Neil Young – Revolution Blues

• “Revolution Blues” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to HardRoad87.

8.2 “Fantastic Folk Rock / Americana from the USA”

From his album “On The Beach” (Reprise Records R-2180) released in 1974.

My album review:

The pessimistic one is in very fine form here, evidenced immediately on “Walk On”, a coolly laid-back blues rocker which positively struts on forward, pissed off, but head high. Melodic Americana is the order of the day on “See The Sky About To Rain”, technically a cover of the Byrds 1973 song, although written by Neil. It’s all steel pedal melancholia, befitting of the greyness in the lyrics, with some sweet harmonica at the death. The incredible high-quality 1-2-3 starter is heightened with “Revolution Blues” in which Neil serves up a Dylan-esque story-like monologue, loosely inspired by that uber-baddie, Charles Manson. These 3 are unchallenged in the album’s hierarchal, although I care for the 2 folksy numbers, “For The Turnstiles”, which includes banjo, harmonica and dobro for down-home authenticity and “Ambulance Blues” which heavily digs on Bert Jansch’s “Needle of Death” musically, and barks at critics, Richard Nixon and the state of CSNY with the line “You’re all just pissing in the wind”. Hee-hee, gotta love Neil, he just lets it all out. Side one dominates the second here but, all in all, I rate “On The Beach” as his best since “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” back in ’69.

You can read the reviews for all of my favourite albums of 1974 here.


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