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Neil Young - Old Ways

Geffen Records - August 1985

by Trent McMartin

Neil Young, Old WaysThe history of Old Ways is a complex one, spanning a few years in the early 80's. Head record honcho David Geffen wanted Harvest 2; Young gave him the electronically experimental Trans. Geffen asked for another Rust Never Sleeps; Young dropped the country album Old Ways, which in turn was rejected by Geffen, who wanted something more rock and roll. In response, the ever-sly Young gave him an album (Everybody's Rockin') of old early rock and roll covers and doo-wop songs. Then after Geffen lost the ridiculous suit he filed against Young for making "uncharacteristic, uncommercial records," Young re-released Old Ways. Yet the Old Ways that was issued is another album all together from the original record. Many tracks from the first Old Ways remain unreleased, though I imagine they weren't any better (or worse) than the tunes that ended up making the cut. Most of them have that late 70's, early 80s country feel - a "Luckenbach Texas" type of vibe going on. Which makes for a highly dated, extremely forgettable collection of songs, despite the fact that it was some of the best music he recorded in the 80's.

Rating: 3.5/5


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