The second photo is the cover art to Neil’s On the Beach album, regarded (by me anyway) as his finest album. This is up for some serious, serious debate, you could pick any random 5 out of his discography and say that 3 of those in your hands should be included in the no. 1 Neil discussion. So many bangers from this man. But enough brown-nosing/ dickriding/ Stanning/ bum-boying/ over-zealous fundamentalist worship for now, there will be time aplenty for that when I get round to reviewing his work in my “What I say is vinyl” review series, where I’ll be digging in my vinyl through some personal classics, as well as some obscure shit (Slim Whitman anyone?) that no-one in my age group should subject themselves to. With a scope of classic rock, soul, a dash of funk here and there, smidgens of punk, no-wave, miscellaneous and of course, some nice and tasty phat hip-hop I like to think I have enough to keep people interested. And with my new found love of eBay and oxfam there should be enough vinyl in the world to keep me interested to.
The first picture is taken from the On the Beach cover shoot. This album was recorded after Tonight’s the Night, but released before, so it’s the final in Neil’s (note the first name terms we are one) Ditch Trilogy, where he was going through a depressing time, rejecting the fame he earned from Harvest, the loss of guitarist Danny Whitten from Crazy Horse, as well as the fact that the hippie dream had been an empty, broken, drunk hazy promise. The album cover features Neil staring longingly out to sea, with a buried Cadillac as a symbol of the death of the American Dream. There’s also some rather fetching beach furniture, with that classic, sexy, 70’s wallpaper look.
But cheer up Neil! You’re on a fucking beach! In California! Have a goddamn holiday man, you can afford to let your hair down. The photo in black and white of Neil grinning like a hyena is uplifting to me. The dude in the background is like what Neil was on his LP cover, staring out. Neil is staring inward to the camera. I like to think that this album helped break the duck of Neil’s depressive phase, the worst is behind him, he has chronicled it, displayed it, and there is a rugged beauty to it. Walk on’ I guess is one message you can take from this There are some uplifting quotes you can lift from it to, even though they are admittedly outnumbered by the depressing ones.
It is a true masterpiece, in particular side B, which is like a black hole of quality (in a good way, it’s densely packed, draws you in and will never lose its majesty)
P.S. I understand that black holes lose mass by Hawkin’s radiation, but stop nit picking bitches, this album will outlive the heat death of the universe.
Though my problems
That don’t make them
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
You’re just pissin in the wind