Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three Albums Released on This Date in 1973

[Out of Print]

It was just an uncomfortable tour. I felt like a product, and I had this band of all-star musicians that couldn't even look at each other-Neil Young

True, Neil Young may have called Time Fades Away his worst album but he's only referring to the audio quality of the recordings and the vibe he gets when he thinks about the 90 day tour he spent with The Stray Gators ( which included Jack Mitzche on keyboards, Neil's buddy Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar, Tim Drummond on bass and at first Kenny Buttrey  then former Turtles/Airplane drummer John Barbata). Danny Whitten was supposed to play guitar on the tour but his drug addiction was too much for the band to handle so Neil sent him home where he died of a heroin overdose.

These songs--all previously unreleased-- are recorded just months later.

The crowd came for Harvest so they met a lot of these Crazy Horse style rockers with silence. Neil Young fans refer to Time Fades Away as the first of the Ditch Trilogy ( along with Tonight's the Night and On the Beach), Young's attempt to pull back on his super stardom. All three are dark, haunted and essential.

There is an online petition to get Young to reconsider keeping this album out of print here.

The band just doesn't seem to matter much anymore.
 - Gordon Fletcher, Rolling Stone

   Fleetwood Mac continues its string of spotty albums dating back to Future Games with their second album of 1973, Mystery To Me. Bob Welch offered the best songs on the album including the single "Hypnotized". If the other members weren't so prolific they couldn't be blamed. Christine McVie and husband John were headed for a divorce while new guitarist Bob Weston was having an affair with Mick Fleetwood's wife, model Jenny Boyd. "Keep On Going" seems to anticipate the disco age ( and "Forever" could have been a tune off the Vampire Weekend debut) while a lot of the filler is straight forward, somewhat pleasant boogie.

    Wake of the Flood has its devoted fans but the first album for the band's own label , Grateful Dead Records (and the first studio album in three years) , only has one classic song on it, the transcendent "Eyes of the World". The addition of Keith Godchaux and wife Donna may have helped the band fill out their sound but they can't bring life to songs like  "Stella Blue" which sounds like a George Harrison throw-away.

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