Time Fades Away – Neil Young

My introduction to Neil Young started off with a record he doesn’t like himself. I downloaded it because the album cover looked cool but stuck around after I heard the tunes. After the success of Harvest, Young toured relentlessly and wrote new songs on the road. He started recording these songs during random shows on this tour and these songs ended up on the record. When the record did come out, a few bad things happened. One, it wasn’t as commercially successful as Young’s last effort. Two, Young was very dissatisfied with the record. It conjured up terrible memories from the tour that included alcohol abuse, a throat infection, and inner clashes between the band members. However, maybe it’s all of this angst that made for such an awesome record.

Just listening to the title track, “Time Fades Away,” creates images of junkies selling diamonds for what they’re worth, being handcuffed and watching time fade away like the sunlight of a setting sun. The piano line and stomping bass line help drive the “stay on your feet” feeling that the song provokes. The album progresses with this feeling until it gets to my possibly my favorite Neil Young track “LA.” The song describe the city of angels as a decaying city, that’s sinking into the sea yet life still goes on. After all of this destructive imagery behind a pretty melody, Young asks during the chorus, “Don’t you wish that ya could be here too?” Despite everything he’s said, you can’t help but wish you were there. Or maybe I do just cause I think LA looks like it rules. Either way, it’s an awesome song, The album closes with “Last Dance,” a slow burner with an infectious riff that goes on for 8 minutes. It details the monotonous life style of a boring life with dreams of making your own life before Neil shoots it down in the chorus with a simple “oh no.” Cynical? Yes. But amazing? Fuck yes.

This album hasn’t been reissued on CD due to Young’s dissatisfaction with the project, but rumors have it that it’ll be on the next boxset Young puts out (which is awesome as well). However, if what I wrote above doesn’t inspire you to go out and download a bootleg of it (or just scroll down to the bottom to click the link), here’s the three songs I ranted about above for your listening pleasure. Check ’em out.

Album: Time Fades Away – Neil Young

Time Fades Away – Neil Young

LA – Neil Young

Last Dance – Neil Young

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  1. […] rusty on the history of this album (which also happens to be my favorite Neil Young record ever), flip back to my short piece on it back in 2011 that details the tremulous tour that this record was recorded on and why Neil himself has put so […]



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