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Monday, July 25, 2016

Re-Appreciating Fred Neil

I think that anyone who has ever heard one of Fred Neil's original recordings has felt real awe at the depth and clarity of his voice, as well as the energy and originality of his singing style. The problem of course, is that not enough people have ever heard those recordings, and Fred Neal's self-imposed semi-retirement after 1970 did not help matters at all. (The main reason for his retirement - Fred had a big interest in protecting Dolphins, and apparently Neil and Ric O'Barry founded the Dolphin Research Project in 1970, an organization dedicated to stopping the capture, trafficking and exploitation of dolphins worldwide.



Just to give you a reference point on Fred - in 1966 he wrote the classic "Everybody's Talkin' " which only became a hit when Harry Nilsson recorded it in 1968, and became even more popular when it was included in the soundtrack of the hit movie "Midnight Cowboy" in 1969. According to the Bob Dylan biography Chronicles, Fred Neil was instrumental in helping the young Dylan to find cafe gigs, food, and shelter back in his first years in New York city.
Aside from "Everybody's Talkin' ", here are links to some of Fred Neil's classics that I can point you to:
"Blues on the Ceiling"
"Other Side to This Life"
"Ba-di-da"
"That's the Bag I'm In"
"I've Got a Secret"
"The Dolphins"
In this age of countless CD reissues, a fantastic 2-CD set ("the Many Sides of Fred Neil" - Collectors' Choice Music 1999) has been released which encompasses 3 of Fred Neil's original albums, plus a number of rare singles and outtakes, and I highly recommend it. The set includes:
 - "Fred Neil" - 2nd solo album 1966
 - "Sessions" - 1967
 - "The Other Side of This Life"
 (live recording released in 1971)

Ba De Da
I get so tired
Hangin’ around this town
All this old city life
Should bring us fellow down
Badada dada
Dadada dada
Dadada dada
Ba-de-da
I get so tired
Trying to sleep at night
All this old city life
They keep on burning bright
Badada dada…
I get so tired
Hangin’ around this town
All this old city life
Sure brings a fellow down
Badada dada…

1 comment:

Zevster said...

Great to hear about the cd reissue.... And "re-find" him!