Neil Young – Time Fades Away


Our White Hot Shootout Winner for 2017

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  • Triple Triple! Only the second Top Copy of this album to EVER hit the site
  • Both A+++ sides are big, rich and full-bodied with wonderful size and separation
  • Never released on CD, this is probably the toughest Neil album to come by
  • “Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career — like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn’t for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects.” — Allmusic, 4 stars

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Unlike most “live” albums this one was cut direct-to-disc with no fixes or overdubs, and on the best pressings that warts-and-all approach really pays off. There’s real openness, and the tonality on the better copies is both rich and sweet. This kind of sound has the potential to put you right in the front row. Unlike most “live” albums this one was cut direct-to-disc, with no fixes or overdubs, and on the best pressings that warts-and-all approach really pays off. There’s good weight, real openness, and the tonality on these better copies is both rich and sweet. This kind of sound can put you right in the front row.

Finding a copy like this is no walk in the park. The stamper numbers are all over the map, providing little if any guidance. Also, since the album didn’t sell all that well and was never released on CD, there just aren’t that many clean copies floating around. Complicating matters even further, the eight songs here were recorded at seven different shows, so the sound, of course, varies a bit from track to track. It took a long time and a lot of work to make sense of it all, but you Neil Young fanatics are going to get a thrill out of the sound on a Hot Stamper copy — guaranteed.

 

The Lost Neil Young Album

This is actually very different from your typical live rock album for one main reason: it’s not a bunch of hits from earlier albums played half-assed. These are songs that didn’t appear elsewhere, meaning these are the definitive versions. Knowing what a stickler Neil is about sound, you can be sure he was pretty careful about making sure his songs were well represented here.

Furthermore, as the label states, these tracks were “Mastered 16-Track Direct To Disc by Computer.” That means there was no “fixing” or “correcting” any problems after the fact. What you get here is the real deal with no edits or overdubs, and as flawed and imperfect as it may be… well, that’s just rock and roll. There’s something particularly cool about hearing these “warts and all” tracks (which are actually pretty darn good) and knowing you are getting the unadulterated straight dope. The sound is unusually clean and clear for a live recording from the era, and I’ll take that, along with a few flubbed notes, over the alternative any day.

This is a dark, complex record that fits in better with Tonight’s The Night and On The Beach than it does with After The Gold Rush and Harvest. When Neil was preparing for this tour he fired his longtime band member Danny Whitten, who at the time was struggling to kick a heroin addiction and by all accounts in no shape to play. Whitten died the next day, after using his last paycheck from the band on one final fix.

The music that resulted from this tragedy, captured live, is as ragged, raw and emotional as anything Neil ever did.

AMG 4 Star Rave Review

While critics and fans were not kind to Time Fades Away upon first release, decades later it sounds very much of a piece with Tonight’s the Night and On the Beach, albums that explored the troubled zeitgeist of America in the mid-’70s in a way few rockers had the courage to face. If the performances are often loose and ragged, they’re also brimming with emotional force, and despite the dashed hopes of “Yonder Stands the Sinner” and “Last Dance,” “Don’t Be Denied” is a moving remembrance of Young’s childhood and what music has meant to him, and it’s one of the most powerful performances Young ever committed to vinyl. Few rockers have been as willing as Young to lay themselves bare before their audience, and Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career — like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn’t for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Time Fades Away
Journey Through the Past
Yonder Stands the Sinner
L.A.
Love in Mind

Side Two

Don’t Be Denied
The Bridge
Last Dance