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Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Re-ac-tor (1981/2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/176.4kHz

Artist: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Title: Re-ac-tor
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Hard rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1977/2004
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 176,4kHz/24bit
Source: DVD-Audio (Watermarked!)
Duration: 00:39:10
Recorded: October 9, 1980 - July 21, 1981 at Modern Recorders, Redwood City, CA

Neil Young employs Crazy Horse to help him bash out a guitar-drenched hard rock set made up of thrown-together material. The group plays fiercely, as usual, but the lyrics are sketchy, seemingly improvised (the nadir is the nine-minute "T-Bone," which consists of the lines "Got mashed potato/Ain't got no t-bone" repeated over and over), and frequently cranky, as in "Motor City," which finds Young criticizing Japanese cars, and "Rapid Transit," which takes a belated swipe at new wave music while sounding like second-rate Talking Heads. For the second album in a row, Young seems to be just fulfilling his one-album-a-year record contract. The exception is the album-closing "Shots" (written by 1978), a more substantive and threatening song given a riveting performance. Later, it would be revealed that Young was finding time for his music while giving most of his attention to caring for his disabled son. Still, he might have been better advised to have suspended record-making for a few years instead of turning out half-baked efforts like this one. --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Live Rust (1979/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Title: Live Rust
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1979/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: PonoMusic
Duration: 01:15:53
Recorded: 1978, Cow Palace, San Francisco, Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, Civic Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, and McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado

All the kudos Neil Young earned for Rust Never Sleeps he lost for Live Rust, the double-LP live album released four months later. Live Rust was the soundtrack to Young's concert film Rust Never Sleeps (he had wanted to give it that title, but Reprise vetoed the idea, fearing confusion with the earlier album), and likewise was recorded October 22, 1978, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. But much of the Rust Never Sleeps album had been recorded on the same tour, and Live Rust repeated four songs from that disc; besides, since Young had released the career retrospective Decade in 1977, critics felt he was unfairly recycling his older material and repeating his new material. In retrospect, however, Live Rust, now a single 74-minute CD, comes off as an excellent Neil Young live album and career summary, starting with the early song "Sugar Mountain" and running through then-new songs like "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" and "Powderfinger." Young is effective in both his acoustic folksinger and hard-rocking Crazy Horse bandleader modes. The various distractions of the concert itself and the film, such as the pretentious props and cowled roadies, are absent, and what's left is a terrific Neil Young concert recording. --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young - On The Beach (1974/2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/176.4kHz

Artist: Neil Young
Title: On The Beach
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1974/2004
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 176,4kHz/24bit
Source: DVD-Audio (Watermarked!)
Duration: 00:39:37
Recorded: November 30, 1973 - April 7, 1974 Arrow Ranch, Woodside, California; Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood

Following the 1973 Time Fades Away tour, Neil Young wrote and recorded an Irish wake of a record called Tonight's the Night and went on the road drunkenly playing its songs to uncomprehending listeners and hostile reviewers. Reprise rejected the record, and Young went right back and made On the Beach, which shares some of the ragged style of its two predecessors. But where Time was embattled and Tonight mournful, On the Beach was savage and, ultimately, triumphant. "I'm a vampire, babe," Young sang, and he proceeded to take bites out of various subjects: threatening the lives of the stars who lived in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon ("Revolution Blues"); answering back to Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose "Sweet Home Alabama" had taken him to task for his criticisms of the South in "Southern Man" and "Alabama" ("Walk On"); and rejecting the critics ("Ambulance Blues"). But the barbs were mixed with humor and even affection, as Young seemed to be emerging from the grief and self-abuse that had plagued him for two years. But the album was so spare and under-produced, its lyrics so harrowing, that it was easy to miss Young's conclusion: he was saying goodbye to despair, not being overwhelmed by it. --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young - Hawks & Doves (1980/2003) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/176.4kHz

Artist: Neil Young
Title: Hawks & Doves
Genre: Country rock, folk-rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1990/2003
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 176,4kHz/24bit
Source: DVD-Audio (Watermarked!)
Duration: 00:30:33
Recorded: 1974–77, 1980 at Quadrafonic, Nashville; Village Recorders, LA; Indigo Recording Studio, Malibu; Triad Recording Studio, Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Gold Star Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA

Following the triumph of Rust Never Sleeps, Hawks & Doves benefited from the enormous critical goodwill Neil Young had amassed, though fans and critics nevertheless were baffled by its set of obscure acoustic and country-tinged songs. The seven-plus-minute "The Old Homestead" (copyright 1974) was interpreted by some as an allegory for Young's relationship to CSNY, perhaps because that was the only way to make any sense of the most mysterious Young lyric since "The Last Trip to Tulsa." In retrospect, now that it's known Young was distracted by domestic medical concerns while working on the album, its theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, both in a personal context of family commitment ("Stayin' Power," "Coastline"), and in a national context of hard work and patriotism ("Union Man," "Comin' Apart at Every Nail," "Hawks & Doves") seems more apparent, as does the sense that Young may have been trying to fulfill his recording contract (even with the inclusion of trunk songs like "The Old Homestead," the album runs less than half an hour) while devoting a bare minimum of his time and attention to the effort. The result is correspondingly slight. --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young - Harvest (1972/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Neil Young
Title: Harvest
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1972/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: PonoMusic
Duration: 00:37:43
Recorded: Jan.–Sept. 1971 at Quadrafonic Sound Studios, Nashville; Barking Town Hall, London; Royce Hall, UCLA and Broken Arrow Studio No. 2, Woodside, CA

Neil Young's most popular album, Harvest benefited from the delay in its release (it took 18 months to complete due to Young's back injury), which whetted his audience's appetite, the disintegration of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Young's three erstwhile partners sang on the album, along with Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor), and most of all, a hit single. "Heart of Gold," released a month before Harvest, was already in the Top 40 when the LP hit the stores, and it soon topped the charts. It's fair to say, too, that Young simply was all-pervasive by this time: "Heart of Gold" was succeeded at number one by "A Horse with No Name" by America, which was a Young soundalike record. But successful as Harvest was (and it was the best-selling album of 1972), it has suffered critically from reviewers who see it as an uneven album on which Young repeats himself. Certainly, Harvest employs a number of jarringly different styles. Much of it is country-tinged, with Young backed by a new group dubbed the Stray Gators who prominently feature steel guitarist Ben Keith, though there is also an acoustic track, a couple of electric guitar-drenched rock performances, and two songs on which Young is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. But the album does have an overall mood and an overall lyric content, and they conflict with each other: The mood is melancholic, but the songs mostly describe the longing for and fulfillment of new love. Young is perhaps most explicit about this on the controversial "A Man Needs a Maid," which is often condemned as sexist by people judging it on the basis of its title. In fact, the song contrasts the fears of committing to a relationship with simply living alone and hiring help, and it contains some of Young's most autobiographical writing. Unfortunately, like "There's a World," the song is engulfed in a portentous orchestration. Over and over, Young sings of the need for love in such songs as "Out on the Weekend," "Heart of Gold," and "Old Man" (a Top 40 hit), and the songs are unusually melodic and accessible. The rock numbers, "Are You Ready for the Country" and "Alabama," are in Young's familiar style and unremarkable, and "There's a World" and "Words (Between the Lines of Age)" are the most ponderous and overdone Young songs since "The Last Trip to Tulsa." But the love songs and the harrowing portrait of a friend's descent into heroin addiction, "The Needle and the Damage Done," remain among Young's most affecting and memorable songs. --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young - Comes A Time (1978/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Neil Young
Title: Comes A Time
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1978/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: PonoMusic
Duration: 00:36:59
Recorded: November 28, 1975 – November 21, 1977 at Triad Recording, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Columbia Recording Studio, London; Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA; Woodland Sound Studios, Nashville; Sound Shop, Nashville, and Broken Arrow Ranch, Redwood City, CA

Six and a half years later, Comes a Time finally was the Neil Young album for the millions of fans who had loved Harvest, an acoustic-based record with country overtones and romantic, autobiographical lyrics, and many of those fans returned to the fold, enough to make Comes a Time Young's first Top Ten album since Harvest. He signaled the album's direction with the leadoff track, "Goin' Back," and its retrospective theme augmented with an orchestral backup and the deliberate beat familiar from his number one hit "Heart of Gold." Of course, Young remained sly about this retrenchment. "I feel like goin' back," he sang, but added, "back where there's nowhere to stay." Doubtless he had no intention of staying with this style, but for the length of the album, melodies, love lyrics, lush arrangements, and steel guitar solos dominated, and Young's vocals were made more accessible by being paired with Nicolette Larson's harmonies. Larson's own version of Young's "Lotta Love," released shortly after the one heard here, became a Top Ten hit single. Other highlights included the reflective "Already One," which treats the unusual subject of the nature of a divorced family, the ironic "Field of Opportunity," and a cover of Ian Tyson's folk standard "Four Strong Winds" (a country Top Ten hit for Bobby Bare in 1965). --William Ruhlmann
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Neil Young - American Stars 'N Bars (1977/2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/176.4kHz

