Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Be A Goddess in the Planet Wars: Results of Poll for Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century


Some fascinating voting results rolling in from Poll: Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century.

Very close voting results with Greendale (2003) receiving 27%, followed by Chrome Dreams II (2008) with 20%. Prairie Wind (2005) and Silver & Gold (2000) are tied with 18%.

Living With War (2006) is next at 11%. Are You Passionate? (2002) and Fork in the Road are tied at 3%.


Harm said...
As a contemporary piece of art, Living With War is probably the best one out of all these, but in the long run it will be Greendale that will be remembered. No matter which way you look at it, you will have to agree that, as a concept album, which touches on many societal aspects, such as environmental issues, it is right up there with albums like Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy.

It's also one of the more focused efforts of Neil in the 00's, after all, it came with a book, live concert series and even a movie! Perhaps even more than Living with War, Greendale is quintessentially Neil: when he started performing his new (unreleased) material on the road, people were just as surprised/angry as they were in his heyday when he gave the songs form Harvest, Time Fades Away and Tonight's the Night the same treatment. Greendale is not merely an album, it's a full blown art project, and for that reason it's his greatest achievement in the last decade and one of the greatest in his career.

Donal Murphy said...:
I voted for 'Living With War', Neil really went on a limb with this one. No one else did anything like this or sang anti war sentiment in such a direct way. I applaud him for that. It was of it's time, and will date quickly as it's hard to replicate the feelings around at the time. These songs were only toured once and we will probably never again, hear them live. It was the album Neil had to do.

'Greendale' was my real favourite, but Living With War gets my vote as the message was, well, potent.

Matthew Lintzenich said...
I picked Fork in the Road, primarily because it's an awesome sounding album with extremely strong material on it. I believe the material on FITR is stronger than Greendale, even if it doesn't have that overarching concept/story that made GD so special.

Everything from the mix to the songwriting, the guitar playing, etc. on FITR just works for me.

A lot of people dismiss this album, but I think they'll eventually come around - just give it some time and a bunch of spins and it'll start opening up to you.

I voted for Living with War in the original poll, because it's the most socially important album he's done in the 00's. But FITR is just getting short-shrift, and it shouldn't be.

I also agree with anon 2:20 - Sleeps with Angels is most definitely a masterpiece that hasn't quite had a successor in the 00's.

SONY said...
You polled for 'favorite' which I voted for Silver and Gold.

But the one the hit me the hardest was Living With War.

That thing grabbed me and shook me and didn't let me go for about 2 months. I hate war. I hate hate. I hate necessary evils which I think war is. But when the guy is coming at you with his hate clenched in his actions you either fight or die. Even that part sucks. Anyhow, I'm glad that with mother nature on the run in the 21st century we still have uncle Neil to help us along. Long Live Neil Young and his music.

Jim said...:
Best Album of this lot, hands down, it's Silver and Gold - most polished, accomplished, introspective and immediate. The Great Divide is astounding... Razor Love is amazing... Silver & Gold is timeless... And Distant Photograph has be balled up in tears. And, to top it off, Buffalo Springfield Again is nostalgic. So, I say S&G as #1 - second choice would probably be Greendale, since Grandpa's Interview, Sun Green and Be the Rain are so strong...

And what do we think?

Here's what we said on our Fork in the Road Reviews: Got A Potbelly
Recently, we wrote about how the initial consensus around Neil Young's Greendale and Living With War was that they were flawed and misguided. Our opinion was that Fork in the Road seemed to be falling right into the same mindset. But we maintain that the three works together actually constitute a cohesive trilogy that may just validate Neil's early 21st century work.

There's an intriguing arc between the three albums. With Greendale , Neil sounds the alarm that something has gone terribly wrong on a number of fronts. Living With War was a direct confrontation of the need for a call to action. Fork in the Road -- the 3rd installment of the trilogy -- reveals Neil coming to grips with the fact that first you recognize a problem, then you call out the need to address it, and finally you do something about it.

All 3 albums were recorded very quickly without heavy production and stylistically cohesive. Raw Neil. We like it that way. Keeping it real.

A very strong decade, indeed. So what will those 'Teens bring Neil fans? Some Crazy Horse? Some acoustic? Something off the wall?

Maybe. Yes. And definitely.

Wait. Is that toast we smell burning...

Polls are still open. Go and vote on Some fascinating voting results rolling in from Poll: Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century.

On the wayback machine, as a point of reference, here are the results of a 1994 Neil Young Album Poll on rust@death.

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At 1/13/2010 07:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A petition for the Horse, Thrash !

At 1/13/2010 09:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Greendale, because it's special album, even in Neil's carrer, but I also love Fork In The Road, I don't know why it's so underrated. The 3rd is Are You Passionate? with some great love songs. Prairie Wind I found quite boring, the same as Living With War. Silver & Gold has got it's moments but as I said Greendale, Fork, and Passionate are the greatest in XXI century. And I'm looking forward for another Neil's album :)

At 1/13/2010 09:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Be A Goddess in the Planet Wars"

Funny. That was the first lyric I thought of when I left the theater after seeing Avatar last weekend.

ps - if you loved Greendale you'll like Avatar.

