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Lucky Thirteen Import

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Audio CD, Import, January 5, 1993
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Past is prologue, so someone said. But the acoustic prologue to “Driftin’ Back,” the epic (and we mean epic, clocking in as it does at more the 27 gripping minutes) opening song of Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s inspired album Psychedelic Pill, sets the calendar at right now. This is an artist, ever in the moment, fully grounded, firmly rooted, renewing the ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Young Store

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Lucky Thirteen + Trans
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 5, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Dgc/Geffen/Reunion
  • ASIN: B000000OSM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sample And Hold
2. Transformer Man
3. Depression Blues
4. Get Gone
5. Don't Take Your Love Away From Me
6. Once An Angel
7. Where Is The Highway Tonight?
8. Hippie Dream
9. Pressure
10. Around The World
11. Mideast Vacation
12. Ain't It The Truth
13. This Note's For You

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Originally released in 1993 this album features notable guest artists including Gail Davies, Rufus Thibodeaux, Waylon Jennings and Crazy Horse to name a few. The album is subtitled Excursions Into Alien Territory, Lucky Thirteen is a compilation of material young recorded during the 80's, a time when he was roaming all over the musical map in search of inspiration. Some of the more unusual byways traveled by Young included Gary Numan-flavored electro-pop ('Pressure'), traditional country ('Once An Angel') and rockabilly ('Get Done'). Import only!


Strange to say, this retrospective of '80s recordings from Neil Young's lamentable stretch with Geffen Records is a must-own for true fans of the man. Though it's riddled with failed experiments in everything from proto-techno to rockabilly to blues-rock (thanks to a few tracks from Young's return-to-Reprise effort, This Note's for You), and offers up the most diluted rock of Young's remarkable career, Lucky 13 is fascinating on its own skewed terms--if for no other reason than it provides a perspective on a brilliant artist struggling to find his footing on alien terrain. The opener sets the scene: Young and Crazy Horse make like Kraftwerk as Young's drastically processed voice robotically intones, "I need a unit to sample and hold." One can imagine the response it and other techno-pop Trans (as in "transgression"?) tracks had on the "Heart of Gold" crowd. From there, Young and various groups ping-pong hither and yon, coming up with mostly head-scratchers in the process. Just look at Lucky 13 as a shortcut through a bad patch for Young, and be prepared for some hairpin curves along the route. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Don Schmittdiel on June 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young put together this compilation album in 1993 as a buy-out from Geffen Records. To Neil's credit, he did some manuevering to create a salable product, at least for his own loyal fan base. Unfortunately, the Geffen years were Neil's least prodigious, and some of Neil's choices for this project are wide open for second-guessers like me and you.
The Geffen years included Young songs copyrighted between 1982 and 1988, one year shy of the landmark 'Freedom' CD (Geffen must not be living right). 'Lucky Thirteen' opens with two songs from his 1983 release 'Trans', 'Sample and Hold' and 'Transformer Man'. While the extended version of 'Sample and Hold' (originally offered on the European import version of the album) is nice to have, 'Transformer Man' can be found on three other Young discs and two video releases. An unreleased composition from the 'Old Ways' sessions, 'Depression Blues' follows, a nice but unspectacular acoustic track. Two tracks from the officially released 'Old Ways' disc are also included, 'Once An Angel' and 'Where Is the Highway Tonight'. 'Once An Angel' is easily the better track chosen from this collection of acoustic country compositions.
Twice on this CD Neil wisely dips into some live material that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day. The 'Old Ways' tracks are split by two live recordings of Neil and The Shocking Pinks on their 1983 tour. Captured live in Dayton, Young offers two unreleased compositions, the rockabilly 'Get Gone', which fits in well with other retro-rockers from the 'Everybody's Rockin' disc, and 'Don't Take Your Love Away From Me', a pure blues-rock number in the same vein as 'After Berlin' from this same time period.
Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come. In the mid-1980's, Young produced two of his weakest efforts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Sly on August 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Lucky 13" is a compilation album of tracks from albums that Young recorded for Geffen in the early to mid 80's. Ever the chameleon, Young signed with Geffen records in 1981 after having a huge career during the 70's. Instead of sticking with the status quo Young put out a series of experimental albums that eventually got him sued by his own record company for not being commercial enough! These albums included "Trans" which was mostly electronic music, "Old Ways" which was basically a country album, "Everybody's Rocking" which was a rockabilly album, "Landing On Water" which was a new wavish pop rock album, "Life" which was a rather average recording with Crazy Horse, and "This Notes For You" an album of blues. None of these albums did that well at the cash registers and it did not help that as soon as Young left Geffen he released his big comeback album "Ragged Glory". A lot of people missed out on the Geffen releases but there was some nice stuff to be found on them and I personally thought "Trans" was great. In fact "Trans" is the album that first turned me on to Neil Young which most people find very strange considering the album is so different from anything else he has done before or since. The tracks on "Lucky 13" are a mix of the original album tracks and some live stuff, but it all comes from the Geffen years. The only real hit to be found here is a live version of "This Notes For You", Neil's protest song about classic rock being used in advertisements that managed to get quite a bit of radio play at the time. Although most Young fans look at the Geffen years as a low point in his career I think this compilation is packed with solid songs. "Sample And Hold", "Transformer Man", "Depression Blues", "Hippie Dream", "Around The World" and "Mideast Vacation" are all great.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on April 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young went nuts in the 1980s, indulging himself in all sorts of weird projects including space rock and rockabilly as well as straight up country and blues albums. The records were for the most part mediocre and this collection purports to collect the "highlights" from them. If you want to hear an example of the problem with Young's genre wanderings, check out "Transformer Man" here from the space rock album "Trans" and its bizarre synthesized vocals. Then check out the same song on the album "Unplugged," sans the technology. You'll be amazed at how pretty the song really is. For all but diehard Young fans, this album suffices in place of his 1980s material. Even so, it is still a very uneven listening experience.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Plotkin on January 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This collection artfully salvages eight years of Mr Young's period in the Wilderness. As he lurches from electronica to rockabilly to country to 80's Nuevo Wavo to big-band jump blues, and hides behind an increasingly weird series of personae, Neil once again convinces us he can be the most perverse of rock and rollers. His '80's records are barely listenable in their entirety -- this sampler converts the lousy run of Trans, Everybody's Rockin', Old Ways, Landing On Water, Life and This Notes For You into a single 60-minute tour-de-force of stylistic diversity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on December 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young went through a turbulent (some have suggested using the word sucky) period in the 80's, like Bob Dylan. Whereas Bob put out regular albums that were mostly garbage, Neil experimented a lot and tried new things, but it still ended up being mostly garbage. He was even sued by David Geffen for putting out substandard product. This album is actually a good pickup for the hardcore Young fans out there, as it has the best songs from that period on it. It was compiled by Young himself, and it's better than buying all the 80's albums you can, because, quite frankly, most aren't worth picking up by themselves. This album has the lovely Once an Angel, the best song off of Old Ways, a failed, overblown country experiment by Neil. But Once an Angel is one of the more straightforward songs on that album, and works beautifully. I actually like Sample and Hold (probably because it's long) and Transformer Man. Young sounds a little like Jethro Tull in their Under Wraps/A phase, which wasn't welcomed by the fans either (for the record, A and Under Wraps are good albums). I like This Note's For You, one of Neil's underrated songs. So, instead of picking up all the 80's albums, pick this one up at a used CD shop. Save yourself time, money, and aggravation.
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Sample and Hold Version?
Jan 2, 2010 by Jed Jacobs |  See all 2 posts
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