Artist: Neil Young
Title: American Stars 'N Bars
Genre: Heartland rock, country rock, folk rock, blues rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 1977/2004
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 176,4kHz/24bit
Source: DVD-Audio (Watermarked!)
Duration: 00:38:12
Recorded: December 13, 1974-April 4, 1977 / Quadrafonic, Nashville; Wally Heider Studios, Hollywood, California; Broken Arrow Ranch, Redwood City, California; Indigo Recording Studio, Malibu

Neil Young made a point of listing the recording dates of the songs on American Stars 'n Bars; the dates even appeared on the LP labels. They revealed that the songs had been cut at four different sessions dating back to 1974. But even without such documentation, it would have been easy to tell that the album was a stylistic hodgepodge, its first side consisting of country-tinged material featuring steel guitar and fiddle, plus backup vocals from Linda Ronstadt and the then-unknown Nicolette Larson, while the four songs on the second side varied from acoustic solo numbers like "Will to Love" to raging rockers such as "Like a Hurricane." Just as apparent was the album's unevenness: side one consisted of lightweight compositions, while side two had more ambitious ones, with "Will to Love," for example, extending the romantic metaphor of a salmon swimming upstream across seven minutes. The album's saving grace was "Like a Hurricane," one of Young's classic hard rock songs and guitar workouts, and a perennial concert favorite. Without it, American Stars 'n Bars would have been one of Young's least memorable albums, and since it turned up the following year on the compilation Decade, the LP was rendered inessential. --William Ruhlmann
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos 22 & 24 - Angela Hewitt, Hannu Lintu, National Arts Centre Orch (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Artist: Angela Hewitt, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Hannu Lintu
Title: Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos 22 & 24
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records
Duration: 63 minutes 17 seconds
Recorded: July 2013, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada

Hyperion is delighted to present Angela Hewitt’s third volume of Mozart piano concertos. Writing in The Observer, Stephen Pritchard wrote of the first volume that ‘Judging from this first example, it’s going to be a journey as revelatory as her exploration of all the major keyboard works of Bach’.
Here Angela Hewitt is joined by her compatriot National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada and frequent collaborator Hannu Lintu for sparklingly stylish renditions of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos 22 and 24.
Both of these works were written between December 1785 and March 1786. For the first time in a piano concerto orchestration, in No 22 he uses clarinets—an instrument that became a regular member of orchestras only in the 1780s. No 24 is a dark and passionate work, made more striking by its classical restraint, and the final movement, a set of variations, is commonly called ‘sublime’.
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Miles Davis - Bags' Groove (1957/2014) SACD ISO 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Miles Davis
Title: Bags' Groove
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Hard Bop, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Prestige Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1957/2014
Quality: ISO SACD 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: PS³SACD
Duration: 46:02
Recorded: June 29 & December 24, 1954 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack
Mastered: Cohearent Audio by Kevin Gray.

There are a multitude of reasons why Bags' Groove remains a cornerstone of the post-bop genre. Of course there will always be the lure of the urban myth surrounding the Christmas Eve 1954 session -- featuring Thelonious Monk -- which is documented on the two takes of the title track. There are obviously more tangible elements, such as Davis' practically telepathic runs with Sonny Rollins (tenor sax). Or Horace Silver's (piano) uncanny ability to provide a stream of chord progressions that supply a second inconspicuous lead without ever overpowering. Indeed, Davis' choice of former Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra and concurrent Modern Jazz Quartet members Milt Jackson (vibes), Kenny Clarke (drums), and Percy Heath (bass) is obviously well-informed. This combo became synonymous with the ability to tastefully improvise and provide bluesy bop lines in varied settings. The up-tempo and Latin-infused syncopation featured during the opening of "Airegin" flows into lines and minor-chord phrasings that would reappear several years later throughout Davis' Sketches of Spain epic. The fun and slightly maniacally toned "Oleo" features one of Heath's most impressive displays on Bags' Groove. His staccato accompaniment exhibits the effortless nature with which these jazz giants are able to incorporate round after round of solos onto the larger unit. Bags' Groove belongs as a cornerstone of all jazz collections. Likewise, the neophyte as well as the seasoned jazz enthusiast will find much to discover and rediscover throughout the disc. [Some reissues include both historic takes of "Bags' Groove" as well as one additional rendering of the pop standard "But Not for Me."] --Lindsay Planer
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