Customer Reviews

84
Unplugged
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$5.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


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

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Neil Young was unplugged before the MTV show become a phenomenon, so it was only natural that he make an appearance on the show. As usual, Mr. Young mixes up his set, playing new songs like "From Hank To Hendrix" and the sweet "Harvest Moon" to old chestnuts like the Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul" and "The Old Laughing Lady" from his first solo album. While many of the songs like "The Needle & The Damage Done" & the brilliant "Pocahontas" were acoustic to begin with, there are songs that go under some radical transformations. "Like A Hurricane" was a fuzz guitar heavy, sonic blast, but here it is propelled by only Mr. Young's voice and an eerie pump organ. The results are outstanding. "Transformer Man" is from his electronic album, Trans, and the vocals were distorted by a vocoder. In it's acoustic form, it takes on a weird perspective with its futuristic lyrics. "Helpless" is absolutely gorgeous with lush harmonies led by old Crazy Horse member and current E Streeter, Nils Lofgren. Unplugged is one of the better album taken from the show and shows Neil Young's chameleon like ability to transform songs into different styles.
22 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
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2003
Given Neil Young's huge catalog and its inclusion of so much acoustic material, you might think that 'unplugging' him would just amount to his doing a show of his acoustic songs. Well, that certainly would have been the easy way. But if Neil took the easy way, he wouldn't be the Neil we've come to know and love.

In fact, although there is a generous helping of material on this CD that was originally released in 'acoustic' form, there are also a number of surprises. For this show, Neil took several highly non-'acoustic' songs and converted them.

One of my favorites is his bluesy, wailing version of 'Mr. Soul'. Originally a Buffalo Springfield tune, this time it's just Neil with his guitar and harmonica. I also like the stripped-down, countryfolkified performances of 'Old Laughing Lady' and 'World on a String'.

And wait until you hear what he's done with 'Transformer Man'. Even if you didn't like it before, you may like it now.

There's also 'Like a Hurricane', a blistering rocker originally released on _American Stars 'n' Bars_ (which, incidentally, is now available on CD at last!). Here Neil performs it solo, accompanying himself on pump organ.

This show took place not long after the release of the magnificent _Harvest Moon_, so there are a couple of selections from that album. And the rest is what you'd expect -- a set of solid performances of old and new favorites, some well-known and some obscure, from all stages of Neil's long career. 'The Needle and the Damage Done', 'Look Out for My Love', 'Long May You Run' -- this stuff is never going to wear out its welcome.

One last highlight: Neil also does a fine tune called 'Stringman' (which I suspect is about Stephen Stills); I don't believe I'd ever heard it, or even heard _of_ it, before this release.
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 April 4, 2006
Casting aside a small number of albums released in the 80's, the decade that inevitably sabotaged every good musicians career at the time, Neil Young rarely, if ever, disappoints. Unplugged is no exception, being a release in a series of many by MTV highlighting mostly grunge bands unplugging their distortion-filled hits such as Alice In Chains and Nirvana, although Eric Clapton also did a similar performance. The show is well rounded, delivering a number of hits and fan favorites, some of which stay true to their original acoustic form as well as a few nice surprises thrown into the mix for good measure. Helpless, Long May You Run, and Pocahontas stay along the same lines as their original forms: acoustic, soulful ballads, none the least of which is the deceivingly soft The Needle And The Damage Done.

As far as curveballs go, Young takes the originally brooding and distorted World On A String from his extremely dark Tonight's The Night album and turns it into a slow, bluesy number which stands out far more than the original version, while Like A Hurricane loses its screeching feedback and crunchy guitars in favor of a soft pump-organ. Other highlights of the show are The Old Laughing Lady, which opens the show wonderfully, Mr. Soul which I need say nothing about, the nostalgic Harvest Moon, and Transformer Man.

