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Trans Import

100 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 19, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Unavailable on CD in the U.S.! Originally released in 1982, Trans was a bold and bewildering move into the 'modern age' for the veteran singer/songwriter. While it's been called his 'Electronic' album, Trans doesn't transport Neil into Depeche Mode territory. Instead, Trans finds Neil experimenting with an array of computers, keyboards and vocoders along with his standard guitar/bass/drums backbone. Nine tracks, including 'Little Thing Called Love', 'Computer Age', 'Transformer Man' and a drastically different version of his Buffalo Springfield classic 'Mr. Soul'. Universal.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 19, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Polydor UK
  • ASIN: B000024R1I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,044 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By David J. Gannon on March 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
One of the things you've got to admire about Neil Young is that the man does not stand still. Basically a metal-rocker at heart, if his concerts are to be relied on--he nevertheless is comfortable working in a wide array of musical genres, as is amply demonstrated by a spin though his retrospective Decade CD.
Trans marks a foray--with a vengeance-- into electronic music. Admittedly, if this is not your sound, this will not be one of your favorite albums. It is, however, one of those experimental efforts that works. It was, at the time of its release, well ahead of the power curve insofar as this genre was concerned. Moreover, it clearly stands as an experiment with a different sound and technology. Not only did Neil write material specifically for this album, but he also took to trying the sound out on some of his old standards. So, not only do we have the commercially successful written pieces, such as Transformer Man and Sample and Hold, but also electronically rendered pieces such as Mr. Soul and Hold on to Your Love.
What has made Young such a viable artist for so long-his awesome talent aside-is his willingness and ability to experiment, to evolve, to grow. Everybody knows some growth spurts can leave one awkward in the short run, but better off in the long run. It is precisely because of efforts such as this that Young remains the vital musical force and influence he is.
So, treat yourself to a bit of musical and personal history and give Trans a spin.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By King Crimson Fan on December 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It was so unexpected of Neil to turn out an album like this, and it was even more surprising that it was so entertaining, wedged as it was between his rockabilly album Everybody's Rockin' and his defiantly country album Old Ways. The updated, vocoder-laden version of Mr. Soul wasn't so great, but many of the other songs score bulls-eyes using this vocal device, most notably, Transformer Man, Sample and Hold, and Computer Age. Not all of the songs are Kraftwerk-influenced, either; the opening track, Little Thing Called Love, is a very upbeat and effective track with good "regular Neil" vocals and an excellent guitar line, too. My favorite song is the epic album-closer, Like an Inca, with the memorable line "Who put the bomb on the sacred altar?" Seeing as how this is still just available on import, the album still doesn't get heard by an American audience in the way it should. Too bad. It was a signpost album of the 80's for me.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael Ropp on June 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is another album I bought when I was much younger and didn't know anything about Neil Young. Being a part of the Flock of Seagulls, After the Fire, Gary Numan etc. generation, I loved the vocoder-laden "Trans", with its muted synthesizers and hyper-distorted guitar riffs, and I now recognize it as a very entertaining experimentation by Neil Young, a lighthearted flight of fancy into a quasi-techno vein. However, I want to warn those of you who, like me, remember "Sample and Hold" and would consider buying this CD to get hold of that tune. Do not do it. The version included on this disk is some sort of watered-down Muzak version. The drums are practically inaudible, replaced by an obviously synthetic "swish" snare drum and a completely straight four-beat with synthetic hand claps. I think this remix was a very poor attempt to appeal to the European techno-pop crowd (Chemical Bros, etc.--note that this disk is an import, from Sweden), but they ruined the song in the process. "Computer Age", "We R In Control", and "Computer Cowboy" have survived intact, and because I really enjoy those tunes I give the disk three stars in spite of the fact that the producers ruined the best song on it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I just received my copy of Trans on CD. I too am one of the lucky ones who own this on vinyl as well and was surprised to find that Sample and Hold is a remix. It has a couple of extra minutes of time but is not the original and varies slightly from the original US release. Why do they do this? I remember the first time I played this album and was amazed at how different it was from Neil's other albums. This was a very daring album and is very, very good. A must have CD for any hard-core Neil Young fan and I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I hope the original domestic release will someday be available, as I would still like to own the original "Sample and Hold" on CD. I had to fire up the "record player" just to make sure my ears were not deceiving me, and they were not.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Leighton on October 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I am a relative newcomer to Neil Young's work, was turned onto Harvest back in 2001, and since I have collected as many of Neils albums as possible.

Trans is very different, well.... hmmm, some of the songs sound in-line with his previous work (Little Thing Called Love, Hold on to your Love, Like an Inca, & Mr Soul). However the songs which make use of the vocoder are very strange upon first listen.

This is a great album, imo the vocoder songs are the strongest on this album, Computer Age, and Sample & Hold are among the best songs Neil has written. I have liked this album from the first few listens and think of Trans as one of Neils best.... am currently reading his biography named 'Shakey,' which goes into detail about how Trans was heavily influenced by Neil's son Ben, who suffers from a terrible disability. This album is about Ben and his struggle. Neil Young is a trully great man.
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