Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
This album from these two masters of guitar fingerpicking will leave anyone who loves the guitar, country, blues, or melodic rock delighted. I have been a Mark Knopfler fan since early Dire Straits, and learned about Chet Atkins from Mark. Anybody Mark thinks is great is definitely worth a listen. I became a Chet Atkins fan a bit late in life, and this album was a big part of that.

This CD shines precisely because it is not flashy or showy; rather it is imbued with craftsmanship and quality musicianship in every bar. The whole album is strong, but I am especially fond of "There'll Be Some Changes Made" in which Chet and Mark trade good humored jabs about their musical heritage, "I'll See You in My Dreams", a mastercrafted classic, and the laid back "Tahitian Skies." Throughout the CD the vocals are relaxed and effortless, and although Knopfler has an appealing if somewhat gravelly voice, Atkins is a little more atonal and wavering in his singing style. Of course the focus here is not vocal performances, but guitar virtuosity, and that is abundant.

This is a CD that will be appreciated by all guitarists who grasp how truly difficult it is to produce a recording this melodious and synchronized, regardless of how easy these two masters make it look. "Neck & Neck" is highly recommended.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 1999
This isn't a country music CD; it's a collaboration between two great guitar players who like and respect one another. One of the most enjoyable parts of listening to the music is to pick out who's playing what. There's humor, too,and it's good road music. It's a winner, and wears well over time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2003
Two generations of leading and groundbreaking guitarists combined their efforts into this precious and timeless piece of wonderful music. Chet Atkins, one of the most important and respectable of country musicians, and a pioneer of the electric guitar; and Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits frontman and a man clearly in touch with the country roots of rock music - go from straight country to mood instrumentals to rock n' roll, all infused with some of the finest pickin' I've ever heard and always having lots of fun. Knopfler's production (he had produced most of his releases since 1980's Dire Straits album `Making Movies') clearly shows in the beautiful and light-hearted sound, but the arrangements and recordings are pretty basic. The whole thing mainly revolves around two guitars, with just a hint of a rhythm section and some strings on a couple of songs.
This cleverly titled album has the strength to appeal to almost every listener. And not only is it a fantastic start for a rock lover for learning to appreciate the roots of rock n' roll, it's also one of the finest country albums around. Straight country songs like `Poor Boy Blues', `Just One Time' and `The Next Time I'm In Town' are performed wonderfully and Mark and Chet's arrangements are sublime. Other tracks stand out though: `Tahitian Skies' is a beautiful instrumental take on Mark's 1985 classic `Why Worry', which outshines the original incredibly. `Tears' and `Sweet Dreams' are also wonderful instrumentals which give Mark and Chet a chance to show how well they work together. More energetic is the rockabilly number `Yakety Axe' - a take on Boots Randolph's 1963 instrumental `Yakety Sax' - on which Chet shines amazingly, and which has terrific guitar work from both. Finally, my favorite - `There'll Be Some Changes Made' - an adaptation of an old Benny Goodman song (at least he performed it; I have no idea if his performance was even the original). Mark and Chet wrote new lyrics for the song, turning it into Chet singing about wanting to go with the times and become a rocker, and Mark trying to turn him away. The dialogue between the two takes place in two dimensions - vocally and on guitar, and makes it the funniest as well as the most clever song on the album. Mark and Chet really had a ball on this one, improvising most of the dialogue as well as the solos ("Not bad, but you're not Mark Knopfler..." "Don't make me look bad now, respect for your elders..."). The solos challenge each other and intertwine beautifully to make the song a treat.
`Neck & Neck' is one of the most wonderful purchases for lovers of this lovely instrument. If you're an Atkins fan, you won't be disappointed; and if you're only in it for Knopfler and only vaguely know Atkins's name, you're in for a lovely surprise. And if you're as snooty about country music as I was before I heard this album, don't forget where rock comes from, and don't forget where everything about Knopfler and Dire Straits comes from. Mandatory listening.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2000
If you want to hear some good -- often great -- guitar picking, without the pretense, by two masters, this is your album. These two virtuosos challenge each other to greater and greater heights, and they deliver. "Yackety Axe" alone contains more riff variety than you will find in any five songs by mere mortals. I'm not a country fan per se, but Chet Atkins is a pleasure to listen to. That Knopfler can keep up with (and occasionally pass?) him makes you realize just how good he is. Of course, if you're looking for the usual junk, then this isn't for you.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2005
One of the problems which frequently occurs when guitar virtuosos get together is that they get too interested in demonstrating their virtuosity and forget about the music. That doesn't happen here. Atkins and Knopfler are both masters of understated guitar licks. Listen to this CD with only one ear and you might not realize you're hearing two of the best guitar players in the world.

