Chrome Dreams II

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Chrome Dreams II
Studio album by Neil Young
Released October 23, 2007
Recorded 2007
Genre Heartland rock, country rock, americana, hard rock
Length 66:19
Label Reprise
Producer Neil Young & Niko Bolas (as "The Volume Dealers")
Neil Young chronology
Live at Massey Hall 1971
(2007)
Chrome Dreams II
(2007)
Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968
(2008)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
The Guardian 3/5 stars [2]
The Observer 5/5 stars [3]
The Times 3/5 stars [4]
Pitchfork Media (5.6/10) [5]
Q 4/5 stars
The Independent 2/5 stars [6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [7]
Metro 3/5 stars [8]
NME (7/10) [9]
The Second Supper 4/5 stars [10]
SPIN 7/10 stars [11]
Uncut 4/5 stars [12]

Chrome Dreams II is the twenty-ninth studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young. The album was released on October 23, 2007. The album is a sequel to Chrome Dreams, a legendary Neil Young album from 1977 that had originally been scheduled for release but was shelved in favor of American Stars 'N Bars.[13]

The album debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at number 11, selling about 54,000 copies in its first week.[14] In addition, the song "No Hidden Path" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance at the 51st Grammy Awards, 2009.[15]

Production[edit]

Chrome Dreams II was produced by The Volume Dealers (Neil Young & Niko Bolas), and features the ensemble of Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, pedal steel guitarist and dobro player Ben Keith (Harvest, Comes A Time, Harvest Moon) and bassist Rick Rosas (Freedom, Living With War, This Note's for You). A horn section, The Blue Note Horns, appear on one track, "Ordinary People," while the Young People’s Chorus of New York City appear on "The Way." Most of the recording was done live with few overdubs at Feelgood's Garage studio near Redwood City, California, with two vintage gas pumps out front and vintage studio gear inside.[16]

According to Young,

"It's an album with a form based on some of my original recordings, with a large variety of songs, rather than one specific type of song. Where Living with War and Everybody's Rockin' were albums focused on one subject or style, Chrome Dreams II is more like After the Gold Rush or Freedom, with different types of songs working together to form a feeling. Now that radio formats are not as influential as they once were, it's easier to release an album that crosses all formats with a message that runs through the whole thing, regardless of the type of song or sound. Some early listeners have said that this album is positive and spiritual. I like to think it focuses on the human condition. Like many of my recordings, this one draws on earlier material here and there. I used to do that a lot back in the day. Some songs, like 'Ordinary People,' need to wait for the right time. I think now is the right time for that song and it lives well with the new songs I have written in the past few months. I had a blast making this music." [17]

Songs[edit]

Track listing[edit]

CD release[edit]

  1. "Beautiful Bluebird" - 4:27
  2. "Boxcar" - 2:44
  3. "Ordinary People" - 18:13
  4. "Shining Light" - 4:44
  5. "The Believer" - 2:39
  6. "Spirit Road" - 6:32
  7. "Dirty Old Man" - 3:17
  8. "Ever After" - 3:32
  9. "No Hidden Path" - 14:31
  10. "The Way" - 5:15

Vinyl release (double album)[edit]

There was a double LP pressing of the record with 180 gram vinyl. All songs were written by Neil Young.

Side one[edit]
  1. "Boxcar" - 2:44
  2. "Beautiful Bluebird" - 4:27
  3. "Spirit Road" - 6:32
  4. "Dirty Old Man" - 3:17
Side two[edit]
  1. "Ordinary People" - 18:13
Side three[edit]
  1. "Ever After" - 3:32
  2. "The Way" - 5:15
  3. "The Believer" - 2:39
  4. "Shining Light" - 4:44
Side four[edit]
  1. "No Hidden Path" - 14:31

Track notes[edit]

The first three songs of Chrome Dreams II date from the 1980s. "Beautiful Bluebird" was first recorded for the original version of Old Ways that was shelved by Geffen Records; "Boxcar" was a track on the unreleased Times Square album, which was scrapped in favor of the more commercially viable Freedom; and "Ordinary People," which was recorded in summer 1988 for what became the Freedom album, was highly regarded as one of Young's greatest unreleased songs, and was often played live during the "Sponsored By Nobody" tour with The Bluenotes to promote the album. This was the album's first single, and was sent to radio on Monday, September 10. The length of this track (clocking in at 18:13) makes it hard to program into today's limited radio playlists, so it was initially heard on radio web sites.[18]

DVD release[edit]

A version of Chrome Dreams II with a bonus DVD, containing the album in high resolution 24 bit/96 kHz stereo was also released.

Personnel[edit]

The following people were known to be involved in the production of the album.[1]

Primary musicians[edit]

Musicians for "Ordinary People"[edit]

Background singers[edit]

  • The Wyatt Earps - Ben Keith, Ralph Molina, Neil Young
  • The Jane Wyatts - Nancy Hall, Annie Stocking, Pegi Young
  • The Dirty Old Men - Larry Cragg, Ben Keith, Ralph Molina, Rick Rosas, Neil Young

“The Way” choir[edit]

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

  • Francisco J. Núñez, Artistic Director/Founder
  • Elizabeth Núñez, Conductor

Choristers[edit]

  • Rebecca Shaw
  • Vera Kahn
  • Moraima Avalos
  • William Cabiniss
  • Che Elliott
  • Rosa Loveszy
  • Christina Lu
  • Jamal Marcelin
  • Lluvia Perez
  • Owen Smith
  • Julie Urena
  • Emily Viola
  • Reginald Wilson
  • Catherine McGough
  • Helen Parzick

See also[edit]

References[edit]