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Greendale (Bonus DVD) CD+DVD

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Audio CD, CD+DVD, August 19, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"One of the most ambitious works of his career...a great artist once again at the peak of his game." (Chicago Tribune) "Young has rarely sounded so fresh and uncompromising artist with the courage to follow his muse." (Chicago Sun Times) For the first time in his storied career, Neil Young has created a fictional place filled with characters and incidents and written an album about them. The album, and the place, is Greendale and the people are the Green family. The songs are among the most personal he's ever penned, ranging from the dark and biting to the light and humorous. Still surprising and still stirring it up, Young adds a stunning new album to his place in rock history with Greendale.

Neil Young has long been one of rock's great romantics, mourning the utopian ideals of the "hippie" '60s and his vision of what America was…or at least should have been. In some ways, Greendale--which could be described as a "rock novel"--adds a mourning for humanity itself to the mix, as Young presents his vision of America 2003 via the story of a fictional family in a small California town. There's drama galore--a cop is killed by a drug dealer; Grandpa has a fatal heart attack while pointing a gun at a TV reporter--but most of these songs also work individually as terrific rock tunes. It's a more subdued Crazy Horse this time out, with only Neil on lead guitar and little of the distorted rage found on albums like Ragged Glory. But "Grandpa's Interview" has a gorgeous riff that recalls Zuma's "Don't Cry No Tears"; "Be the Rain" is a genuine Neil Young anthem about love, peace, saving the planet, and doing the right thing. A few pieces sound a tad meandering at first, which could lead one to conclude that Greendale is only a good Neil Young album. Repeated listening, however, should confirm that Greendale is a great Neil Young album. --Bill Holdship

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Falling From Above 7:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Double E 5:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Devil's Sidewalk 5:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Leave The Driving 7:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Carmichael10:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Bandit 5:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Grandpa's Interview12:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Bringin' Down Dinner 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Sun Green11:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Be The Rain 9:13$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B0000AI44Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,652 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Klein on November 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As 57 year old "child of the 60's" and former 70's and early 80's FM Radio Rock DJ, and guitarist, I've been a fan and close follower of Neil's music, and politics (the two are often inseperable) from the beginning, and own a fairly complete library of his works. I haven't always liked everything Neil has done and I can be critical of his music (and politics). I've also never felt compelled to write a review before, so believe me when I say that Greendale really grabbed me. This is Neil Young from the very bottom of his soul and at his very best! Neil has gone back to the classic Concept (album) format to tell an ingeniously entertaining tale and deliver his message of peace, love and respect for planet Earth. Characters that captivate the imagination, tongue in cheek humor, some directed at Neil himself, tragedy, death and serious message intertwine throughout. The electric music on the CD is simply great basic from the gut blues based Rock-n-Roll, including great guitar chops, Neil, not trying to be dazzling or fancy, just delivering solid riffs and solos that have me listening time and again. To top it all off the Bonus DVD solo acoustic performance recorded in a small club in Ireland is more than worth the price alone. Thousands of words will be written about Greendale but in my estimation one word says it all, BRILLIANT! Unfortunately, in today's sad narrow minded rock and roll radio market the general public isn't likely to hear much, if any, of Greendale. As previously mentioned I've never felt compelled to write an online review before but listen to Greendale and you too will likely be driven to spread the word. Collectively, we owe that to Neil for coming up with such a great work absoultely worthy of multi-Platinum sales status. Thanks, Neil Young, for more great music I will enjoy for the rest of my life.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By T. Brown on September 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The more I listen, the more I've come to believe "Greendale" is one of Neil's true masterpieces. At first, it seems like just another Crazy Horse album with the volume, distortion and anger turned way down. But, like a Steinbeck novel, its brilliance grows on you. For a Crazy Horse collaboration, there is an intimacy to these songs that I find thrilling. Without question their best work since "Ragged Glory". The feeling is one of sitting on a beat-up couch in a garage some lazy summer evening while Neil and the boys jam and tell you the story of small town dreams, both dashed and realized. "Carmichael" and "Grandpa's Interview" are nearly perfect both musically and lyrically; the beauty lies in a masterful balance of Ralph and Billy's propulsive rhythms and Neil's barely-restrained fuzzed guitar and seemingly stream-of-consciousness singing. The rest of the album is just as satisfying, especially the way-too-cool-for-words rockabilly anthem "Double EE" and the opening track "Falling from Above," which so wonderfully sets the stage for the hour+ journey. A definite candidate as a desert island disc.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John A Wright on September 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I can understand why some of the other reviewers haven't liked this album much; it's a dynamic narrative story that's almost cryptic without the proper context. I was lucky enough to see Neil and Crazy Horse this summer on the pre-Greendale tour -- for those who haven't heard about it, I'll briefly describe. Neil and the band put together a rather post-mod stage show replete with actors, sets, background slide displays and (naturally) the band ripping out some fantastic live versions of the songs in sequence. It wasn't too dissimilar to the total impact of the Rust tour, without the greatest-hits package, of course. With all of the multi-media supporting Neil's musical narration of the Green family, the story was comprehensible, and to me, very moving.
Without that previous experience, this album might have sounded like so much grungy sludge when I bought it.
Luckily for the new exposee, Neil has thoughtfully provided a live DVD (accoustic, so it's not too much Horse overkill) that fleshes out the storyline. Buy this CD, but watch the DVD first. With that concert under your belt, the true power of these songs rise to the surface.
Regarding the story and music... some comparisons to Our Town are apt -- put that great play through a blender with Neil's earlier multi-generational and drug-related works (think Harvest & Tonight's the Night) and you get a good idea of what he's trying to do. The tunes are vintage Horse -- more Zuma and Broken Arrow than Ragged Glory. The melancholy that permeates the middle half of this record seems indicative of Neil's view on society as a whole: he doesn't get it, he doesn't particularly like it, and it makes him sad.
Lucky for us: a sad, cranky Neil Young makes some beautiful and thought-provoking music.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Louis Irwin on September 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
A very cohesive solid album, but rather than extol it, I'd rather address the reviewer who asks "If this is the Worst Neil album ever?" Obviously, he/she feels differently.
1. Complaint: the lyrics are banal.
Answer: Neil is speaking through plain spoken small town folks. His voice is true to his characters.
There is nothing new under the sun. Therefore, we look for inspired delivery. I absolutely love the delivery when Neil's Granpa says, "It ain't an honor to be on TV. And it ain't a duty either."
Since I work in electric policy, I do love when Sun Green takes on the semi-fictitious "Power-Corp." I'm not sure it is my speakers, but my one production complaint is that the megaphone lyrics should ring out more clearly.
Compaint 2. That the music never goes anywhere.
Answer 2: Except for Sun Green, these lives generally don't go anywhere! From the start, the best Neil (ALL NEIL!) matches the music to the content. Do you want "Grandpa's Interview" to sound like Southern Man? I don't think so. If you need that, play that. Furthermore, Neil is giving detached omniscient narrative. There is enough melodramatic impassioned first person in the arts. This is not that. He already wrote "Down by the River." Neil is not going to write the exact same song twice. Even professional reviewers seem to make this type of mistake. Neil knows just how far or little the travels or "goes!" It is exactly how he wants it, or it is not released. With a novice artist, you can ask this question. If it is Neil, you can't ask that question -- you must ask WHY the music doesn't seem to go anywhere.
This reviewer reminds me of two fans that I saw commenting on "Going Home" of "Are You Passionate.
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