On the Beach

On the Beach

by Neil Young

CD(Special Edition / Special Packaging / Canadian Import)

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Following the 1973 Time Fades Away tour, Neil Young wrote and recorded an Irish wake of a record called Tonight's the Night and went on the road drunkenly playing its songs to uncomprehending listeners and hostile reviewers. Reprise rejected the record, and Young went right back and made On the Beach, which shares some of the ragged style of its two predecessors. But where Time was embattled and Tonight mournful, On the Beach was savage and, ultimately, triumphant. "I'm a vampire, babe," Young sang, and he proceeded to take bites out of various subjects: threatening the lives of the stars who lived in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon ("Revolution Blues"); answering back to Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose "Sweet Home Alabama" had taken him to task for his criticisms of the South in "Southern Man" and "Alabama" ("Walk On"); and rejecting the critics ("Ambulance Blues"). But the barbs were mixed with humor and even affection, as Young seemed to be emerging from the grief and self-abuse that had plagued him for two years. But the album was so spare and under-produced, its lyrics so harrowing, that it was easy to miss Young's conclusion: he was saying goodbye to despair, not being overwhelmed by it.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/20/2004
Label: Warner Bros Uk
UPC: 0093624852629
catalogNumber: 248526
Rank: 7939

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neil Young   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Wurlitzer
Crosby & Nash   Rhythm Guitar
Graham Nash   Vocals,Wurlitzer
Rick Danko   Bass
Rusty Kershaw   Fiddle,Guitar,Violin,Slide Guitar
Ben Keith   Organ,Bass,Dobro,Guitar,Drums,Steel Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,Wurlitzer,Hand Drums
David Crosby   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Tim Drummond   Bass,Percussion,Drums
Levon Helm   Drums
Ralph Molina   Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Drums
Billy Talbot   Bass
George Whitsell   Guitar
Joe Yankee   Bass,Harp,Tambourine

Technical Credits

Neil Young   Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
David Briggs   Producer,Audio Production
Rusty Kershaw   Liner Notes
Gary Burden   Art Direction,Repackaging
Mark Henry Harman   Producer
Schmitt   Producer,Audio Production
Mark Harman   Audio Production
Jenice Heo   Repackaging
Gary Burdon   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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On the Beach 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
footpathcowboy More than 1 year ago
ON THE BEACH, the third part of Neil Young's "doom trilogy" to be recorded (but the second to be released), is one of his best CDs ever. Part of the reason that it stayed in the vaults so long is that Young overcame three disabilities (epilepsy, diabetes, polio) to wield total control over his own career, and as a result, he was able to keep many of his albums from coming out on CD, including this one, for many years. This is unfortunate, as ON THE BEACH showed him creating a unique hybrid of the hippie country-rock of Buffalo Springfield with the hard rock sound of pro-law-enforcement band Montrose, anticipating the musical direction he'd take for many years afterwards. This CD is a must own for any rock fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some records just grab one's attention from the opening notes until the last song's fadeout. Time slips by unnoticed -- or seems to stand still -- and the listener wakes from a trance, not realizing he or she has been hypnotized by art of the highest order. Such is "On the Beach" -- Neil Young's 1974 apocalyptic masterpiece. It's not so much the impact of any one particular song, but the impression left by the recording as a whole, that sticks in the consciousness. The record chronicles Young's crumbling personal life at the time, but he connects the dots to the general angst and malaise of the 1970s, the death of 1960s idealism, Watergate, the end of cheap energy, environmentalism, cults, corporate greed, etc., in eight very concise statements using twelve-bar blues forms. Add gorgeous, understated melodies to some of Young's most memorable lyrics -- "See the Sky About the Rain," "Revolution Blues," "On the Beach," and "Ambulance Blues" in particular -- and this record holds its own with Young's most popular records. Not too many people liked this one 30 years ago, but the tunes have passed the test of time, and stand as one of Young's strongest statements. It's a testament to its strength that this one record had web sites devoted to it alone, and vinyl copies were eagerly sought by collectors who paid mint prices. It's well worth adding to any Neil Young collection -- definitely desert island disc material!
Guest More than 1 year ago
a must have in the neil collection...everyone needs a few albums like this for those rainy days...one of those albums that can make you think about your life...this album is that good....
Guest More than 1 year ago
without a doubt... young best record... finally on CD...