Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #3166  by billu
 Sat Jan 28, 2006 7:16 pm
please take your time to answer this survey about a great artist:
what do you consider to be neils best song and why?
what do you consider to be his best album and why?
what do you consider to be his overall importance to canadian music industry and the global industry as well?


 #3174  by spilly
 Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:14 am
hard questions to answer man. I don't think I can give any diffinitive answers with proof as to why, but I ca tell you what I think.

best song. there can't really be a best, nor a worst. My favorite's change as i grow to understand them, Neil's tunes are personal, so his best tune to me is the tune that most accuratly reflects my current possition in life. i.e. for a long time now my favorite has been "Out on the Weekend" as it reflected a stage I went through recently, but now I'm leaning tword "sugar mountain" as I finally understand it what it means and implies.

Best album. I think most of them are brilliant, even the ones people don't like. "After the Goldrush" would be my preferance. I dig the transitions he make throughout the album.

Neil's contribution to Canadian music, I don't really know. It was good would be my first instinct, but all I know of Canadian music is Brian Adams Celine Dion and The Barenaked Ladies. so the competion isn't fierce.
Neils contribution to music is astounding. He reminded everybody that music doesn't have to be polished and pristeen to be good. He got down to the sheer emotion of it. The grungy one note solos, the booming rattle on a drop d acoustic. fantastic powerful stuff that could have slipped away into a sea of persision had it not been for Mr. Young.

 #3180  by Shaggy
 Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:20 am
what do you consider to be neils best song and why?

Well, thats a toughie. I can only name my favourites, I can't judge what his best are, how do you judge a song to be better than another? With Neil, he's done so many. Some favs high on my list would be....Motion Pictures, Sugar Mountain('Decade' version), Powderfinger, Thrasher, and Silver and Gold. But all that could change if asked tomorrow!!

what do you consider to be his best album and why?

Another toughie. Right now I'd say On The Beach, it's dark and depressing but has a light at the end of the tunnel feel. Brilliant collection of songs.

what do you consider to be his overall importance to canadian music industry and the global industry as well?

I don't know about the Canadian scene, i'm sure they class him as one of their greatest sons. He is an iconic giant of popular music, a genuine legend. A brilliant guitarist and the best composer of modern popular music since the arrival of Bob Dylan.

Bob writes what he sees around him, Neil writes what inside of him.

 #3187  by billu
 Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:56 am
excelent, very interresting points of view, i would love to read more , any one else ,
 #3195  by nevercatchthetrolley
 Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:26 pm
for me personally, although i am a true fan of all of neil's eras and lineups, "tonight's the night" has to be my favorite album. with that version of "come on baby lets go downtown" being the single song. hundreds of close seconds in both catagories-namely zuma, time fades away, everybody knows this is nowhere, mirrorball and greendale being other albums basically right up there w/tonight's. its just something bout that one album-the songs, maybe the order in which they are played, the different lineups on each tune, the mix of live/studio. i can just listen to it over and over. the album was also made for/in memory of danny whitten and showcases his vocals and guitar at his best.

not sure about the impact on canadian music industry other than it has pretty much been him and rush in canada since there has been a music industry. not sure if neil's move to the states affected that status and maybe put him second to rush in that category. globally, couldnt say much just the same but he is certainly famous all over the world.

more notably, neil has used his voice for the ongoing and continuing support of familly farms in north america, not only by performing at the multiple farm aides' but also actively and directly supporting the cause as well as activism to some extent. he also has a foundation for the research of downs syndrome which runs in his family.

 #3200  by amyjared
 Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:11 am

what do you consider to be neils best song and why?
I like Hey Hey My My and Sugar Mountain because both are simple, to the point, played in dropped tunings and you can't help but sing along.
what do you consider to be his best album and why?
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere and Rust Never Sleeps because they're the ones I play more than the others.
what do you consider to be his overall importance to canadian music industry and the global industry as well?
He kicks ass and takes no prisoners! He does it his way.