At 1/13/2010 10:24:00 AM, Blogger karen said...

Interesting. If you remove the archival releases from the poll I did last week, the results are almost identical (the ranking), except that Silver and Gold came in ahead of Prairie Wind by a wide margin.

At 1/13/2010 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...


Yes, I wasn't sure how this would come out after narrowing the field.

Thanks for the inspiration.

rock the vote!


At 1/13/2010 02:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting poll (thanks Thrasher), but I have to find laughable the idea that Greendale, LWW, and FITR "constitute a cohesive trilogy that may just validate Neil's early 21st century work." Neil's "21st century work", by all accounts other than the commentators on this website, has been spotty at best. I don't see anyone in the music media or otherwise re-assessing the original, prevailing view that the three albums mentioned above were a mixed bag (at their finest) and cliched and simplistic drivel (at their worst). Any allusion to the Ditch Trilogy (a set of albums that sound timeless and nuanced themes with dark emotion), with the most recent "trilogy" (a bang-you-over-the-head, literalistic, and current-events-driven collection of songs) is an insult to the work that established Neil's greatness.

To put it more simply, if I played any of the albums in the "21st century Trilogy" to my buddies or family members, they would laugh their ass off, and not in good way.

-Big Old Rig

At 1/13/2010 03:05:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Interesting comments BOR,

As I said on another post... Diversity is the spice of life and what is one person's Thrash is another person's Treasure!

Hey, enjoy your comments anyway BOR


At 1/13/2010 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad someone brought up AVATAR.
It's James Camerons Greendale.
See it in 3D..."D'oh!"

He's also a fan....

At 1/13/2010 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Interesting how people try to justify their opinions by allying themselves with some illusory "prevailing view" or "popular perspective", and pretend that everyone else agrees with them, and that's why they're right.

Great job thinking for yourself there, BOR. Ever meet Rob Harvilla? He writes for the village voice. You'd probably get along.

At 1/13/2010 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So happy to see Greendale won; didn't get a chance to vote.

Greendale is one of the most underrated albums of the last 10 years. Would love to see Neil release a DVD from that tour; those were some of my favorite shows of all time!

At 1/14/2010 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

My introduction to Neil was the Greendale tour. It was the perfect way to get into him. I had no Neil Young albums, and was a huge Pink Floyd fan. I'd heard and appreciated the classics, but hadn't tuned into him really.

A friend invited me to see Neil and Crazy Horse at PNC Arts Center here in NJ. It was the greatest show. I was simultaneously awe-struck by the stage play and the rampant folk-metal onslaught, and the story, etc... and extremely irritated at the closed-minded people who kept yelling, "Play something we know, Neil!" I was incredulous at how people could be so closed-minded to anything new and interesting.

Then, after the totally amazing Greendale show, NY&CH came out and totally blew my mind with the most incredible rock fury I'd witnessed in a long time.

I had no clue at the time that Neil was as much a transcendent rock god as he was an accomplished, creatively talented songwriter.

Since then it's been all Neil, all the time. And this is also why I have a soft-spot for his 2000's output. I've been following it all since '03, and have loved the whole experience, and Neil's unhinged creativity, surprises around every corner... Following Neil has been a wonderful roller-coaster of vibrant experience, and his boundless creativity is simply unmatched.

The funny thing about people who diss Neil's 2000's output is... Well, let's put it this way: I'd like to see them try to write and record one album that equals or comes close to any of his 2000's albums.

At 1/14/2010 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, does anyone know the sales figures of Neil's recent albums? Doesn't really matter of course, but I wonder which one has resonated the most with the general public. And since each copy of the Archives counts as 8 discs, does anyone know if it has charted anywhere or gone gold or platinum?

Curious George

At 1/14/2010 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Pinto (or Flounder) said...

Great poll, Thrasher.
I approached it the way I always do with this kind of thing, by asking myself what album(s) I actually listen to, today... which left Greendale comfortably out ahead followed by Silver and Gold and Are You Passionate. (The others, not so much.)

An interesting comparison poll would be for Neil's 80s albums (not sure of the dates, exactly, but maybe Trans through Bluenotes - I'm too lazy to look back and see if Trans came before or after a couple of the others, but the idea would be everything after Live Rust up to Freedom.)

For me, that poll would be topped, easily, by Lucky Thirteen, which I think is Neil's most underrated recording. It's like Decade 2 and holds up extremely well, even though I don't think it ever charted.

Thanks for the poll and the opportunity to revisit a very innaresting decade.

At 1/14/2010 08:08:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Yeah, I loved Avatar..Its just opened up a whole new world for the bench mark in making movies..

Wait till Neil gets hold of the concept..Neil in 3D! THAT will be an experience!!

3D Doc

P.S. I can see an album coming on!


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