On the Beach CD (1974)
All Systems Go! buy CD music After working his way through loss and chaos on the brilliant TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT (recorded in 1973, but not released until 1975), Neil Young deftly exorcised any lingering demons with 1974's ON THE BEACH. The album opens with the saunter of the aptly titled "Walk On," followed by the utterly gorgeous, Wurlitzer-tinged "See the Sky about to Rain."
The set also features a trio of scathing songs--"Revolution Blues," "Vampire Blues," and "Ambulance Blues"--that address issues important to Young, both social and personal. It is good to hear Young back with such bite and vitriol, especially after the broken desperation of TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT. But while ON THE BEACH is edgy and deeply felt, it also manages to sound liberating and relaxed, with glimmers of hope and humor peeking through the spare, evocative arrangements. Inexplicably unreleased on CD until 2003, ON THE BEACH is both unflinching and resilient, and easily stands as one of Young's finest albums.
Recording information: Broken Arrow Studios, San Francisco, CA; Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Bob Seidemann.
Guests:Graham Nash/Rick Danko/ David Crosby/Levon Helm
Personnel: Neil Young (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica, Wurlitzer organ); Neil Young (Wurlitzer piano); Ben Keith (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, dobro, Wurlitzer piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, drums, background vocals); Graham Nash (vocals, Wurlitzer piano, Wurlitzer organ); Ralph Molina (vocals, drums, background vocals); Tim Drummond (bass instrument, drums, percussion); Rick Danko, Billy Talbot (bass instrument); David Crosby (vocals, guitar); Rusty Kershaw (guitar, slide guitar, violin, fiddle); George Whitsell (guitar); Joe Yankee (harp, tambourine); Levon Helm (drums).
Liner Note Author: Rusty Kershaw.