The World Keeps Spinning Round (Godfather Records GR 398/399)
Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – June 7th, 2009
Disc one (68:24): Love And Only Love, Hey Hey My My (Into The Black), Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Pocahontas, Spirit Road, Cortez The Killer, Cinnamon Girl, Mother Earth, Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Goin’ Back, Heart Of Gold, Comes A Time
Disc two (71:16): Old Man, Mansion On The Hill, I’ve Been Waiting For You, Rockin’ In The Free World, Like A Hurricane. Bonus tracks, Barcelona, Spain – May 30, 2009: The Needle And The Damage Done, Unknown Legend, Down By The River. Berlin, Germany – June 16th, 2009: Tonight’s The Night. Munich, Germany – June 17th, 2009: Goin’ Back, On The Way Home. Köln, Germany – June 19th, 2009: Are You Ready For The Country?
Neil Young seems to be spending a lot of time in Europe lately. As long as Godfather Records keeps coming up with these excellent CD’s, that’s alright. Neil is on tour here with his “Electric Band” consisting of members from the Stray Gators of the Harvest era, and members of the Volume Dealers of the Freedom and El Dorado era. Only Neil Young could bring these types of players together for some rip roaring rock.
This audience recording starts out with a an airy and raw version of Love And Only Love, and a few seconds in, I can detect some EQ’ing bringing the sound down a touch. Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) is next and sounds loud and big. Neils guitar playing is still gargantuan, but his singing has slowed a bit over time. Some talking can be heard from the crowd near the taper during Everybody Knows This is Nowhere over the music for a few seconds. Pochahontas is played with the full band. It’s good for a change, and not like the commercial release found on Broken Arrow.
There’s a bigger band behind him and it works, getting into a good rythmic groove with the drumming. Reminded me of Creams White Room. Spirit Road is played at a faster pace and with more intensity than in previous concerts. It’s great to hear how even new songs can evolve. Maybe Neil being a car collector is reacting to the demise of GM. Cortez The Killer, a song banned in Spain, is the usual long jam and it’s a great one, played a bit differently than it usually is with the Horse. It’s played with a bit of the emphasis on the drum beat and the bigger band each having thier turn. Mother Earth is played on the pump organ and harmonica with a backround volcals by Mrs. Young. I have always found this song to be very moving and it works being played this way, as it does on Ragged Glory.
There is a solo acoustic set consisting of Don’t let It Bring You Down and Lost In Space. Neil is joined by the band on Heart Of Gold, with Ben Keith on electric steel and that adds a real classic country twang to. It’s played as if it’s a new song. The crowd is clearly audible singing along to Old Man which adds to the live atmosphere of it all. Nowadays there’s something a bit ironic about Neil singing that song.
The electric set is re-started with Mansion On The Hill. Here the tone in the recording changes a bit. It sounds what I like to call “canned”, a bit distant. I don’t know if the taper moved or it’s EQ’ing, but there is a noticeable difference. It’s not really distracting or makes it any less of a great CD set. After Rockin In The Free World, there is a fade out and then cuts right in for the encore Like A Hurricane which is played as big as the way it should be.
Now we come to a section of the CD set that I really appreciate Godfather Records including. They took the time to add seven bonus tracks, none of which are repeats from the show and all are in excellent audio and performance quality.
From 5/30/09 Barcelona Spain: The Needle And The Damage Done, Unknown Legend with more excellent steel guitar playing by Ben Keith, and a great version of Down By The River.
From 6/19/09 Berlin Germany: Tonights The night. From Munich Germany 6/17/09: Going Back and On The Way Home. Koln Germany 6/19/09: Are You Ready For The Country. Feel free to release any of these shows guys.
Overall, Godfather Records has done an absolutely outstanding job with the Godfather of Grunge. There’s no funny noises, clicks or cuts that I can detect. An overall ooustanding audience recording. It comes in a nice tri-fold sleeve with a handful of pictures of Neil on his favourite Les Paul (R.I.P.) “Blackie” and a list of the band members. Highly recomended for everyone.