Neil Young - Freedom
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: 925 899-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Vinyl is VG++ to Mint
Cover: light ringwear, small puncture top right corner
Country: Canada Issue
Style: Classic Rock
A1 Rockin' In The Free World (3:35)
A2 Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero Part I) (8:45)
A3 Don't Cry (4:15)
A4 Hangin' On A Limb (4:18)
A5 Eldorado (6:04)
A6 The Ways Of Love (4:30)
B1 Someday (5:40)
B2 On Broadway (4:56)
B3 Wrecking Ball (5:08)
B4 No More (6:04)
B5 Too Far Gone (2:48)
B6 Rockin' In The Free World (4:42)
Every 9 or 10 years its seems Neil Young reinvents himself. In 1969 Young released his first great album, `Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere', his first with Crazy Horse and delivering timeless tunes such as `Cinnamon Girl', `Down By the River', and `Cowgirl In the Sand'. It was, in retrospect, a monster album. Nine years down the road, with every aging 60's rocker's future perilized/paralyzed by disco fever, Young infused rock and roll with new life via `Rust Never Sleeps' and its `Hey Hey My My' anthem.
Fast forward ten more years through the sleepy 1980's, and here is Young announcing his return once again with the album `Freedom'. His newfound relevance would differ from the continued relevance of other 1960's superstars such as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton: Young would not only be revitalized among his long-standing cadre of followers, but would find a new body of listeners among the youth coming of age in the early 1990's. It was a remarkable resurgence.
Interestingly, `Freedom' borrows a bit from the success of `My My Hey Hey'/'Hey Hey My My' by taking the albums centerpiece, `Rockin' In the Free World', and using a live acoustic version to open the disc, and closing with a rousing electric studio version of the same song. The electric version is clearly superior as the acoustic version is marred by audience noise, and lacks the final verse, as well as the sheer power the lyrics demand. The same is true of the second song on the LP `Crime In the City', which is presented in an acoustic version. ..
Other excellent offerings include `Someday', with lyrics and background recordings sure to make you tune into the great mystery of life, its meaning and purpose. There are two beautiful love duets with Linda Ronstadt, `Hangin' On a Limb' and `The Ways Of Love', and `No More' is a solid rocker, with a sound reminiscent of Dire Straits. Coincidentally Neil's band features Joe Walsh bandmates Rick Rosas on bass and Chad Cromwell on drums. Cromwell would go on in the `90's to play with Dire Straits founder Mark Knopfler.
Some more familiar faces are flanking Neil on this production as well. From Crazy Horse, Frank Sampedro contributes guitars, keyboards, mandolin, vocals and even serves as "computer scribe" (hmmmm....). Another familiar Youngian, Ben Keith, contributes his familiar steel guitar, as well as alto sax, keyboards and vocals. On three songs recorded at The Hit Factory in New York, we have a stripped down version of the band, offering killer guitar/bass/drum jams ala The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
It serves the purpose of positioning Neil square in the mainstream of popular music for another decade. He would maintain that rejuvenated status through releases such as `Harvest Moon', `Weld', and `Ragged Glory' in the years to follow. But it all began, all over again, with `Freedom'.
Neil Young - Rockin In the Free World
Neil Young - Crime in the city- Live Earthquake Relieif
Neil Young at his best