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Zuma

4.7 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seven of the nine songs on this album were recorded with a reunited Crazy Horse, and nearly all of them deal with the subject of romantic conflict and lost love: Don't Cry No Tears; Barstool Blues; Pardon My Heart; Lookin' for a Love; Through My Sails ; the seven-and-a-half minute epic Cortez the Killer , and more!

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If Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Ragged Glory are the two finest studio albums Neil Young recorded with Crazy Horse, Zuma certainly qualifies as a close third. Recorded in 1975, Zuma exudes both a sense of focus and a tentative optimism, two qualities that were completely MIA from the bleak Time Fades Away/Tonight's the Night/On the Beach trilogy that preceded it. "Barstool Blues," "Don't Cry No Tears," and "Drive Back" are terse, punchy rockers, while "Danger Bird" and "Cortez the Killer" are extended guitar workouts in the grand Crazy Horse tradition. And the two acoustic entries--"Pardon My Heart" and "Through My Sails" (the latter was recorded with Crosby, Stills & Nash)--are absolutely gorgeous. Ignore the crappy cover art, and treat yourself to one of Young's most underrated records. --Dan Epstein
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B000002KCI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Without any possible question, this is one of Neil Young's greatest albums, and given the extraordinary length of his career and the amazing number of albums that he has made, that is saying something. This is also one of his most influential albums, producing a pattern for a host of guitar oriented garage and alternative bands in the 1980s and 1990s. It is impossible to listen to a band like Thin White Rope or Eleventh Dream Day or Nirvana and escape the conclusion that the members of the bands all grew up listening to the cuts on this disc.

Although this is widely known as one of the seminal guitar albums in the history of rock, there are two paradoxes in that claim. First, a couple of the songs are entirely acoustic and feature none of the grungy guitar found throughout the rest of the disc. "Pardon My Heart" is not merely acoustic, but soft and gentle as well. "Through My Sails" is a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song. For me, it is the weakest cut on the album, and a potent reminder to me of why I prefer Neil Young on his own. The second paradox is that in many ways Neil Young really isn't a very good guitarist. Technically, there are probably a host of high school guitarists that surpass him. His solos are some of the most elementary in the history of rock. Nonetheless, Young seems to get more musical mileage out of relatively meager chops of any guitarist in history. He might not be a virtuoso, but in this album he virtually reinvents grunge guitar, and paved the way for a host of imitators.

Guitar aside, what drives this amazing album is the great, great songs that line up one after another. "Don't Cry No Tears" gives way for the even more stunning "Danger Bird." A couple of songs later we get one of my favorite Young songs, "Barstool Blues.
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Format: Audio CD
Zuma was the first studio album that was credited to Neil Young & Crazy Horse since his second release, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. While various members of the band appeared on albums in between the releases, Zuma contains the power rocking sound that only the complete band could produce. "Barstool Blues" is an underrated gem that has bluesy guitar riff that pops throughout the song. "Drive Back" and "Don't Cry No Tears" have a grungy sound. "Stupid Girl" is great song with a great vocal. "Pardon My Heart" is an acoustic based number as is the closer "Through My Sails" which features Crosby, Stills & Nash and was a leftover from the aborted sessions in 1974 that was supposed to yield the band's followup to Deja Vu. The standout track on the album is "Cortez The Killer" with its droning guitar solo and vivid lyrics, the song is tremendous.
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Format: Audio CD
Young and Crazy Horse have done so many fine albums that this one sometimes gets overlooked. Most fans know "Cortez the Killer," but check out "Barstool Blues" (wonderfully redone on the live "Year of the Horse"), "Don't Cry No Tears" and "Pardon My Heart." The sound alternates between soft and hard. A strong effort that is among the better Young albums.
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By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is one hell of an album, one of my personal favourites. Neil and the Horse get back on track with beautiful, simple, guitar based rock songs. Barstool Blues is legendary. Rumour has it that the band went on a heavy drinking spree and awoke the next morning to find this song recorded - with Neil singing at an octave higher than normal. I don't know if this is true or not, but it's a cool rumour! There is not one bad song, the meandering lead of Dangerbird, the melodic Pardon my Heart, the upbeat Stupid Girl and the has-to-be-mentioned Cortez the Killer. This is a fantastic song and an absolute classic. The slow dreamy intro lasts over a third of the song and the story goes (again) that Neil got so involved with playing the riff that he forgot to sing. It too may not be true but I could understand it if it were. This album is a signifcant must have for any true Neiler collection. Buy it!
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Format: Audio CD
A fair amount of Neil Young's albums were largely overlooked, some of them (especially in the 80s) deservedly so. But "Zuma" is probably the most brilliant hidden gem in his catalogue. Although this is one of his Crazy Horse collaborations, the album is fairly representative of the styles of the first six years of his solo career. "Don't Cry..." could be an outtake from "Everybody Knows...", as could "Pardon My Heart" be from "Gold Rush", "Stupid Girl" from "On The Beach", and "Barstool Blues" from "Tonight's The Night". There's even a gorgeous song ("Through My Sails") with Crosby Stills & Nash that's easily among the best material that CSNY recorded.

All that would mean little were it not that "Zuma" is a consistently engaging and entertaining listen. All of the songs are great and Neil also provides glimpses into his future direction (so influential to grunge) with the feedback drenched "Danger Bird" and the searing "Drive Back".

The aforementioned songs alone would make this a five star album. Add to that "Cortez The Killer" which is not just one of my favorite Neil Young songs, but one of my favorite songs period. (And I have 1200 CDs so that's saying something). "Cortez" is a song of such aching beauty, it's impossible to imagine anyone else pulling this off. Listen to the near four minute solo that opens the song to understand why Neil is so revered among rock musicians. There are scores of guitarists more technically brilliant than him, but none (and I mean none) can squeeze the same emotional impact out of every note. By the time Neil sings the first words "He came dancing across the water", the listener is totally emotionally connected. This is simply one of the most brilliant moments in rock and roll history.

Neil Young is one of those artists so important that he is not well served by compilations. If you're serious about rock, you need to own at least five of his original albums. Make sure this is one of them.
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