 #3209  by hesgone95
 Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:45 pm
Like most everyone else, I'd have to say it would be pretty tough to pick a favorite song/album. Songs that readily come to mind though...Out on the weekend, Everybody knows..., A man needs a maid, just for the sheer "Neilness" of it. I mean, who hasn't fallen in love with an actress 'cos she 'was playin' a part I could understand'? Needle and the Damage done, Powderfinger, Sedan Delivery, Why do I keep fuckin up? and the list could go on and on.

As for albums, I would have to put Everybody knows, Harvest, Rust (studio and Live), After the goldrush, Old Ways, This note's for you, Greendale and Mirrorball on any 'favorite list'. Just off the top of my head

I think I would have to agree with a previous post, that the song or album that one is currently digging on has alot to do with where you are at that moment in life. In my opinion Neil is one of those very rare artist that can really speak to you in a very personal way, speak to you on a level that he probably never intended, but still manages to reach you. For me, Jerry and Dylan are the only other artist that have every really done that for me. Maybe Jackson Browne's first 3 or 4 albums as well.

As far as his impact, I know nothing about Canada, but I think in general it says something that he has a universal appeal across all ages. I'm 33 and have been listening to neil all my life, through my dad. My 23 year old brother is and has been for many years a fan...23 to 33 to 53. I dunno, that says alot to me
 #147819  by oceanbear11
 Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:41 pm
There's a lot to choose from, man!
As far as best song goes. . . I adore Love and Only Love, and I also think Be the Rain is truly fantastic.
I think Like a Hurricane is the best single in history (and I include Touch of Grey in this statement).
Best album. . . Well hmm. Pretty much everything on Ragged Glory is amazing, and I also love the country-ish stuff on American Stars 'n' Bars. Greendale is another work of true art. I've ordered On the Beach, but it's being stubborn and not showing up.
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, both the song and the album, blow me away every time.
Don't know a hell of a lot about Canadian music, but I would imagine he's pretty significant.
I was actually named after the guy, for which I regularly thank my parents profusely.
Caught the Crazy Horse show here in Albuquerque in 2012. . . First stop on the tour, opened with Love and Only Love and followed with Powderfinger. Full moon grinning down, just enough clouds to make the air bearable.
Neil's the only other one who's ever made me feel the way I do when I listen to the Dead.
 #147839  by williamsaut
 Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:26 pm
He kicks ass and takes no prisoners! He does it his way.
This is Neal's music writing philosophy no doubt. That and the Music is paramount in his life pretty much above all else including friends and fellow musicians. He's a true artist, a Renaissance man. There's a wonderful Youtube interview that's about 40mins long that's really insightful but I have to admit that after watching it there was nothing about Neil that he hadn't already conveyed to me through his music already. I've been a big fan of him since the beginning. I had all his albums already when I saw my first Dead show in '83.

Best Song.
Like many others have stated, it's hard to pick a single song being such a life long fan of his and him having such a huge number of really great songs. Pocahontas has been covered by many really talented artists and it's a great song. Ambulance Blues, a great song and and sung about at the bottom of Neils range. Powder finger, Don't be Denied, For the Turnstiles and The old Laughing Lady. Nicolette Larson's rendition of "Lotta' Love" is probably his biggest main stream success. "The Needle and the Damage Done" epitomizes my favorite Neil Young song writing style.

But if your gonna make me pick one then it's "Long may You Run".

Best Album.

I think Neils impact on Canadian Music is far less than his impact on American music. One of the founding fathers of Grunge. He was on the scene right from the beginning of the California 'summer of love' and before. Niel's influence on the music of Kurt Cobain was obvious way before I saw it in writing. The Guess Who (BTOD) is the only other band I can think of from that era that made a real musical statement and they were a flash in the pan compared to Neil IMHO.

IMO, there's a small list of true originals in the popular music industry who's music went on to influence future musical styles and really shape how popular music progressed. Niel's one of them. His "influence on" music culture is deeper than his songbook.