Here We Are In the Years: Neil Young’s Music Box

Studio: Sexy Intellectual/MVD

Aug 05, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: Amazon | MVD

This knockoff, straight-to-DVD style documentary is very low-rent, but has some merits by tracing Neil Young's many influences. The Godfather of Grunge once likened himself to a sponge and Here We Are In the Years: Neil Young's Music Box bears that statement out again and again...and again.

The unauthorized rock doc was made without the participation or endorsement of Young, his management, or record label, and features a round table of music experts/journalists (including Rolling Stone's Anthony DeCurtis) geeking out about the subject in front of bookcases and records. What somewhat sets this release apart from the bargain bin DVDs about other Baby Boomer artists is its fairly honed-in angle. The creators might hammer home that Young is influenced by everything from Elvis, The Rolling Stones, surf, country, Devo, and grunge, but the commentary is pretty in-depth. Of course, a more critical view of Young's '80s experiments would have been nicer. Also, Young's '90s full-lengths are largely ignored. The film's focus ends up being too narrow in the end.

Young's tunes are played to show the close comparisons to their influences. For instance, during the section on the Stones, Young's "Borrowed Tune" is revealed as pretty much plagariezed from "Lady Jane." Also, Young once admitted to stealing the melody of the excellent On the Beach track, "Ambulance Blues," from folk guitarist Bert Jansch. All of these segments make for somewhat interesting trivia, but nothing is revelatory for longtime fans of Young or anyone that's read Jimmy McDonough's Shakey. Pick this up if you see it in the bargain bin. (www.mvdb2b.com)

Author rating: 4/10

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