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There is Always One

I don’t generally go for music that makes me feel sad, especially somber rock n roll or folk records. I admire Neil Young but many of his most famous tunes just make me want to weep. So I stay away. But there is one song of his that I’ve always loved, ever since it spent a brief amount of time in heavy rotation on MTV back when. (Funny how even with guys you don’t like there is usually at least one record that stirs you; I’m no Bruce fan but I dig “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” and I steer clear of U2 at all costs but have always liked “I Will Follow.”)

Here’s my favorite Neil Young tune, almost a gag record, but soulful and a lot of fun.

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1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Feb 28, 2009 10:54 am

No Neil Young, Springsteen, or U2? Ouch. I'll give you this much, the Boss and U2 songs you like are definitely among the best. "I Will Follow" especially is my favorite from U2. I'm surprised though, given the cinematic quality of some of Springsteen's best work, that you've never gotten into him. To me something like "Jungleland" is the musical equivalent of a Scorsese film.

That said, when I was a teenager I hated Neil Young, primarily because I couldn't stand his voice. Of course, I've come around and now consider his wavering falsetto absolutely beautiful in certain settings. I'm not necessarily surprised you've picked the above tune, because we all tend to favor the songs of our youth (I'm a big softy for most of what was on MTV in 1983 as well), but for Young, the early '80s are considered his down period, when he was aimlessly doing genre records, like the rockabilly disc the above came from. His career almost ground to a halt after that LP (Everybody's Rockin'), and he didn't really get back in the swing until 1989's Freedom with "Rockin' In The Free World." For me, though, give me 1970's After the Gold Rush and it's kin. It's not a happy record, but it's a spare, heartfelt, and gorgeous one.

2 PJ   ~  Feb 28, 2009 12:15 pm

One of those Shocking Pinks, Anthony Crawford, was a golfing buddy of mine many moons ago during our salad days. He still dabbles with Neil from time to time and has done some solo things since those pink days... good times...

3 thelarmis   ~  Feb 28, 2009 2:30 pm

i understand wanting to stay away from sad albums, but sometimes they are quite important and healing, in a bizarre cathartic kinda way. there are so many in so many styles.

sinatra's 'in the wee small hours', is often referred to as the "suicide record". how uplifting!

bob dylan's 'time out of mind', is brilliantly sad.

a lot of Fish (from Marillion), is rather emotional.

and on and on. and on. sometimes i have to stay away from these types of records; while other times, i need to fully immerse myself in them. kinda like dylan said in "the lonesome death of hattie carroll" :

"take the rag away from your face. now ain't the time for your tears."

that's when you listen to a happy album!

"bury the rag deep in your face, for now's the time for your tears."

that's when you spin Billie Holiday's "Lady In Satin" !!!

fwiw, when i'm in a really good mood, i like to listen to Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive!!!

oh, and William Zanzinger, finally got what he deserved...

cliff - i side w/ Alex here as i'm not really fans of Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen or U2. i know all are great and i own some of the material and i don't dislike any of those artists - i'm just not what you would call an active fan of any of them, that's all.

4 PJ   ~  Feb 28, 2009 2:40 pm

[3] Well said! Jumpin' Jive was a superior set of covered songs from the Big Band era and arguably kept that genre alive in the Punk and New Wave 80's. If Five Guys Named Moe doesn't turn you into a "hep cat", nothing will!

"You run your mouth and I'll run my business brother!"


5 thelarmis   ~  Feb 28, 2009 2:52 pm

"take me right back to the track, jack!"


yeah man, that's a great JJ album. waaaaay ahead of his time with that stuff, as Brian Setzer, Royal Crown Revue and a host of others, had some really nice success with that type of material about a decade and a half later.

5 Guys Named Moe, just RULES!!! the song AND the play. have you seen it? i saw it at the Eugene O'Neill Theater in NYC when its run first began. my parents saw it on a visit to London. i've seen smaller versions of it here in Atlanta. in fact, a trumpet player i work with was in the band. i would've LOVED to have had the opportunity to play in the pit for that production.

i'd say that most of the material JJ covered here was more from the Louis Jordan/Cab Calloway Jump/Jive style, rather than the Glenn Miller like Big Band stuff. anyway, i have Joe covering more of this material in live form over the years. plus, he recorded another Louis Jordan tune during these sessions that didn't make the final release (for some reason) - "Knock Me A Kiss".

Are you HEP to the jive?! ; )

6 PJ   ~  Feb 28, 2009 3:15 pm

I'm afraid the only play I've seen on Broadway was Spamalot, a classic in its own right. However, I'm the heppest cat that ever floy'd a floy doin' the Flat Foot Floogie in these parts!


7 thelarmis   ~  Feb 28, 2009 3:20 pm

no way! i used to play the Flat Foot Floogie (and the Floy-Floy!) in a band!!! i've got the Slim Gaillard 4cd box set! i wish william was at this thread, i think he likes this stuff. i know he digs the Frim Fram Sauce. i guess, "there ain't nobody here but us chickens!" this style of music is soooo much fun!!!

8 PJ   ~  Feb 28, 2009 3:35 pm

I have to agree with the fun part. Also, I think that type of music and its bouncy style goes best with baseball. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think so.


9 Rich   ~  Feb 28, 2009 10:57 pm

My favorite Neil Young song.

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