Saturday, March 18, 2006

Neil Young: Trans

Trans is certainly not one of Neil Young's best albums but it's been one of my favorites and I was happy to be reunited with this today as a friend picked up the CD when he was overseas. I had purchased the album when it came out in 1982 but over time and many moves, I lost it. I don't believe Trans was ever released as a CD in the U.S. as there were some legal issues between Geffen Records and Neil Young. I could be wrong about that so if anyone knows the reason, please post it in the comments section.

I don't know how to describe this except it's a pretty bizarre album any way you look at it, and it's an album that can't be easily summarized.

There are six high-tech tracks on this album as Neil used a vocoder to give his vocals a computerized effect. It's a pretty cool sound and it's still great hearing it now in 2006. My favorite tracks are "Sample and Hold" and Like an Inca".

I can't remember where I read this, but one of the reasons Neil recorded this album was his frustration at his inability to communicate with his son Ben who was a quadriplegic suffering from cerebral palsy.

More info on the album can be found here. The Sidestreet Records article by Jeff Piehler can be found here.

Neil's HBO concert from Berlin has been on DVD for awhile. I remember playing a VHS tape of this concert countless times for friends when we would get together and party. This was the final concert of the Trans tour and HBO captured it nicely. It's on my list of DVD pick ups.


David Lifton said...

One day I'm going to transfer my videotape of Live Rust onto DVD. That's a wild show.

VoiceEncoder said...

The vocoder used on this album is the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201.