Neil Young ‎– Sample And Hold (US 12″)

When Neil Young fell in love with a vocoder and synths.

From 1982 and it’s all vocoder, (a Sennheiser vocoder VSM201 to be precise that seemed to be permanently attached to his head) Synclavier and futuristic lyrics from the album “Trans,” his Kraftwerk tribute album. Ahead of the pack in terms of sound, it’s Pop / Rock with plenty of electronics. Produced with Californian Studio mates, Tim Mulligan and David Briggs (an ex-member of Crazy Horse) and remixed by Richard Kaplan this was a radical departure and Geffen hated it and lawsuits were to follow.

Bizarrely 1972 release “Mr. Soul” get’s a modern dance mix. Disco / funk with that Stones riff and original vocals given a tech make over added vocoder. It sits nicely with Young’s guitar work.

Geffen Records ‎– 0-20105 sample

A1 Sample And Hold (Dance Remix) 6:48
B1 Mr. Soul (Dance Remix) 5:53
B2 Sample And Hold (Single Version) 3:54

4 thoughts on “Neil Young ‎– Sample And Hold (US 12″)”

  1. ¡Holy Frijoles! I had no idea this record existed! I need to get this quickly! I have a laserdisc {Neil Young LOVED laserdisc format in the 80s] of the “Live Trans” tour. An amusing conceptual video with three different kinds of concerts filmed live with interstitial comedy sketches tying it all together. It started with acoustic folk Neil, followed by Trans Neil and finally Rockabilly Neil with the Shocking Pinks! No wonder Geffen was mainlining Maalox® but I have to say i found it extremely refreshing! The early 80s was when I became a Neil Young fan after considering him just an old hippie in the 70s.

  2. Interesting how the collective conscious likes to delete from its memory banks when something is uncomfortable.

    I’d completely forgotten about Trans, but relistening now, I’ve got a new appreciation for this track. (I admit I had to go look up the history behind it to try to understand why he went SOOOOOOO left-field) and the fact he’d created two entire albums as an experiment on how to communicate with his son is astonishing.

    Then you look at the wildly differing output styles before and after these albums, and you have to tip your hat at the guts of this guy to keep experimenting.

    A love of music in a musician makes me happy. Your sharing of impossible to find tracks (YOU HEAR THAT WORKUPLOAD – GOOD LUCK FINDING THESE TRACKS FOR SALE ANYWHERE!) makes me happier.

    Keep up the good fight, and keep loving what you do.

    I know I do.

  3. Interesting post. Yes this period of Young’s work that is largely ignored.

    I bought several Neil Young CDs in the 1990s and i was aware that the 1980s was considered a duff decade for him. This album was out of print for a long time. Listening to this I can see why ! The tune and guitar is top notch actually, if you can only bear those ghastly vocoder vocals.

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