of this masterpiece may seriously damage your appreciation of anything else.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Oct 2013, 15:10:01 BST
Amazing Album! Superb review J.A, just wondering if you would be interested in reviewing our EP? We could send you a copy if you like?
All the best,
Dan | Lone Pine
Lone Pine - The Lock-Up Sessions Vol.1

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Oct 2013, 22:28:11 BST
J. A. Harvey says:
Thanks for the comments Dan, and as you suggest, Beach is one mother of an album. I'd love to review your latest album The Lock-Up sessions Vol 1, (couldn't find an EP), but you don't need to send it, I'll order it from Amazon, but I will be brutally honest. I've been on YouTube and I loved the croaky classic rock vocals on things like Anxiety, and I can't believe I haven't bumped into your music before.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2013, 19:04:54 BST
Hi J.A, nice to hear from you. A link to the EP is above in my original message ;) Happy to send one to you if you prefer? Fortunately (or unfortunately maybe?!) the YouTube link you found isn't us, but some Norwegian band who has stolen our name and put 'The' in front of it! I still hope you can't believe you haven't bumped into our music before ;) All the best, Dan | (Thee) Lone Pine

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013, 11:44:04 BST
J. A. Harvey says:
Thanks Dan, but I've ordered the CD as I'd prefer not to put my address on this forum. (Some people have had strange issues with some of my reviews) I'm fascinated by the confusion with your band, and I'm not even going to ask if you're the Lone Pine String Band because you would have mentioned the 'string band' part, (would explain the banjo appreciation though) Can't wait to hear it.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details