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Greendale (Bonus DVD) CD+DVD

4.4 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD+DVD, August 19, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"One of the most ambitious works of his career...a great artist once again at the peak of his game." (Chicago Tribune) "Young has rarely sounded so fresh and uncompromising artist with the courage to follow his muse." (Chicago Sun Times) For the first time in his storied career, Neil Young has created a fictional place filled with characters and incidents and written an album about them. The album, and the place, is Greendale and the people are the Green family. The songs are among the most personal he's ever penned, ranging from the dark and biting to the light and humorous. Still surprising and still stirring it up, Young adds a stunning new album to his place in rock history with Greendale.

Neil Young has long been one of rock's great romantics, mourning the utopian ideals of the "hippie" '60s and his vision of what America was…or at least should have been. In some ways, Greendale--which could be described as a "rock novel"--adds a mourning for humanity itself to the mix, as Young presents his vision of America 2003 via the story of a fictional family in a small California town. There's drama galore--a cop is killed by a drug dealer; Grandpa has a fatal heart attack while pointing a gun at a TV reporter--but most of these songs also work individually as terrific rock tunes. It's a more subdued Crazy Horse this time out, with only Neil on lead guitar and little of the distorted rage found on albums like Ragged Glory. But "Grandpa's Interview" has a gorgeous riff that recalls Zuma's "Don't Cry No Tears"; "Be the Rain" is a genuine Neil Young anthem about love, peace, saving the planet, and doing the right thing. A few pieces sound a tad meandering at first, which could lead one to conclude that Greendale is only a good Neil Young album. Repeated listening, however, should confirm that Greendale is a great Neil Young album. --Bill Holdship

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Falling From Above
  2. Double E
  3. Leave The Driving
  4. Bandit
  5. Carmichael
  6. Devil's Sidewalk
  7. Grandpa's Interview
  8. Bringin' Down Dinner
  9. Sun Green
  10. Be The Rain

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B0000AI44Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As 57 year old "child of the 60's" and former 70's and early 80's FM Radio Rock DJ, and guitarist, I've been a fan and close follower of Neil's music, and politics (the two are often inseperable) from the beginning, and own a fairly complete library of his works. I haven't always liked everything Neil has done and I can be critical of his music (and politics). I've also never felt compelled to write a review before, so believe me when I say that Greendale really grabbed me. This is Neil Young from the very bottom of his soul and at his very best! Neil has gone back to the classic Concept (album) format to tell an ingeniously entertaining tale and deliver his message of peace, love and respect for planet Earth. Characters that captivate the imagination, tongue in cheek humor, some directed at Neil himself, tragedy, death and serious message intertwine throughout. The electric music on the CD is simply great basic from the gut blues based Rock-n-Roll, including great guitar chops, Neil, not trying to be dazzling or fancy, just delivering solid riffs and solos that have me listening time and again. To top it all off the Bonus DVD solo acoustic performance recorded in a small club in Ireland is more than worth the price alone. Thousands of words will be written about Greendale but in my estimation one word says it all, BRILLIANT! Unfortunately, in today's sad narrow minded rock and roll radio market the general public isn't likely to hear much, if any, of Greendale. As previously mentioned I've never felt compelled to write an online review before but listen to Greendale and you too will likely be driven to spread the word. Collectively, we owe that to Neil for coming up with such a great work absoultely worthy of multi-Platinum sales status. Thanks, Neil Young, for more great music I will enjoy for the rest of my life.
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Format: Audio CD
The more I listen, the more I've come to believe "Greendale" is one of Neil's true masterpieces. At first, it seems like just another Crazy Horse album with the volume, distortion and anger turned way down. But, like a Steinbeck novel, its brilliance grows on you. For a Crazy Horse collaboration, there is an intimacy to these songs that I find thrilling. Without question their best work since "Ragged Glory". The feeling is one of sitting on a beat-up couch in a garage some lazy summer evening while Neil and the boys jam and tell you the story of small town dreams, both dashed and realized. "Carmichael" and "Grandpa's Interview" are nearly perfect both musically and lyrically; the beauty lies in a masterful balance of Ralph and Billy's propulsive rhythms and Neil's barely-restrained fuzzed guitar and seemingly stream-of-consciousness singing. The rest of the album is just as satisfying, especially the way-too-cool-for-words rockabilly anthem "Double EE" and the opening track "Falling from Above," which so wonderfully sets the stage for the hour+ journey. A definite candidate as a desert island disc.
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Format: Audio CD
I can understand why some of the other reviewers haven't liked this album much; it's a dynamic narrative story that's almost cryptic without the proper context. I was lucky enough to see Neil and Crazy Horse this summer on the pre-Greendale tour -- for those who haven't heard about it, I'll briefly describe. Neil and the band put together a rather post-mod stage show replete with actors, sets, background slide displays and (naturally) the band ripping out some fantastic live versions of the songs in sequence. It wasn't too dissimilar to the total impact of the Rust tour, without the greatest-hits package, of course. With all of the multi-media supporting Neil's musical narration of the Green family, the story was comprehensible, and to me, very moving.
Without that previous experience, this album might have sounded like so much grungy sludge when I bought it.
Luckily for the new exposee, Neil has thoughtfully provided a live DVD (accoustic, so it's not too much Horse overkill) that fleshes out the storyline. Buy this CD, but watch the DVD first. With that concert under your belt, the true power of these songs rise to the surface.
Regarding the story and music... some comparisons to Our Town are apt -- put that great play through a blender with Neil's earlier multi-generational and drug-related works (think Harvest & Tonight's the Night) and you get a good idea of what he's trying to do. The tunes are vintage Horse -- more Zuma and Broken Arrow than Ragged Glory. The melancholy that permeates the middle half of this record seems indicative of Neil's view on society as a whole: he doesn't get it, he doesn't particularly like it, and it makes him sad.
Lucky for us: a sad, cranky Neil Young makes some beautiful and thought-provoking music.
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Format: Audio CD
I have read and enjoyed the reviews on this site many times but this is the first time I have felt moved to add my three cents in response to such gross misunderstanding of a great work. First of all, I am not one of those all-Neil-does-is-great sycophants. I thought Are You Passionate? was the most disappointing record of last year. I also have low regard for Silver And Gold,Harvest Moon,Landing On Water,This Note's For You and Old Ways.But let's call a spade a spade.Greendale is the best record of the year,probably the last few years and a solid addition to the top 5 or so by one of the most acclaimed and beloved artists in rock history.
The point is reflection.Neil has always been known for the self-reflective statement.To a fault,if to judge by the legion of lame,self-pitying,whiny legions of imitators he has inspired in his wake.On this record,he has chosen to reflect himself through the stories of others.
1st Criticism of this record by "reviewers": songs are boring,meander too long,all sound the same etc. Well,the point to this work is that everyone's life is a song. Everyone,not just flashy self-possessed rock stars of which Neil is very self-admittedly one of himself. And if the life is a song,should not the song reflect the form and feeling of the life itself?? The people whose stories are here told lead the slow,meandering, repetitive lives that we who live in big cities wish to stay as far away from as possible.Those who are bored by the songs may not wish to be reminded of the slowness and seeming meaninglessness of life itself.Can't really blame them,but every life dosen't have a chorus,dosen't resolve into the formulaic,dosen't burn out and not fade away in the accepted fashion.
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