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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 12-NOV-1991
Top Customer Reviews
That being said, what else can I say about this "compilation composition", as Neil calls it? I'm not sure there was any real "composition" preceding it, save snippets from `Hurricane', `Love and Only Love', and `Welfare Mothers', but it is, definitely, a pile of something. What Neil has apparently done is to take his extended song endings, inspired by his tour mates SonicYouth, and manufactured a 35 minute seamless montage of ... song endings. Since it appears that only the above mentioned 3 songs are the source songs for this `pilation', there is some repetition. To create a 35 minute pile, Neil had to glean song endings from a variety of performances of the same three songs. Lyrically we have from `Hurricane', "I wanna love ya" and "Once I thought I saw you, in a crowded hazy bar"; from `Love and Only Love' we get (predictably) "Love and only love"; and from `Welfare Mothers' Billy Talbots "No more pain..." mantra. Aside from Talbot's single take, the verses are repeated more times than you will be inspired to count.
Is it any good? Well, ask yourself, if you've seen the video `Weld' (the film produced during this same tour) whether you enjoy the extended song endings offered there, or do you find yourself wishing Neil would wind it up already and move on to the next song? If you haven't seen the video, ask yourself if you enjoyed George Harrison's experimental `Wonderwall' album, or the `Apple Jams' disc in his `All Things Must Pass' box set.Read more ›
Comparisons to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music aren't really on the mark. MMM is virtually structureless (at least to my ears), while Arc most definitely has structure. Eruptions of pure bass explosions fade into soft passages (Neil singing "I want to love you" over and over again) which crashes into cymbals and drums and feedback. And then the bass explodes again. The passage that begins at around 26:30 where Neil hints at picking up the pace, then drops into a Peter Gunn thing at around 28:30, then just explodes into a desperate frenzy ("No more pain!") at about 32:00 before the piece fades out in gentle bass rumbles and high note glissandos is probably my favorite section of Arc.
I listen to Arc quite a bit. Probably more than any other Neil Young album I have, though I do like Ragged Glory and Freedom quite a bit, as well as his early stuff (really do need to get Decade someday). I tend to listen to Arc when I need to shut out the world around me and concentrate, like when I'm writing or coding. As a matter of fact, it's high on my list for headphone music at work (another favorite choice is Mozart's Requiem, particularly the version conducted by Colin Davis). It's not just ambient music though, and I do like to occasionally listen to it attentively. Don't get Arc expecting songs in any conventional sense, but do try it if you are at all musically adventurous.
Nobody seems to accuse him of being stuck in a rut with anything he does. Different is not always good or entertaining to me, I am a big Beatles fan but really dislike both the formentioned Wonderwall album and Revolution #9. They just seemed to lack any art or emotion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a long time fan of the ever-changing Neil Young. I have bought everything he has ever done and there has been a mixture. I saw him live in 85 and 89. Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by Knowetall
Young is known for following impulses in a wide variety directions, sometimes against advice of his closest associates. Read morePublished on September 16, 2012 by h,s (s h)
When Weld was first issued back in 1991, Arc came along with it if you wanted to pay a bit more. I did this and I've been listening to Arc on and off ever since. Read morePublished on October 15, 2011 by Dazedcat
I love Neil. I would think he had another score to settle or obligation for an album and he got back in spades. No one But a Master could put out such a steaming pile of nothing. Read morePublished on December 23, 2010 by robert heffner
Well, you can listen to this full blast, which is Neil's apparent preference, or you can listen to it at a barely audible volume, at which point it becomes ambient music. Read morePublished on January 21, 2009 by John S. Gamache
Years ago (like, 25 years ago), I heard an interview w/ David Lee Roth & Eddie Van Halen. They referred to a long, drawn-out, heavy, dramatic ending to a song as an "Armageddon"... Read morePublished on April 4, 2008 by By request