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Chrome Dreams II

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Editors’ Notes

Neil Young has spent his career vacillating between folk-based acoustic ballads and fiery distorted-guitar jams and while he’s often used his albums to address these individual styles, he’s also been known to balance the two seamlessly when it suits his nature. Chrome Dreams II is Young’s playful 2007 nod to the 1977 album Chrome Dreams that he once planned to release, but being Neil decided against. Young’s mercurial moods ensure a serendipitous return. “Ordinary People” is a song that’s been floating around as performance and bootleg for years and finally receives an 18-minute official release that features Young’s related-to-the-era lyrics (Lee Iacocca is so ‘80s) and his usual incendiary guitar jams. “Beautiful Bluebird,” “Boxcar” and “Spirit Road” exhibit Young’s generous talent with the simplest of sentiments, while “No Hidden Path” extends into an 11-minute workout with serious guitar work underpinning the haunting chorus that seeps out from the feedback. Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, pedal steel extraordinaire Ben Keith and bassist Rick Rosas fill out Young’s simple, unadorned band that leave plenty of room for Young to roam.

Customer Reviews

A Greatest Hits of Eras

Before this release had come out, I had been reading much of the hoopla leading up to it. Most of this was filling-in those out of the know or (like me) somewhat in the know about Chrome Dreams 1. CD1 is a collection of never released but heavily bootlegged songs from the ‘70’s. So I was expecting Chrome Dreams 2 to have much the same vibe as classics like Hurricane, Look Out for My Love, Pocahontas, or Powderfinger, all of which showed up in fine (though often different) form in later releases. So when I downloaded CD2 this morning and listened all day, I was surprised in a pleasant way to find it was really not that vibe at all. Now, I know that many of these songs are from other eras or sessions, some are new, etc. and I don’t really know which is what. So, I’ll just start guessing. Ordinary People, with the prominent horn line and muted trumpet solo, is from the This Note’s for You sessions. Though I will say that the soloing (of which there is plenty in this 18 minute stretch) harkens more to the strangled playing found in the last runs of Hurricane than it does the (often) more melodic, blues-ish solos of The Note’s 4U. Though the banjo picking might throw you off, Boxcar would sit nicely within the confines of Sleeps With Angels. Boxcar is unique and it is my favorite on CD2 in the early stages here. Beautiful Bluebird, Shining Light, and Ever After have that country-Neil flavor, thinking of side A of American Star ‘n Bars, Hawks & Doves, and Old Ways. The Believer is straight out of the soulful Are You Passionate recording sessions, with the swing beat, the background singing, and the guitar strums. Just a great little tune right here that should make you very happy. Dirty Old Man is garage scuzz in the Piece of Crap, Welfare Mothers, Farmer John vein of ruckus Neil & Crazy Horse put out from time to time. I can’t decide what I’m hearing in Spirit Road, dare I say Maybe that’s a stretch. No Hidden Path has the wonderfully sloppy sound of Broken Arrow songs with Crazy Horse. The opening riff is pure Neil & old black. The solos are not shy and go on gloriously through much of the 14+ minutes. No Hidden Path was meant to be played loud. I highly recommend doing so. Which leads, finally, to The Way, with its soothing children’s choir backing a very nice song of hope. Personally, I think you might need The Way to take away the pain of the bumps & bruises you received cranking up No Hidden Path & Dirty Old Man. To wrap it up, I think this is a great release for those (like me) who are big fans of the wide Neil Young spectrum of styles. For those falling in that category, you will be happy. I gave up long ago trying to figure out what people like, don’t like, might like coming from Neil. From my perspective, even in his ‘60’s, Neil Young is still as vibrant and relevant as ever. He’s the King of Rock n Roll and I can’t wait to see him in a few weeks. But, as always, this is just one man’s opinion.

Great Neil - Thanks!!

An awesome CD, indeed! A real nice blend of music, and a very diverse set of tunes - some old and some new. Very typical Neil, in a good way,......if you like his country bluegrass sound and his blazing guitar this album is for you. Neil Young is probably the most consistent artist around, indeed.

The Next Chapter

Lots of wisdom in Neil's poetic lyrics, as always. Like he said, "It's all the same song". This latest chapter of the Life and Times of NY is consistently ragged, mystically lyrical, harmoniously interesting, and artfully produced. I especially like Ordinary People, an 18 minute journey into the un-ordinary mind of this 60 year old rocker. Somehow, after all this time, Neil can still weave his simplistic but powerful ideas into the language of rock that any "common" man or woman can and should understand. As the still clear voice of the 60's generation, Neil Young remains the King of Conscience. Long live the King!


Born: November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After Neil Young left the California folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield in 1968, he slowly established himself as one of the most influential and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters of his generation. Young's body of work ranks second only to Bob Dylan in terms of depth, and he was able to sustain his critical reputation, as well as record sales, for a longer period of time than Dylan, partially because of his willfully perverse work ethic. From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s through...
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