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Re-Ac-Tor (Remastered)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

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iTunes Review

Neil Young has always relied on the spontaneity of the moment to create his magic. Sometimes he comes up slightly short. No one will confuse Re-ac-tor with one of Young's major accomplishments, however, it does contain several essential moments, including the defiant clanging of the album's opening cut, "Opera Star," as underrated a tune as Young has written, jammed as it is with Young's incendiary guitar solos and his backing band Crazy Horse's unbridled power. "Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze" is one of Young's shaggy dog tales, complete with monotonous cowbell and a few scattered tortured screams. "T-Bone" is nearly perverse industrial, grinding for nine minutes on the bizarre couplet "Got mashed potato / Ain't got no T-Bone." "Shots," "Southern Pacific," reflecting Young's love for railroads, and "Motor City," a dated complaint against foreign cars have their obvious Young-ian charms. For anyone enamored with the man's bizarrely entrancing whine, this raw-in-the-studio document should be among the quirky faves.

Customer Reviews

neil rocks

the official review cites the songs on this album as "toss offs." Nothing could be further from the truth. this is the one Neil Young album that rocks from start to finish. I want to mirror the sentiments of other reviewers in saying Opera Star should have been one of Neils' biggest hits. Southern Pacific is a rocking yet poignant song that details the end of an train engineers career and perhaps the end of an era. Mr. Young, being an enthusiastic model train buff, puts an extrodinary amount of feeling in this song. Motor City, Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze, and T-Bone are humerous takes on old cars, old songs and mashed potatoes. This album makes me laugh. and brings a tear to my eye and simply rocks my socks off. This is truly an overlooked masterpiece from the extensive Neil Young catalog. I have every officially released album (and more than a few unofficial ones)that Neil Young has released and this is my favorite. rock on!

The punk in us all.

From the "official" review, I thought this album would be awful. But that review is dead wrong. This is Neil Young's strange ode to punk, cars, trains, and America. The album's from 1981 and it feels like a goodbye to the 1970's--the end of the American auto industry's dominance, California surfing, etc. This album is as enjoyable as anything Neil Young has ever done. The rhythms and beats on this album are closest to "Greendale". Buy this if you’re in a mood which calls for something other than “Harvest Moon.” By the way, just in case you were wondering, the infamous "T-Bone" is punk. 'nuff said.

Severely underrated, but definitely not a "masterpiece"

I'm a huge Neil Young fan, and I've listened to just about everything the guy has done. As far as the 80's are concerned, this album is 2nd only to Freedom, period. This was definitely his 2nd best artisitic, musical, and meaningful attempt of the dark Geffen decade (even though this is a reprise label), hands down. But, it has some major shortcomings. The first being it's ridiculously short length, 8 songs for a total of 39 minutes, it rivals Everybody's Rockin' in the this aspect. Secondly, it lacks diversity, as much as I enjoy Young and the Horse going balls to the wall rock 'n' roll, Neil usually tosses in a few semi-softies here and there to break up the intense noise barrage. Opera Star and Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleeze are undoubtedly the best songs on the album, and indeed are real hits, surpassing any other attempts at hard rock after it until Freedom and Ragged Glory. T-bone is a fun rock out song, Get Back On It, Southern Pacific, and Motor City are all country rock tinged, and are generally so-so, SoPac being the best among them. Rapid Transit is a sad testament of what Neil's new definition of Rock will be, and isn't a very good song. Shots also foreshadows his Trans and Landing on Water and Life adventures to come, but is a far better song. 4 stars for short length and lack of emotional focus and lyrical complexity.

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