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