This Note's for You

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This Note's for You
This Note's for You.jpg
Studio album by Neil Young & The Bluenotes
Released April 11, 1988 (1988-04-11)
Recorded November 1987 – January 1988
Studio Studio Instrument Rentals, Hollywood, California
Genre Heartland rock, R&B, blues rock
Length 39:25
Label Reprise
Producer Neil Young, Niko Bolas
Neil Young chronology
Life
(1987)Life1987
This Note's for You
(1988)
Eldorado
(1989)Eldorado1989
Current album cover
The modified and current album art work.
The modified and current album art work.
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
The Village VoiceB–[2]

This Note's for You is the 16th studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on April 11, 1988 on Reprise. It was originally credited to Young and the Bluenotes. Part of the album's concept centered on the commercialism of rock and roll, and tours in particular (the title track is a social commentary on concert sponsorship). The music is marked by the use of a horn section. It also marked Young's return to the recently re-activated Reprise Records after a rocky tenure with Geffen Records.

In 2015, Young released a live album from the album's accompanying tour, entitled Bluenote Café.

Release[edit]

The video for the title track – directed by Julien Temple and written by Charlie Coffey – included a Michael Jackson lookalike whose hair catches fire. The video parodied corporate rock and the pretensions of advertising, and was patterned after a series of Michelob ads that featured contemporary rock artists such as Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood. The video also featured parodic inserts from commercials featuring impersonators of Jackson and Whitney Houston, as well as popular characters such as a Spuds McKenzie lookalike. The title itself mocks Budweiser's "This Bud's For You" ad campaign.

It was initially banned by MTV after legal threats from Michael Jackson's attorneys, although Canadian music channel MuchMusic ran it immediately. After it was a hit on MuchMusic, MTV reconsidered their decision and put it into heavy rotation, finally giving it the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year for 1989. It was nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Concept Video" of 1989 but lost to "Weird Al" Yankovic's spoof of Michael Jackson's "Bad", "Fat".

When NME challenged David Lee Roth about his own corporate sponsorship (by Toshiba), citing "This Note's For You", the singer responded: "That's just hippy bullshit from the '60s. If your message is not strong enough to transcend a soda-pop commercial, you got problems!"[3]

Artwork[edit]

The cover of this album is reportedly a photo taken in the back lane of the 200 block of Main Street Winnipeg, which housed the Blue Note Cafe. Neil was known to play unannounced in the Blue Note Cafe while in Winnipeg.[4]

Other recordings with the Bluenotes[edit]

Young toured with the Bluenotes band (later renamed to Ten Men Workin' for legal reasons) throughout 1988, playing predominantly new material, including a number of unreleased songs. A live album from the tour, titled Bluenote Café, was planned at the time as a follow-up to the studio album but got shelved, although two songs appeared on compilation Lucky Thirteen in 1993; it was eventually released in 2015 as volume 11 of Young's Archive Performance Series.

Young also did more studio sessions with the band in 1988; three known songs that were recorded are "Crime in the City (Sixty to Zero Part I)", "Someday" (both songs would be included on next year's Freedom) and "Ordinary People", an epic 18-minute song described as "Cortez the Killer" with horns",[5] which finally saw its release on Young's 2007 studio album, Chrome Dreams II. The horn section from the Bluenotes also plays on the Graham Nash song "That Girl" from the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album American Dream (1988).

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neil Young

No.TitleLength
1."Ten Men Workin'"6:28
2."This Note's for You"2:05
3."Coupe De Ville"4:18
4."Life in the City"3:13
5."Twilight"5:54
6."Married Man"2:38
7."Sunny Inside"2:36
8."Can't Believe Your Lyin'"2:58
9."Hey Hey"3:05
10."One Thing"6:02

Personnel[edit]

  • Neil Young – vocals, guitar
The Bluenotes

with:

  • George Whitsell – bass on "One Thing"
  • Ralph Molina - drums on "One Thing"
  • Steve Onuska - tambourine on "One Thing"

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Ruhlmann. "This Note's for You - Neil Young | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 27, 1988). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ Swift, David (December 3, 1988). "I laugh to win". NME: 21. 
  4. ^ "Winnipeg love-hate: Bluenote Graveyard". Winnipeg Free Press. 2011-04-17. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Fall Music Preview 2007". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2007-12-02.