Well, when you hear "Neck and Neck" you won't jump and shout and play air guitar. But "There'll be Some Changes Made" will get your toes tapping as Chet contemplates becoming a rock star and Mark discourages him. ("The groupie girls aren't that good...or at least some of them aren't") "The Next Time I'm in Town" is another toe-tapper that features Vince Gill's clear tenor voice in harmony with Knopfler and superb steel guitar played by Paul Franklin. I also like the instrumental version of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams." "Poor Boy Blues" if I recall correctly won a Grammy for Atkins/Knopfler.

If you're seeking a flamboyant rock album this is not for you, but for back-porch finger-picking and singing it can't be beat.

Smallchief
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2002
What a treat this disc is. I knew Chet Atkins as a kid because my father played many of his records. Some I felt were outstanding, others I could pass on. Regardless, you have to admit that Chet was an excellent and entertaining guitarist. Mark Knopfler has been a favorite of mine since the first Dire Straits album on through all of his solo work. His unique tone and approach to rock, pop, jazz and country blues guitar is distinctive and to me is about as good as it gets.
Combining these two distinct yet complimentary guitar voices was very synergistic. Students of these masters should not have much trouble picking out who is playing what. The sound quality is excellent with very good imaging and ambience. If you like either of these guys, I think you'll like this disc.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 1999
I think that the listed critic was carried away with his own bombast. I loved the parts where Chet Atkins sung. Although it might be characterized by the oh-so-jaded set as a little schticky, "There'll be some changes" is my favorite track of all. The rolling dialogue and duelling guitars make for one of the great collaborative efforts of guitar history. This album feels like fun and mutual respect. Mark and Chet have earned it, but their reward was not self-indulgence. It was my pleasure.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 1, 2004
In the style of Chester and Lester the great partnering of Chet Atkins and Les Paul, comes Atkins and Mark Knopfler. It is always great to see to excellent guitarists with different styles sit in with each other and jam, and "Neck and Neck" is no different. But, it does not quite have the same magic as the old Chester and Lester albums. Here, Knopfler pulls on his Country roots and plays more to the music style of Atkins. It may be hard to recognize Knopfler's playing as it is a departure from his rock, but is in line with his Notting Hillbillies days.
The album opens with a country-blues tune, "Poor Boy Blues" with both men doubling on guitar and vocals. Each takes a turn at soloing, the master and the student, both quick and excellent. The tune is an upbeat toe-taper. The days of Chester and Lester are revisited with "There'll Be Some Changes Made" where Atkins and Knopfler go back and forth about their playing style...Atkins to start playing rock and roll and wearing leather and makeup like "Jackson and Prince" while Knopfler tries to keep him where he belongs. The barbs they give each other while they trade solos are fun. "Yakety Axe" is kinda fun Country ditty. "Tahitian Skies" sounds like a mix of their versions of "Why Worry", airy and jazzy.
This is a good album from two guitar greats. Nothing to amazing comes out of this, just good songs with some solid guitar work. You'll get a couple of laughs out of this album, and if you like Atkins and Country, this is a good album to have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2003
I bought this once, and played it to death. These two should have made more music together. Sadly, CA is gone now, but MK really carries his legacy, him and Steve Howe do anyway. If you want a bluegrassy blues fingerpicky recording that is full of fire, this is it. quite good. Legendary as far as I am concerned
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2001
I borrowed my dad's copy, yes it's true -- but the music is so good! This CD introduced me to Chet Atkins and I really love the way he and Knopfler jam together -- they are both masterful on the guitar. They mix slow, soulful ballads with upbeat songs and singing, and the dialogue is catchy and funny. Just listen to the tracks.. if you like 2 and 3, you'll like the rest.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Privateering [2 CD]
Privateering [2 CD] by Mark Knopfler (Audio CD - 2013)

Sailing to Philadelphia
Sailing to Philadelphia by Mark Knopfler (Audio CD - 2000)

The Ragpicker's Dream
The Ragpicker's Dream by Mark Knopfler (Audio CD - 2002)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.