On The Beach
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On the Beach


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Neil Young On the Beach review

On the Beach review

Neil Young's On the Beach takes a familiar songwriting approach where he mixes electric and acoustic material, as well as country and rock. The album has a primary of core musicians, though, several tracks include guests and line-up variations. Below we've noted some key personnel in the musician list. Of them, Ben Keith plays a boat load of instruments and really adds the instrumental melody and charm to many of the songs. 

I read several reviewers opine that On the Beach is one of Neil Young's best albums. It certainly is strong, but I don't agree that it is one of his elite recordings. Two of the songs from On the Beach made it onto his compilation Decade. I concur that these selections are the best choices. The upbeat rock/county tone of "Walk On" is in the tradition of the title track of his  second solo album. "For the Turnstiles" is  a gorgeous duet that features Neil on banjo. This is not radio friendly, but his fans will cherish it.

There are a few electric rock songs intertwined. They aren't the monster hits that some of his other anthems are, but they add balance to the album. One of them is "Revolution Blues" that has some excellent bass thanks to Rick Danko. Another being "Vampire Blues." The title track is a pretty song with a hypnotizing drum pattern and heartfelt vocals, and includes Neil's best guitar work on the album.

The last two songs have Rusty Kershaw adding instrumental brilliance. "Motion Pictures" is a nice acoustic number with steel guitar melody throughout. If a third song was selected for Decade this would get my vote.

The last track is lengthy and is sort of like a Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate" or "Visions Of Johanna," but not quite at that level. Sorry Neil fans, let's be truthful. Anyway, a nice guitar tone, with some well placed fiddle and harmonica phrases.

On The Beach comes from the era of Neil Young's prime so it is no surprise that it is an excellent album. We'd certainly recommend it, even if you have already Decade
by Barry Small  

Neil Young On the Beach review
Track List

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1. Walk On 
2. See the Sky About To Rain
3. Revolution Blues 
4. For the Turnstiles 
5. Vampire Blues 
6. On the Beach 
7. Motion Pictures  
8. Ambulance Blues

Neil Young On the Beach review

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Neil Young - Guitar, vocals, piano, banjo, harmonica
Ben Keith - Slide guitar, steel guitar, piano, dobro, organ, hair drum, bass
Billy Talbot - Bass
Ralph Molina - Drums, vocals

Tim Drummond - Bass, Percussion, Drums (2, 5, 6)
Levon Helm - Drums (2,3)
Rick Danko - Bass (3)
Joe Yankee - Harp, tambourine (2, 8)
David Crosby - Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals (3)
George Whitsell - Guitar (5)
Graham Nash - Piano (6)
Rusty Kershaw - Fiddle, Slide Guitar, (7, 8, Liner Notes)

Neil Young On the Beach review

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Warner 1974

Neil Young On the Beach review


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