There's not much else to be said except that this is a solid live performance, much of it with Neil accompanied only by his guitar/piano and a harmonica, the band slowly starting to work their way into the performance after the halfway point of the show has been crossed. I've always believed Young has written some of his best numbers with just an acoustic guitar in hand, and this album demonstrates the ability to transfer that talent to the live arena, right alongside the epic Rust Never Sleeps album, which in my opinion is Young's best. There will always be cynics and other ignorant folk more than content to bash a good record for this reason or that, but if you know how dependable and talented a man like Neil is, you already know this album won't let you down.
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 23, 2002
Although Neil Young is almost universally considered one of the finest rock songwriters, he has an almost perversely huge back catalog (several of which have never been released on CD), more than a few uneven albums, and a self-imposed lack of anthologies. Young, who has always alternated between blistering, grunge-inciting guitar noise riots and gentle, acousitc folk in his own music, was a natural choice - indeed, you might even say a forebearer - for MTV's Unplugged program. Unlike many other veteran rockers (say, Dylan) who chose to offer up a "Greatest Hits" sort of set when their turn on Unplugged came, Neil's selections veer across his entire career, seeming almost arbitrary at times. Although there are some of his more prominent acoustic numbers here (The Needle And The Damage Done, Pocahontas) as well as several numbers from his most recent album at the time, Harvest Moon, there are also tracks dating back to his Buffalo Springfield days and his first solo album, as well as some definitely obscure numbers (Transformer Man, which was completely remade in this acoustic setting; the previously unreleased Stringman, and others.) It is a neat deal and quite a treat for the Young fan to see him perform such a wide cross section of material. Several songs are completely remade in this acoustic context (Mr. Soul, Transformer Man), and many others have already mentioned the standout pump organ/harmonica-led version of Like A Hurricane. This is an essential purchase for the Neil Young fan, and, in point of fact, not a bad early pick for the neophyte.
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
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2001
Yes, the best folk album of Young's career came not in 1970, not in 1972 or '78, not back when people under the age of 30 could still tell you all about Neil Young, but in 1993, ironically released exactly twenty years after an album called Time Fades Away. Oh, no, it sure doesn't, Neil. Perhaps time seemed to be fading away in the 80's, but it all seems to represent the very same glorious moment here on this pristine, immaculately produced folk reminiscence, which still stands as the best MTV Unplugged album of them all.
This album's brilliance is manifest in the wealth of successfully executed contemporary renditions of old classics and "fazed cookies," as The Rolling Stones once put it. Neil breathes fresh electricity into songs some thirty years old, such as Old Laughing Lady, featured in a much less affecting form on his late-60's debut record; the obscure Transformer Man from 1982's baffling electronic experiment, Trans, sounds like one of Neil's most tactful pieces in its new acoustic skin; Like A Hurricane is resurrected in all its magnificence, as Neil beats it out of an organ that bellows like a hungry lion. It is perhaps the album's most unforgettable moment, though there are many here.
The Harvest Moon selections sound even fresher than their studio counterparts in this live setting, and The Needle and the Damage Done reminds all of us as to why Neil Young's name is graven on the hearts of millions. This is not an album, it is a timeless epic, a folk festival that should be experienced in every household.
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2000
It boggles the mind when you realise that Neil Young has been composing classics since 1966,and that he constantly tries to find ways to make them sound fresh and new.UNPLUGGED gives us a great example of this.Young finds new ways to showcase songs like:LIKE A HURRICANE,MR.SOUL,OLD LAUGHING LADY,LONG MAY YOU RUN and HELPLESS.Young turns POCAHONTUS and STRINGMAN into requiems;for the American Indian and Sephen Stills,respectively.He pulls out buried gems to add on to the setlist: WORLD ON A STRING(from TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT)and LOOK OUT FOR MY LOVE(from COMES A TIME).The best songs from HARVEST MOON are showcased:HARVEST MOON,UNKNOWN LEGEND and FROM HANK TO HENDRIX.If you need any prove that Neil Young is still worthy of the title "genius",then UNPLUGGED should convince any doubters.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2002
While there are more than enough individual tracks dotted around his huge number of recordings to justify Neil Young's major reputation there are only a few albums that, on their own, hold together as satisfyingly complete "works". And... in the (self imposed) absence of any sensible retrospectives since 1977's "Decade" (definitely the best place to start for any "casual buyer") those not "in the know" could be in for some seriously expensive mistakes. So, what's been worth the money since then? Well...for anyone looking for the mellower side of this brilliantly mercurial but annoyingly erratic artist here's a few suggestions: "Comes a Time" (1978), "Freedom" (1989), "Harvest Moon" (1992) and "Unplugged" (1995).
"Unplugged", a review of some of his best tracks from the previous 25 years, takes this often tired format to its highest levels. Opening with "The Old Laughing Lady" (a wonderfully laid-back acoustic re-working of a stand-out track from his first solo album) and followed by a beautifully low-key version of his Buffalo Springfield hit "Mr Soul", the album just flows from start to finish. And... on the way through you get arguably better versions than the original outings of "Pocahontas", "Harvest Moon", "Look Out for My Love" & "Transformer Man". Played and sung with the sincerity of an artist who wants to deliver a cohesive retrospective of his career, and impressive in that it avoids revisiting many of his better known, more obvious choices, this is mellow music at its very best and an album that leaves you feeling... happy. Money well spent!
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
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When this MTV Unplugged concert of Neil Young originally aired on MTV, I made sure to tape it, as Neil Young is one of my favorite musicians. When I recently went to watch it, I found that it had been taped over with cartoons! (I thanked my son for that!) I really wanted a copy of this fine concert, so was very pleased to find it on Amazon.com. To me, it shows Neil Young at his purist-accompanied only by acoustic instruments. I love hearing songs like "Long May You Run" and "Pocohontas" done in an acoustic vein. The song "Stringman", which is a beautiful song, is only found on this video. I was very pleased to have a copy of that!
I highly recommend this video of Neil Young. I have my fingers crossed that one day a DVD version is released.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2000
Neil Young couldn't have picked better songs to perform in this type of setting. Stripped down and bare-boned, they create a mood that's intimate and quaint, but uncompromising. As always, Neil puts himself out on the proverbial limb and exposes his rawest, deepest emotions when he sings -- a very special quality. Every time I listen to this, it reaches me in a deep, deep place.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2000
This album shows Youngs deeper inside. And by deep I mean very deep! Listen for instance to Like a hurricane, a great version with an organ, really worth listening to! Or Stringman, The needle and the damage done... I could name all the tracks of this album. This is a live album everyone should own. Definitely!
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

Send us feedback

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