The Rock 'N' Roll Cowboy Page
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#1
Rock'N'Roll Cowboy (5 CDR)
A large compiliation of Neil live from the beginning through 1991. Many treasures lie in these discs. Originally release as a (4) discs set, two songs were moved to fifth discs to make room for CDR recording. Crome Dreams bootCD fills up disc 5
Great Dane Boot CD>CDR   Great Dane 9407/ABCD
Obtained from Rust List Wonderboot '98 tree
Sound: A to B+, Sound Various due to different sources
Time  disc 1: 73:30    disc 2: 72:07    disc 3: 72:48    disc 4: 73:02    disc 5: 69:55
Flaws: None, openning intro deleted from disc 1 so it could fit on a CDR, all the music is there
Kahuna's Rating:****1/2
Heres what the Old Gray Cat says about this show:
Rock 'n' Roll Cowboy - (Great Dane 9407/ABCD)
A friend recently read through these reviews and chuckled. "You make me want to own all of these," she commented. "You're so enthusiastic!" Which is true; I am nothing if not enthusiastic when it comes to music in general and Neil Young's music in specific.
With that in mind, Rock 'n' Roll Cowboy is a rich, if frustrating, listening experience. Released by the Italian Great Dane record label a few years back, it's a four-disc set that collects various Neil live performances, spanning from his Springfield days to his Grammy Award show performance of "Philadelphia" in 1994. Among the many treats: "Sweet Joni," a 1973 piano-based paean to Joni Mitchell apparently only performed once. It's a fragile song with fragile lyrics, perhaps in keeping with its subject. Other highlights include several Stills-Young Band run-throughs, especially "Southern Man" which features some scintillating guitar solos from both Stills and Young. Say what you will about Stills' songwriting abilities, but there's no denying his prowess with a six-string. He's one of the best around--always was, always will be. Other highlights include the unreleased songs "Everybody's Alone," "Traces," "Love Art Blues," "Give Me Strength," "Lady Wingshot," "If You Got Love," "Gonna Rock Forever," "Amber Jean," "Let Your Fingers Do the Talking," "Grey Riders," "Nothing is Perfect," "Ordinary People," "Silver and Gold," "Homefires" and "Separate Ways." Add in several reworked versions of known quantities, such as the Saturday Night Live debut of "Rockin' in the Free World," "Shots" (performed acoustically from San Francisco's Boarding House) and "Helpless" (a stunning take from Neil & the International Harvester's Austin City Limits appearance in 1984) and "Stringman," recorded in London in 1976, and you have enough for a two-album set--a great one at that, especially if 20-bit remastering and/or HDCD technology is employed to clean up the sound. "To clean up the sound." Hmmm. Therein lies the rub, folks. Thanks to this collection's breadth--in total, 63 songs taken from upwards of 40 concerts--the sound quality ranges from the near-atrocious to excellent. A good example of this are the trio of songs ("Traces," "Human Highway," and "Human Highway") taken from CSNY's 1974 performance at the Coliseum in Seattle. It sounds like the audio equivalent of sludge--except, of course, for the harmonies which do come through. Thus, as I said at the outset, this is a rich, if frustrating, experience. Let's hope that many of its treasured are found in better form on the Archives when/if that multi-CD set is released.
Despite its sound lapses, until the Archives are released--and possibly even then--this is a true "essential." (A+)
 
disc one: 
1) Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
2) Birds
3) Cowgirl in the Sand
4) Tell Me Why
5)Only Love Can Break Your Heart 
6) Everybody's Alone
7) A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold
8) Out on the Weekend
9) Love In Mind
10) Dance Dance Dance
11) Cripple Creek Ferry
12) L.A.
13) Soldier
14) Harvest
15) Sweet Joni
16) Tonight's the Night
17) Tired Eyes
18) Pardon My Heart
disc two:
1) On the Beach
2) Traces
3) Human Highway
4) Love Art Blues
5) Hawaiian Sunrise
6) Like a Hurricane
7) Stringman
8) Evening Coconut
9) Long May You Run
10) Southern Man
11) Give Me Strength
12) Comes a Time
13) Sail Away
14) Lady Wingshot
15) Shots
16) Downtown
disc three:
1) If You Got Love
2) Transformer Man
3) My Boy
4) Old Ways
5) Kinda Fonda Wanda
6) Touch the Night
7) Amber Jean
8) Let Your Fingers Do the Talking
9) Helpless
10) Down by the River
11) Interstate
12) Grey Riders
13) Nothing Is Perfect
14) Southern Pacific
disc four:
1) Mideast Vacation
2) Road of Plenty (El Dorado)
3) Computer Age
4) Bad News
5) Ordinary People
6) Rockin' in the Free World
7) Winterlong
8) Silver and Gold
9) Campaigner
10) Homefires
11) Only Love Can Break Your Heart
12) Mr. Soul
13) Separate Ways
disc five:
1) Gonna Rock Forever
2) Philadelphia
CHROME DREAMS
3) Powerderfinger
4) Caotain Kennedy
5) Pocahontas
6) Will To Love
7) Sedan Delivery
8) River of Pride
9) Too Far Gone
10) Star of Bethlehem
11) Like A Hurricane
12) Look Out For My Love
13) Hold Back The Tears
14) Homefires
15) Ride My Llama
16) Peace of Mind
As for Crome Dreams The Old Gray cat Says this:
For those who aren't aware of the album's history, let me place it into context: In October of 1976, Neil was set
to release the three-lp best-of Decade. At the last minute, however, he changed his mind and instead requested his record company, Reprise, to shelve the project for one year. He had plans for a new album, he said, that would be ready for a November release. He even proffered the title: Chrome Dreams. November came and went, of course, and no new Neil product was in sight. Fast forward to March of 1977: acetates of the proposed album are pressed, with the track listing as follows:

Side one: a solo acoustic "Pocahontas," "Will to Love," "Star of Bethlehem," "Like a
Hurricane," "Too Far Gone"
Side two: a solo acoustic "Hold Back the Tears," "Homegrown," "Captain Kennedy,"
"Stringman," a less frenetic "Sedan Delivery," a solo acoustic "Powderfinger," "Look Out for
My Love."

Jump ahead to June, when American Stars 'n' Bars is released: five of the songs planned for Chrome Dreams make the cut. The rest? They'd surface in the years to come, some with nary a change in arrangement and others. . . refashioned for the times. The questions surrounding this album, then, are what has kept it firmly entrenched in the Neil pantheon as a "mythical" album. What if Neil had released it in instead of American Stars 'n' Bars? While
ASnB is good--let's face it, it doesn't rank in the same league with this lost treasure. And what would have become of Rust Never Sleeps, which shares three tracks? And why, exactly, did Neil shelve this masterpiece? Of course, any answers are pure conjecture--which is half the fun.

All of that leads to this: This Chrome Dreams is not that unreleased album. For one, the bootleggers changed up the song order. Two, they substituted a live, 11-minute version of "Like a Hurricane." Three, they subtracted "Homegrown" and added a few more tracks: an electric "White Lines" (which they list as "River of Pride"), a 1992 acoustic performance of "Homefires," an acoustic 1978 performance of "Ride My Llama" and a live "Peace of Mind."

In short, this is a fine--nay, great--bootleg. Performances are topnotch throughout, especially the acoustic "red men run son" version of "Powderfinger" and ... all of the other songs. (A+)

My copy is missing the last song "Stringman" so it could fit on the disc.
 

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