Listen folks, I’m here to do you a favour – right here, right now. You wanna hear about a classic LP that every home should have at least one copy of, but probably doesn’t? Yeah, that’s why you tune in isn’t it to get the benefit of my world class taste and stuff?*
In 1978, Crazy Horse woke up, shrugged off the ‘Neil Young And’ bit from their name and brought out their fourth LP in their own right, Crazy Moon. Well, I say ‘shrugged off’ there are some bits of Neil Young’s lead guitar hither and thither on the album. It’s stone-cold genius too, who needed that tall Canadian dude with the scowling face? Each and every track here deserves it’s place in the pantheon of classic American rock, in fact so good are they that they deserve to be carved in rock.
What, you don’t own it? Pshhhaw! Tell you what, because I’m a nice guy** and only because I’m a nice guy, I’ll sell you my copy. No, I will. For only £50. I know, I’m giving it away virtually but I just want to help spread the word.
Actually, sorry no, I can’t go on like this, Crazy Moon is just plain awful. I remember buying it in 1991, but until yesterday I don’t remember playing it, even once; there’s a reason for that – it’s absolutely rank. It’s devoid of good tunes, which you may expect from a band who are predominantly a backing band for a great songwriter, but a lot of the playing isn’t up to snuff either, which I can’t. Now don’t even get me started on the vocals – Christ on a bike! At it’s best it can sound a little like West, Bruce & Laing, but only for a moment or two.
Kicking off with ‘She’s Hot’, which is pretty much the best track here, Crazy Moon has nowhere to go afterwards. The riff has an interesting squeaky-door sound, lyrics that Paul Stanley would turn his nose up at (‘She’s my lovely laydehhhhh’) and a nice breakdown section at the end. What it also has is one of those fine end-of-the-world guitar solos from Neil Young, in fact it just needs a sprinkling of magic pixie dust in order to lift it fro so-so into good.
Much more representative is second track ‘Going Down Again’, sadly not a David Coverdale-esque come on. There are some nice melodic guitar lines but just the worst grating, weedy vocals imaginable – real nails-down-the-blackboard level. And then my notes go blank until we hit the last track on Side 1 ‘New Orleans’, which I described, glowingly, as ‘ham-fisted, slow, drunken bar-stool blues’ and that was my second favourite!
Turning it over I popped the needle on the groove of ‘Love Don’t Come Easy’ and things went south from there. Man! There were some shockingly ill-advised high notes on this one, which would otherwise just be a MOR thumper, at one point it sounds a little like a buffalo trying to pass a cassette player blaring out Minnie Ripperton’s ‘Loving You’. True story.
I won’t go on too much, I don’t enjoy being critical … oh, go on then! My other notes read:
- Downhill – Aptly named, absolute nadir of the album.
- Too Late Now – Yup, no refunds after 23 years.
- That Day – One below the nadir. Hatefully bad, he sounds like a sheep with his knackers caught in a barbed wire fence.
Ah well. Bare in mind that within a year these guys would contribute to two of my favourite albums, period, Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust, as well as contributing to a whole load of other greatness. Just goes to show though that not every Levon & The Hawks can transmogrify themselves into the Band.
Now I have been known to ship out LPs that I really can’t get on with, life and storage space is too short for keeping duffers and turkeys; but should I do that with Crazy Moon? you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury decide^.
P.S – Go on, let you have it for £25.
*that and the little plastic dudes; please don’t say its just for the plastic.
**if I was in the local mob, my handle would undoubtedly be ‘Nice Guy 1537’.
^I’ll let you in on a secret though, I’ve bought enough vinyl since I started this blog not to have to re-Christen it 1536 if it does go.