Old Ways

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Upon its original release in 1984, following Young's much-misunderstood excursions into electro-sci fi and rockabilly, the countrified Old Ways was welcomed by fans as a return to more comfortably familiar territory. Indeed, this bucolic, largely acoustic album recalls the pastoral folk rock of Harvest and Comes a Time -- two of the artist's most commercially successful releases -- but with a more overtly trad-country leaning and a gentler, more bucolic tone that infuses tunes like "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" a duet with Willie Nelson, "Once an Angel," "Where Is the Highway Tonight?," and the autobiographical anthem "Get Back to the Country." Elsewhere, the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Upon its original release in 1984, following Young's much-misunderstood excursions into electro-sci fi and rockabilly, the countrified Old Ways was welcomed by fans as a return to more comfortably familiar territory. Indeed, this bucolic, largely acoustic album recalls the pastoral folk rock of Harvest and Comes a Time -- two of the artist's most commercially successful releases -- but with a more overtly trad-country leaning and a gentler, more bucolic tone that infuses tunes like "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" a duet with Willie Nelson, "Once an Angel," "Where Is the Highway Tonight?," and the autobiographical anthem "Get Back to the Country." Elsewhere, the more characteristically idiosyncratic"Misfits" demonstrates that Young hadn't gone completely soft and sentimental. Waylon Jennings contributes harmony vocals on six songs, and the album's players include such notables as a young Béla Fleck on banjo, along with such legendary session men as Spooner Oldham, Joe Osborne, and Hargus "Pig" Robbins.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
In 1984, Geffen Records sued Neil Young on the grounds that he had submitted uncharacteristic, uncommercial records to the label. By the time a settlement had been reached, Young had been on the road with a country band called the International Harvesters for over a year and recorded a revamped version of Old Ways, a 1982 recording originally rejected by Geffen that was cut in the style of Harvest and Comes a Time, but with a stronger country leaning. Young depends heavily on friends, especially for vocals -- Waylon Jennings sings harmony on six out of the ten tracks, and one of the others is a duet with Willie Nelson. Though populated by cowboys and country references, Young's take on the genre is typically idiosyncratic, including a reworked version of his autobiography in "Get Back to the Country," a cover of the 1956 Gogi Grant hit "The Wayward Wind," and the uncategorizable "Misfits," which portrays astronauts watching Muhammad Ali fights on television in space. Old Ways is not a great Neil Young album and at the time of its release served to alienate him even further from his audience, but it has its moments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/1/2000
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • UPC: 606949070526
  • Catalog Number: 490705
  • Sales rank: 7,331

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Young Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Marty Stuart Mandolin
Rufus Thibodeaux Fiddle
Gail Davies Vocals, Background Vocals
Waylon Jennings Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Willie Nelson Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Dana Cooper Vocals
Gordon Terry Fiddle, Violin
Ben Keith Dobro, Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals
Joseph Allen Bass
Kristine Arnold Vocals
George Binkley III Strings
Grant Boatwright Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
John Borg Strings
Larry Byrom Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Roy Christensen Strings
Virginia Christensen Strings
Johnny Christopher Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Doana Cooper Background Vocals
Anthony Crawford Mandolin, Vocals, Background Vocals, Track Performer
Denise Draper Vocals
Tim Drummond Bass, Drums
Ray Edenton Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Charles Everett Strings
Béla Fleck Banjo
Carl Gorodetzky Violin, Leader
Betsy Hammer Vocals, Background Vocals
Mark Hembree Strings
Karl Himmel Drums
Mary Ann Kennedy Vocals, Background Vocals
Dave Kirby Guitar
Lee Larrison Strings
Betty McDonald Strings
Terry McMillan Harmonica, Harp, Jew's Harp
Dennis Molchan Strings
Ralph Mooney Guitar, Steel Guitar
Farrell Morris Percussion
Spooner Oldham Piano
Kristine Oliver-Arnold Background Vocals
Janis Oliver-Gill Vocals, Background Vocals
Rick Palombi Vocals, Background Vocals
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano
Pamela Rose Vocals
Gove Scrivenor Autoharp
Pamela Sixfin Strings
Bobby Thompson Banjo
Gary VanOsdale Strings
David Vanderkooi Strings
Carole Walker Strings
Leona Williams Vocals, Background Vocals
Mark Tanner Strings
Stephanie Woolf Strings
Larry Harvin Strings
Joe Osborn Bass
Technical Credits
Neil Young Arranger, Producer
David Briggs Producer
Ben Keith Arranger, Producer
Bobby Arnold Engineer
Chuck Cochran String Arrangements
Gene Eichelberger Engineer
Larry Greenhill Engineer
Mike Leech Arranger
Elliot Mazer Producer
Tim Mulligan Engineer
Denny Purcell Mastering
Elliot Roberts Director, Direction
Keith Odle Engineer
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