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I don't get Neil Young's "On the Beach" album

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by hemingway, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. hemingway

    hemingway Friend of Leo's

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Now I'm a big big Neil Young fan, right across most of his output. Got a big stack of his albums. Next to another big stack of his albums.

    And I often read how On the Beach is one of his most highly regarded - if not the most highly regarded - albums by many people.

    But I don't get it. I find it pleasant enough, but it's not saying anything special to me. Maybe I've just never smoked enough of the good stuff.

    That's it, folks. I'm not saying I'm right and anyone's wrong. I mean maybe I'm right - but maybe there are just some things I don't get.

    Muse over.

  2. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Poster Extraordinaire

    I quite like it, but prefer others by him.

  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    You like what you like.

    It's all subjective.

    Tell me which albums of his you DO really like ?

    And while I do like Tonight's The Night which seems to get all the acclaim, I like On The Beach much more.

    I probably think it's my favorite album of his but then again - Zuma, After The Gold Rush, Ragged Glory, Freedom - with Neil there are many...

  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    On The Beach is Neil's first "F y'all, I do what I want" record.
    He was in a bad place having lost Danny Whitten and a dear roadie friend to heroin addiction.
    It reflects that, by his own admission.
    Like many artists, especially successful ones, he did not want to forever try to recreate his successes, a la Harvest.
    Uh, I don't like it either.
    Who likes everything any given artist offers, anyway?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017

  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I acquired this album lately and don't get it, at all.
    It's not bad. Just kinda listless.
    A poor attempt at a pop album?
    A change in style that just didn't work?
    And yes, I still listen to vinyl.

  6. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Holic

    Sep 5, 2010
    Ypsilanti, MI
    I have the record and quite like it. The interior of the record jacket has the same print as the underside of the umbrella on the cover. A nice touch!

    If you don't like it, you can just...Walk On!

  7. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    You know how some records are really remembered for 1 or 2 or maybe 3 tunes at the most ?

    On The Beach is most known for these two - one pretty driving and the other very float-y.

    The whole record is phenomenal (to me) but those tunes are/were very influential.

    Levon on drums on the first one and also a couple other tunes on the record.


  8. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    I'm pretty sure "Tonight's The Night" was the album where Neil is lamenting the loss of Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry. Neil alludes to Berry in the title track of that album.

    "On The Beach" is definitely in my top three NY favorites. "See The Sky About To Rain" is my favorite Neil song. Great lyrics, ethereal steel guitar by Ben Keith, and the Levon Helm drums make this a great song.
    It's got that Wurlitzer piano sound going on at least 3 tracks. All the backing musicians are solid players, including Graham Nash and Rick Danko.
    "Ambulance Blues" is a gem.
    There is not much not to like.
    Bellacaster and brookdalebill like this.

  9. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    It's an Australian novel by Neville shute which details the effects of a nuclear war ... oh wait

  10. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    I've always really liked "On The Beach" and it's one of Neil's albums that I listen to most often.
    Of course, I'm also a huge fan of "Tonight's The Night."

    I guess I like it when Neil drives off into the ditch.
    Rustbucket likes this.

  11. TMMC

    TMMC Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2013
    Considering the enormous mountains behind me, I don't get on the beach very often.
    Omiewise65 likes this.

  12. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Mar 4, 2009
    Its OK. Theres some classic great Neil songs, Walk On, See the Sky About to Rain... then some weirder things, Vampire Blues, I sort of liked that one.

    All in all, its not my favorite. Not even close. But not terrible.

  13. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2007
    Same here : TTN is my numero uno, then comes OTB

  14. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    I'm going to commit a no-no and resurrect a zombie thread to share this tidbit:

    The story goes that this album was never properly mixed- Neil just took the rough mixes and released them. It sure sounds that way.

    I can't tell if my favorite NY album is this one or Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. "Ambulance Blues" and "Revolution Blues" are both in my top 5 of his songs, though.
    televarious and Flat6Driver like this.

  15. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    Not so zombie, if it's less than a year old. I love the record, but I have to be in the right mood. That's true of most music anyway.

  16. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

    Apr 25, 2003
    Wow, no love for "For The Turnstiles"?

  17. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Meister

    Mar 21, 2017
    I'm not one to commit to "favorites", but OTB gets as much play around here as any of his others. It grabbed me when I was wee and won't let go.

  18. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    I love "On the Beach," the album and the song. The song is a great blues about dreams coming true but the old misery remaining. "Though my problems are meaningless, that don't make them go away." It takes turns with Rust Never Sleeps as my favorite Young album. I have it in the recently-reissued vinyl, and the remix helps a lot.

  19. Hags

    Hags TDPRI Member

    May 7, 2016
    Northwest CT
    On the beach is definitely one of my favorite Neil records.
    Sometimes where you are in life when you hear an album can make you like it or not.

    Fun facts
    Ambulance blues is a reworked Bert Jansch "needle of death"
    "Walk on"is a retort to sweet home Alabama which is a retort to southern man

  20. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Time Fades Away needs to be released on CD/digital.

    Those three, TFA-OTB-TTN, are the "ditch" trilogy.

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