Title: Sample & Hold

Artist: Neil Young

Album: Trans

Year Released: 1983

What It Is: The ‘single’ or ‘radio’ track from Neil’s computer / vocoder experiment. Slagged big-time when it was released, it actually is quite a rockin’ track and has some neat imagery about dating androids in the future.

Riffage / Hookage: The vocoder is the ‘hook’ and Neil lets loose some classic ugly proto-grunge guitars.

Cowbell?: Computers computers everywhere.

Words Of Wisdom: “Sample and Hold
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Weight: 110
Disposition: Even
Mood Code: Rotary Adjustable”

Oh, if only my spouse and kidlets had rotary adjustable mood codes…

Mixology Report: Now, this one may be a tough because I don’t think it works and plays well with others, unless in a very specific environment. Otherwise it could overwhelm. You know, like zebra mussels or kudzu.

Top Five Genius Results:“E-Music” – Neu
“Flying On The Ground Is Wrong” – Buffalo Springfield
“When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky” – Bob Dylan
“Hiroshima Mon Amour” – Ultravox
“The Light Pours Out On Me” – Magazine

I think this song bamboozled Genius.

For The Good Of The Order: Actually, Trans is a pretty solid record. It was Neil just being odd with the vocoders. The songs are pretty top notch, though, especially when it was revealed that the computer-ish songs were designed as a way to perhaps communicate with his son. It certainly is a better record than most of his 2000’s output, and better than most all of his Geffen output, and heck better than a few of his earlier releases too. (Hawks & Doves – I’m looking at you.)

Here’s a clip (non-imbeddible, dang) of Neil doing his thing live with some friends…like Nils Lofgren, Bruce Palmer, etc.

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