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Neil Young: Bluenote Café

Live document of the end of Shakey’s experimental period.

As with many of his peers, the 80s proved to be an unforgiving decade for Neil Young, and an infuriating one for his fans. Stylistically veering from electronic music through to rockabilly and back to country, Young then moved to turgid, horn-driven R&B, which is where this latest addition to the Archives Performance Series finds him.

Recorded in a variety of venues on the 1988 This Note’s For You tour and backed by the Bluenotes, this collection serves to remind why this is a less than fondly remembered era for Shakey.

As evidenced on Welcome To The Big Room, all too often Young sounds as if he’s playing a burlesque club, his voice straining against the backing.

Despite the inclusion of unreleased material and early versions of Crime In The City and Ordinary People, there’s little here to entice anyone but the hardcore fan. Still, his creative rebirth is coming next.