8 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The final entry in Neil Young’s legendary “doom trilogy,” which includes the masterful Tonight’s the Night and Time Fades Away, On the Beach plays as a soundtrack to the hushed and troubled aftermath of Tonight’s the Night’s noisy catharsis. Having paid due tribute to his departed friends, and having reclaimed his status as a musical outsider, On the Beach finds Young ready to pick up the pieces and move on. The funk-inflected survivor’s anthem “Walk On” sets the tone, viewing the mistakes of the past through a lens that is part hazy nostalgia, part dread and doubt. Young still sounds haunted, but the harrowing “Ambulance Blues” and the paranoid dread of the title track sound like the work of a man who is coming to terms with his demons. On “Revolution Blues,” Young bids farewell to the dissolute Laurel Canyon folk scene in a hail of imaginary bullets, aided by solid backing from members of the Band, while the slyly ironic “Vampire Blues” finds him imagining himself as a vengeful destroyer of worlds. On the Beach is an album of paradoxes; it spins beauty out of desolation and hope out of fear and paranoia. It is among Neil Young’s finest accomplishments.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

The final entry in Neil Young’s legendary “doom trilogy,” which includes the masterful Tonight’s the Night and Time Fades Away, On the Beach plays as a soundtrack to the hushed and troubled aftermath of Tonight’s the Night’s noisy catharsis. Having paid due tribute to his departed friends, and having reclaimed his status as a musical outsider, On the Beach finds Young ready to pick up the pieces and move on. The funk-inflected survivor’s anthem “Walk On” sets the tone, viewing the mistakes of the past through a lens that is part hazy nostalgia, part dread and doubt. Young still sounds haunted, but the harrowing “Ambulance Blues” and the paranoid dread of the title track sound like the work of a man who is coming to terms with his demons. On “Revolution Blues,” Young bids farewell to the dissolute Laurel Canyon folk scene in a hail of imaginary bullets, aided by solid backing from members of the Band, while the slyly ironic “Vampire Blues” finds him imagining himself as a vengeful destroyer of worlds. On the Beach is an album of paradoxes; it spins beauty out of desolation and hope out of fear and paranoia. It is among Neil Young’s finest accomplishments.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

belagodiva ,

Maybe, his best

Neil Young on the heels of his best selling album. "Harvest" decended into greatness by retreating from fame and running completely off the rails. First came "Tonights the Night", his brilliant lament on losing Danny Whitten and a roadie to drug overdoses. Next, came "On the Beach", an anti-West Coast, California Dreaming album if there ever was one. Young nicely puts both Malibu and Laurel Canyon in perspective, revealing them as the beatific, phony displays of everything gone wrong in rock music in the 70s. This album was only available as a costly Japanese import for much of the 80s and 90s. As a result, many Neil Young fans may have missed its brilliance. As someone who has been a Neil Young fan from the beginning (i.e,, Buffalo Springfield, etc) and lived most of my adult life literally "on the beach" in Del Mar, CA, this album has gotten me through many many hard times. It is one of his finest.

rhythmwizard ,

Overlooked Neil Album

This album has a lot of soul, even for a Neil album.

bcmatthews ,

Neil at his finest...

This is one of, if not the best, Neil albums there is from start to finish. Not a bad number can be found.

The story behind this album is fantastic too. He turned a room in a Malibu mansion into a recording studio. Big names like Bob Dylan and David Crosby were often seen roaming the "On The Beach" set.

The title track is a DOOZY. Top 10 fave Neil cuts of all time. Classic Neil.

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