Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Neil Young 4-Part EPstravaganza! Eldorado, Mansion on the Hill, The Complex Sessions, Merkinball (with Pearl Jam)


Here's a fistful of EPs charting Neil Young's career resurgence in the late '80s through the mid-'90s. Following years of confounding inconsistency during his tenure on the Geffen label, the Japan-only 5-track Eldorado marked Neil's return to the legendary Reprise label for which he'd cut his most enduring early work. Three songs here were later remixed for the ensuing Freedom album, which firmly planted the comeback flag, and two -- "Cocaine Eyes" and "Heavy Love" -- appear nowhere else.

That comeback flag was hoisted again and hurled, javelin-like, into the face of music-biz complacency by Freedom's follow-up and the return of Crazy Horse, Ragged Glory. The Mansion on the Hill CD single added a "single version" of that album track and an instrumental charmingly titled "Don't Spook the Horse".

After following Ragged Glory with the live "Arc/Weld" set, and returning to acousticville with Harvest Moon and Unplugged, Neil and Crazy Horse recorded the underrated Sleeps With Angels album in 1994. Part of the promotion of that project included a 4-song live video release called The Complex Sessions; a very limited number of promo EPs of the four tracks were released and I was fortunate to win one in an online contest.

Sleeps With Angels' title track, a Cobain eulogy, was one way in which Neil Young responded to being called the "godfather of grunge"; the other was collaborating with Pearl Jam on the great (and also somewhat underrated) 1995 album Mirror Ball. Two additional tracks cut during those sessions, but with Eddie Vedder rather than Neil on lead vocals, were released as the Merkinball EP. "The Long Road" is a different version than the one Vedder cut with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack around the same time.

Here they all are on The Rare Stuff, as one 13-song file, encoded at 320 for your aural pleasure. Enjoy -- and please leave comments, I'm getting lonely here!

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for bundling these goodies together. And for a couple of other things I've absconded with over the past few weeks, like the wonderful Mary Margaret O'Hara on the BBC. As for the loneliness of the long distance poster, my recent upload of the Holy Modal Rounders' Alleged In Their Own Time is pushing 200 downloads, with one comment. People are just no damn good, I guess. Me included. Thanks for your out-of-the-ordinary offerings now and in the future.

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  2. Excellent job sir, keep up the good work.

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  3. Thanks PopC,
    Thanks for the effort of bundling these together. Although I already have most of these, there are a few precious nuggets I don't already have, and appreciate getting them. Don't be discouraged by the lack of comments, though. I know what you mean, as I get the same thing with my blog. Just know that there is at least a core group of supporters that follow and really appreciate what you are doing, even if they (we) don't always respond. And for me, I often don't get around to listening to the stuff I download for weeks, so usually can't give much in the way of feedback right away. Anyway, keep up the good work. We're following.

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  4. Just discovered this site (via BB Chron, matter of fact). Great, great stuff all around! I'm over here: http://doomandgloomfromthetomb.tumblr.com with similarly rare stuff. Keep up the good work!

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  5. Well done, another nice post, keep up the good work!

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  6. Not heard any of these before, many thanks for the effort!

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  7. Thanks for bundling! Can never get enough of NY.

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  8. Hi--
    I just discovered this wonderful site. Thanks for doing it! I did try to download this Neil Young material, and found the megaupload link dead. So although I know I am six months late to the party, I was hoping maybe you could re-post these tracks. Thanks so much!

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  9. Trash, please try the link again -- it just came right up for me! Glad you found your way here.

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  10. It worked for me today, too! I don't know what was wrong yesterday. Thanks again for posting all this great stuff.

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  11. this is a great copulation ...however mansion on the hill has a gap

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  12. Weird that no one else has mentioned it. Maybe try to download or decompress again? Anyway, you don't really wanna be listening to the single version anyway -- just put on Ragged Glory and rock out!

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  13. the hickup happens at the 28-30 sec mark

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  14. If only you could reupload it...

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If you get a link, let us know what you think!