Gotta keep you dancing
So, this is the first album I bought new at the release. 1988 is the year! Since then I have as a die hard fan of Neil and bought every single album he released as soon as I have been able. Unfortunately I sold off most of my vinyl records in the early nineties and only bought cds. What a bad decision! Imagine the cost nowadays to buy all those 90s and 00s albums second hand via record stores or online. Luckily Neil has his “Official Releases Series” project where he releases remastered reissues.
First album back at Reprise after the confusing years at Geffen, Neil threw yet another curve ball with this blues-rock album with a strong horn section. Neil’s guitar play is challenged by saxophone and jazz trumpets in the sound picture.
The album has a very tight feeling, it is solid. Some albums feels scattered, but this has a uniform style. The album is also very even. I have a hard time to pinpoint any favourites. Sure, “This note’s for you” with its criticism of fellow artist selling out for the extra buck is great. The music video is rather fun if I remember correctly. The rest of the album’s lyrics seems to be about the perils and challenges for the travelling musician. A lot of songs are about relationships an how it is hard to keep it in the pants.
I think I may like the softer and slower songs more. The rockers are fun in a way, to be had in certain locations, but they would hardly be found in any “best of”-tapes of mine.
“Couple De Ville”, “Twilight”, “Can’t believe your lyin’” and “One thing” are the best songs. I think. “Ten men working’” is a nice first song, about the man himself and his band working the joints. “Married man” could be a sequel of the same story, rather nice stomper. The two tracks are also very similar in tempo and sound.
My least favourites are “Life in the city”, “Sunny inside” and “Hey hey”.
Back in the day I collected bootlegs, on audio tapes, vinyl records or cds. I always looked for great sounding recordings from Neil’s 1987-1988 tour with the Bluenotes. All the songs from this album and more were played there and I always felt that those live recordings represented the era much better. Also, the greatest unreleased song “Ordinary people” were from that era. A lesser version of that song was later released on “Chrome Dreams II”.
In 2015 Neil also released a 4 LP box of live material from the Bluenotes tour. That is one of my more precious albums on the shelf. It will be reviewed at a later date.
My rating: 7/10
- Ten men workin’
- This note’s for you
- Coupe De Ville
- Life in the city
- Married man
- Sunny inside
- Can’t believe your lyin’
- Hey hey
- One thing
Best songs: “Couple De Ville”, “Twilight”, “Can’t believe your lyin’” and “One thing”
Released on April 11th, 1988