Neil Young, Friends & Relatives
Road Rock Volume 1 (Reprise)
by Craig Regala
Eight cuts, all good ones, although the recording seems a bit distant and politely mannered. Also, it’s hard to liver up to the live Neil legacy, Rust Never Sleeps being one of the finest guitar rock slabs ever. So check into this one like a jazz date, another show, a different take on the music, worked and reworked to say the same thing something differently. Face it, there aren’t too many things on your mind, no matter how “complex” you think you are: It’s pretty much relationships and desire. Music can elucidate this stuff through its ability to play on emotion, “to play with feeling,” as the oft-hurled quote goes. Yeah, I’d pull out other live Neil, especially Weld, but that’s not to say I won’t play this and play it for others. Really, it’s got an 18-minute version of “Cowgirl in the Sand” that might be a touch short.