Neil Young's Noise & Flowers: a heartfelt tribute to a fallen friend

Twentieth-century gems from Neil Young, performed live in 2019 with Promise Of The Real

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real: Noise & Flower cover art
(Image: © NYA/Reprise)

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Compiled from their summer 2019 tour, this album stands as Young’s heartfelt tribute to Elliot Roberts, his friend and manager of over 50 years who passed away two weeks before the tour began.

Eschewing Young’s work recorded with Promise Of The Real – or indeed anything written this side of 1995 – Noise & Flowers’ nine crowd pleasers offer exactly what that brilliant title suggests.

This includes a range of styles from Rockin’ In The Free World (slightly marred by its ending) and Throw Your Hatred Down to the country stylings of Field Of Opportunity and Hank To Hendrix.

Completists will need to shell out for the deluxe box set to acquire five more tracks including On The Beach – which he’s played only four times in the past 47 years and never before with a band – but less enjoyable might be the strained renditions of other bonuses I’ve Been Waiting For You and Winterlong.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.