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Americana

3.9 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 5, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Americana is the first album from Neil Young & Crazy Horse in nearly nine years. Crazy Horse is: Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, Poncho Sampedro, and Neil Young. As you ll see from the track-listing, Americana is collection of classic, American folk songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred to as "protest songs," "murder ballads," or campfire-type songs passed down with universal, relatable tales for everyman. Some of these compositions which, like "Tom Dooley" and "Oh Susannah," were written in the 1800s, while others, like "This Land Is Your Land" (utilizing the original, widely misinterpreted "deleted verses") and "Get A Job," are mid-20th-century folk classics. It s also interesting to note that "God Save The Queen," Britain s national anthem, also became the de facto national anthem of sorts before the establishment of The Union as we know it until we came to adopt our very own "The Star Spangled Banner," which has been recognized for use as early as 1889 and made our official national anthem in 1931. Each of these compositions is very much part of the fabric of our American heritage; the roots of what we think of as "Americana" in cultural terms, using songs as a way of passing along information and documenting our past. What ties these songs together is the fact that while they may represent an America that may no longer exist, the emotions and scenarios behind these songs still resonate with what s going on in the country today with equal, if not greater impact nearly 200 years later. The lyrics reflect the same concerns and are still remarkably meaningful to a society going through economic and cultural upheaval, especially during an election year. They are just as poignant and powerful today as the day they were written.

From the Artist

AMERICANA is the first album from Neil Young & Crazy Horse in nearly nine years. Crazy Horse is: Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, Poncho Sampedro, and Neil Young. As you’ll see from the track-listing, AMERICANA is collection of classic, American folk songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred to as “protest songs,” “murder ballads,” or campfire-type songs passed down with universal, relatable tales for everyman. Some of these compositions which, like “Tom Dooley” and “Oh Susannah,” were written in the 1800s, while others, like “This Land Is Your Land” (utilizing the original, widely misinterpreted “deleted verses”) and “Get A Job,” are mid-20th-century folk classics. It’s also interesting to note that “God Save The Queen,” Britain’s national anthem, also became the de facto national anthem of sorts before the establishment of The Union as we know it until we came to adopt our very own “The Star Spangled Banner,” which has been recognized for use as early as 1889 and made our official national anthem in 1931. Each of these compositions is very much part of the fabric of our American heritage; the roots of what we think of as “Americana” in cultural terms, using songs as a way of passing along information and documenting our past. What ties these songs together is the fact that while they may represent an America that may no longer exist, the emotions and scenarios behind these songs still resonate with what’s going on in the country today with equal, if not greater impact nearly 200 years later. The lyrics reflect the same concerns and are still remarkably meaningful to a society going through economic and cultural upheaval, especially during an election year. They are just as poignant and powerful today as the day they were written.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Oh Susannah
  2. Clementine
  3. Tom Dula
  4. Gallows Pole
  5. Get A Job
  6. Travel On
  7. High Flyin' Bird
  8. Jesus' Chariot
  9. This Land Is Your Land
  10. Wayfarin' Stranger
  11. God Save The Queen


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B007N85ZXY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,849 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Some of these reviews are really taking ole Neil to task here for no reason. It's pretty much what you *should* expect from Neil and Crazy Horse doing a bunch of their favorite tunes from the past. There is not a specific focus on a time period here (ala Ry Cooder). They're just kind of burning through songs they love that have a kinda-sorta theme, which was kind of the point of this release, IMO. This is Crazy Horse, folks, they've been putting out this exact same kind of stuff for decades.

They are not a technically accomplished band (as a unit), and if you like Crazy Horse, you [again] should probably know this. It's just a bunch of old rockers getting together in Neil's barn to have a good time and record some rock tracks.

As stated in some of the 1-star reviews, this album doesn't break new ground, doesn't provide any other-worldly experiences, etc. It's a standard NY&CH album. For me, it fits right in with anything they've knocked out since the REAL good stuff of old. In other words, it ain't Rust Never Sleeps and it ain't Live Rust. What it IS is loud, nasty, gritty, heartfelt, and quickly and passionately played and recorded ... basically what you expect from Neil when he's in the mood to rock (ie rather than reflect acoustically).

I think some of these negative reviews may be coming from kids who are building their personal music experience and trying to compare this album to something like Harvest or whatever. Kids, musicians like Neil get tired of trying to change the world sometimes, and a man of Neil's stature and history, who has lived 67 years, lived through multiple wars that he personally busted his butt to sing about and campaign against, with a story that would top the average joe's, a disabled son, a [fairly] recent aneurysm....
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Format: MP3 Music
It's been too long since Neil Young and Crazy Horse have made a studio album together. In previous years, Neil Young has released some fantastic folk records (PRARIE WIND), but he's been away from the rock-n-roll that marked his early career. With Crazy Horse back in the studio, we're given a taste of the rocking Neil Young we used to know.

AMERICANA isn't exactly a new album; it's an album of American folk classics. AMERICANA isn't exactly that either, these songs aren't so much covers as much as reimaginings. The opening track for example, "Oh Sussanah," feels raw and built from the ground-up. The renditions here don't feel reverent, they feel like live, off-the-cuff, jam sessions. Many of these tracks feel like they were recording in one take, bringing an extra level of energy to these American standards. At its very best, Neil Young and Crazy Horse breathe new life into old classics. "Jesus Chariot" for example, has been played to death, but its appearance here on AMERICANA is exciting and raw. These archaic public domain standards sound familiar but here, they are rarely boring.

The album ends on an ironic "God Save the Queen." It feels like an appropriate and sarcastic ending to an album that never took itself too seriously. Most the album is fun, but the rendition of "This Land is Your Land" feels like it goes on too long. At its very worst, the album feels like a band simply warming up or doing a sound-check.

Equal parts reverent, ironic, and raw, AMERICANA will leave you hoping that this isn't all that Neil Young and Crazy Horse have been working on lately. Hopefully this album is just a studio warm-up for something more to come.
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Format: Audio CD
You never get bored listening to Neil. Every album is different and that keeps him relevant and fresh. Sure some albums don't always work 100% of the time but you always find something interesting on them.

Said to be the first of two new albums with Crazy Horse, Americana is an inspired rendition of early American folk and protest songs and a revisit of Neil's musical beginings in the early 1960's, when many of these songs were first played by him. In fact the band is joined by Steven Stills on High Flying Bird, a song Stills was playing when he and Neil first met.

Musically, the album recalls Ragged Glory another great Crazy Horse album and does not contain a weak track. I must admit I did approach the album with some caution, after reading the initial reports of a "folk" record, but it works - even God Save The Queen (My Country 'tis Of Thee), that for some reason I cannot seem to get out of my head,it is a great song. The children's choir fits nicely and Crazy Horse adds some bite to this very good collection of Murder Ballads,Folk,Doo Wop and Gospel songs.You will have heard these songs previously, but never as presented here in these different and intriguing arrangements.

Similarly the lyrics used are not the sanitised 1950's folk era versions,rather the original versions e.g Clementine- whith the dark whole story told following Clementine's drowning. Woody Gutherie's "This Land Is Your Land" has the added verses refering to the depression era soup lines (the question raised - is this really these unfortunate people's Land?),the reference to signs saying this Land is NOT your land and Woody's belief that in fact it was his and your land.
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