I know that this is an unfashionable opinion, but this particular Norman Records™ description writer thinks that Neil Young did his best work in the 1980’s. Albums like Trans and Everybody’s Rockin’ are either some of the all-time great musical shitposts, visionary records that simultaneously trailblaze and satirise the retro-maniacal curve of the decade, or both. 1988’s This Note’s For You manages to yoke together Young’s contemporaneous archness with some of his best mid-period songcraft. There’s also plenty of anti-corporate fire here - possibly something to do with the fact that his old label Geffen had just sued him for, in essence, not being Neil Young-y enough.
Vinyl LP £19.99 0075992571913
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6/10 Tom 18th December 2018
Who knew that Neil Young harboured a secret desire for a brass section? If there was a decade in Young's career (other than the current one) in which he was likely to indulge this impulse it was the 80's, a decade in which he also experimented with synthesizers on the alienating Re-ac-tor and Trans, rockabilly on the shocking Everybody's Rockin', and terrible production (Landing on Water). What's more surprising is that This Note's For You is a surprisingly good amalgam of rock n' roll pastiche, soul, and torch ballads. 'Ten Men Working' gets things to a bombastic start, and the satirical title track takes unsubtle jabs at commercial rock music, but 'Coupe de Ville' and 'Twilight' are tender and soulful odes. Don't get me wrong, Young still doesn't sound quite right fronting an Otis Redding-style soul jam like 'Sunny Inside' but all things considered this might be one of Young's best 80's records.
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