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Road Rock Vol. 1 Live

36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, November 21, 2000
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Product Description

Recorded live during Neil Young's recently concluded tour, Road Rock Vol. 1 presents one of rock's most influential and enduring singer-songwriters at his very best. From an overpowering 18-minute version of "Cowgirl In The Sand" to the previously unreleased "Fool For Your Love," from a classic rendition of "Tonight's The Night" to a duet with Chrissie Hynde on "All Along The Watchtower," Road Rock Vol. 1 rocks and rules the road.

This souvenir from Neil Young's Y2K Music in Head tour shines brightest when it reaches what in a vinyl world would have been side two's opening cut: "Words" starts out as a reminder of the depth and genius of Young's Harvest album, and then grows, over the course of its 11 minutes, into a fractured waltz that shows just how nicely a bunch of good old boys and girls can breathe new life into classic rock. Instrumental demons Donald "Duck" Dunn, Spooner Oldham, Jim Keltner, and Ben Keith (along with the Young family backup singers, sister Astrid and wife Pegi) perform similar miracles on "Tonight's the Night," "Cowgirl in the Sand" (18 big minutes!), and a crowd-pleasing "All Along the Watchtower" featuring tour-mate Chrissie Hynde. The shorter cuts are less remarkable, from the previously unreleased "Fool for Your Love" to a draggy "Motorcycle Mama" that barely warrants its four minutes. But when Young and company crank it up on the open highway, rock doesn't get much better than this. -Bill Forman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B000051W6S
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michel Aaij on December 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album has received a lot of negative criticism, and unfortunately much of that (though not all of it) is warranted. Indeed, the sound is awful, and like others, I don't understand why an album has to sound this bad. We all know Young is a fantastic guitar player, and he must know that himself, so why does the guitar get drowned in a vague, hazy, echoy mist?
However, there are redeeming qualities. The version of "Cowgirl in the Sand" is good, but especially the bass (drum and guitar) sound terrible, as if they were recorded in cardboard box. Don't knock "Walk On" too quickly--it's meant to be a slightly happy tune, and I like this one. I am also very happy to now have a live version of "Peace of Mind"--it's a beautiful tune and it's well played. Crazy Horse couldn't have pulled this off: Keith and Oldham know where it's at. Neither old nor decrepit, the guys backing Young up know that there is more to rock 'n' roll than loud and fast.
Both the good and the bad on this album are evident on "All Along the Watchtower." Young pays his dues to Hendrix and Dylan on this one (he's played this before--I have a CD single at home somewhere with this song live) and his guitarplaying is brilliant. That is, I think it is, because it's hard to make out in the mix. I hope those who saw the tour heard it better; it must have been awesome.
In all, I have very mixed feelings about this album. It's by the man, so I got to buy it, and I must respect what he was trying to do, but I can't say I understand how this album came to sound the way it does. Perhaps Young can enlighten us.
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44 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Ron Frankl on December 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young is surely one of the most prolific rock artists of all time. "Road Rock Vol 1 - Family & Friends" is Young's second release of 2000, and it's a live recording, made during his 2000 tour. Unlike most of his other live recordings (there have been three official live albums in the last decade alone), this one does not feature his long-time collaborators, the primitive but effective Crazy Horse. Instead, Young is backed by Friends and Family, consisting of long-time friends like Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Jim Keltner and Duck Dunn, plus wife Pegi and sister Astrid on backing vocals. While its certainly not a bad CD, "Road Rock" will probably leave many Neil Young fans scratching their heads.
This single CD includes versions of "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Tonight's the Night" that, while enjoyable, will not make anyone forget the previously issued live versions of either song. Its nice to have performances of "Walk On" and "Words," two `70's classics that Young has not previously revived. Also included is a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," on which the Pretender's Chrissie Hynde joins Young.
The problem with this release is that it doesn't really have anything to say. The musical arrangements and performances are solid but unexceptional; unlike Dylan or Springsteen, for example, Young doesn't seem interested in reinterpreting or reinventing his earlier triumphs to find new meaning. None of the other instrumentalists seem able to push or prod or wrestle with Young as the boys in Crazy Horse would. Complicating matters further is that neither Pegi Young or Astrid Young are accomplished singers, and their performances are somewhat less than professional.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on October 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Wow. The opening track will blow the roof off your skull! Hello Cowgirls in the Sand? Cowgirls, can you hear me? What a consummate Rock entertainer! I became an ardent fan of his in the late sixties, having been priviledged to witness many of his shows live in San Francisco. He is one aging artist whom I can honestly say hasn't ever taken a misstep, musically. The guy will no doubt be rockin the ears off of fellow ghosts in the grave.
This live CD his best concert version yet. He was so "on" that evening, and his band was so tight, I can honestly say there are very few live albums to equal this. Little Feet comes close, but for sheer rock power, this man has no equal. This CD conjures up visions of Neil circa 1972, Winterland, fuzz-box, Bo-Diddely, looking, square guitar blaring at warp speed, dancers in the audience, including yours truly, gyrating frenziedly on the floorbaords. Light show, Stobes, Glitter Ball...oh those were the days!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John on July 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Just because Neil isn't being backed by his legendary band, Crazy Horse, doesn't make this a bad album. Yes, it's not like it's predecessor when it comes to live albums (Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust, Weld) but it goes in the same category as "Unplugged".

Neil has some prominent names performing with him for this tour which include Spooner Oldham on piano, Donald "Duck" Dunn on the bass, and Neil's longtime friend and musician, Ben Kieth on guitar. He is also accomponied by his wife, Pegi, and his half sister Astrid.

This isn't supposed to be a hard-rocking set. It's a toned-down yet equally impressive live album. It includes live rarities (except for Tonight's the Night) with excellent versions of "Cowgirl in the Sand" (first live appearance on an album since the acoustic version found on CSN&Y's Four Way Street), "Words" (my personal favorite) and a peaceful version of "Peace of Mind". All in all, it's a decent album filled with rarely played songs and played with "Friends and Relatives"

I would only recommend this for the "die-hard" fans - because it's not really a good introductory point, instead I'd go with Live Rust, or Weld - then weave your way into something softer, like this.
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