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Arc Live

3.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, November 12, 1991
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 12-NOV-1991

Amazon.com

For those of you who didn't get quite enough feedback, arena reverb, or raw electricity from 1991's live Weld album to suit your tastes, Neil Young thoughtfully compiled this bizarre aural document. Originally included as a bonus disc on early versions of Weld, Arc is 35 minutes of stray guitar explosions, feedback screeches, stage announcements, and drum checks, all edited together to form a continuous (and actually rather compelling) listening experience. Call it Neil's delayed reaction to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, or think of it as his personal scrapbook of the Ragged Glory tour. Either way, you probably won't play it very often, but it's still a nice oddity to have in your Neil collection. --Dan Epstein
Song Title Time
1
30
34:57 Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 12, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B000002LRQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,383 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffery A. Zienty on February 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Just great. Put this on when some rock jerk tries to sell you on the next big thing. File next to Metal Machine Music. Noise is what rock and roll is all about. Neil shows it's an art form all by itself. Just wonderful!
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Format: Audio CD
Let me begin by putting to rest the rumor that, despite its similarity to `Revolution #9' from the Beatles White Album, if you record the disc onto tape and listen to Neil repeating, over and over, "I wanna love ya" backwards, you will not, I repeat will NOT hear Neil, sounding like SCTV's Bob McKenzie, saying "Take off, you Hoser!".
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Okay, this one isn't for everyone. Yes, this is one long noisy track filled with feedback, gutteral guitar rumblings, and occasional snippets of song verses. But what feedback and what rumblings!
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had misgivings after reading the reviews on ARC about buying this one. I am very happy with this, having listened to it once, before writing this and now again as we go. This album is truely everything the previous reviewers say good and bad. I can sympathize and see where someone is coming from who doesn't like this. If you do not think this is a good album you will probably think it is complete junk. If you prefer Neil's softer music, the stuff, say without Crazy Horse, don't bother with this. If your looking to hear some meaningful lyrics try something else. If you like your Neil, rougher the better, than give this a go. Even then you will not know whether you like it until you hear it, and these reviews, negative or positive, can not give this justice. Neil always trys to take a different approach or comes up with a completely knew one, from things he has done in the past, sometimes that means taking things to the limit and maybe beyond. Neil's tendency to play the opus, love of distortion, his focus here on feedback and ability to take things all the way to the limit and the hell what anyone thinks, are all fused together in ARC, grinding through here, maybe in its ultimate form. We should all know by the name ARC and the albums relation to the Weld album, but seperate release that even Neil new this was a different animal, and not for everyone. The title envisions metal, grime, industry, rawness and extreme energy and that is what you'll get here.

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.
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