Release Date: Nov 13, 2015
Record label: Reprise
Neil Young spent much of the ‘80s wandering in his own unique wilderness. He remained as prolific as ever, but he leaped all over the stylistic map. Young had spent the ‘70s releasing one acclaimed album after another for Reprise Records, veering between acoustic-based folk rock like his #1 single “Heart of Gold” to the shambolic, amped up garage rock he recorded with Crazy Horse.
Neil Young is famous as a man who is going to do what he wants, and he's willing to pounce on a moment's inspiration and run with it if it pleases him. In 1987, Young decided he wanted to set aside rock & roll for a while and play the blues, and that's just what he did. He recruited his longtime musical partners Crazy Horse (Frank Sampedro on keys, Billy Talbot on bass, and Ralph Molina on drums), added a six-piece horn section (led by Steve Lawrence on tenor sax), and called the new band the Bluenotes, hitting the road with the new act in late 1987.
On the one hand, the 1988 LP This Note's For You was an admirably perverse move from Neil Young – an album decrying the use of pop music as a corporate branding tool (quaint, right?), dressed up as a big-band rhythm-and-blues review. On the other hand, it was a collection of mostly weak songs from his sketchy genre-session years, redeemed by neither the horn charts or the glossy production. The tour he put together around the album was hardly considered among Young's best.
Live document of the end of Shakey’s experimental period. As with many of his peers, the 80s proved to be an unforgiving decade for Neil Young, and an infuriating one for his fans. Stylistically veering from electronic music through to rockabilly and back to country, Young then moved to turgid, horn-driven R&B, which is where this latest addition to the Archives Performance Series finds him.