Everybody’s Rockin’

Everybody’s Rockin’ released in July 1983, is a quite an odd album, much explained by its background. Neil Young’s new record company, Geffen, was very displeased with the first album, Trans, which Young did at their label. The artist they thought they signed were not to be recognized on the experimental Trans album.

Everybody’s Rockin’ cover


1. Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes
2. Rainin' in My Heart
3. Payola Blues
4. Wonderin'
5. Kinda Fonda Wanda
6. Jellyroll Man
7. Bright Lights, Big City
8. Cry, Cry, Cry
9. Mystery Train
10. Everybody's Rockin'

Geffen didn’t want any vocoder song, they wanted rock 'n' roll they told Young. Neil Young replied by doing Everybody’s Rockin’, an album that literary was rock 'n' roll music in the old style. Not that Geffen really was asking for of course. It should also be mentioned that Young before Everybody's Rocking' delivered the Old Ways recordings to Geffen, but that album neither pleased the company since country was not in the fashion at the moment.

On the cover of Everybody’s Rockin’ Neil stands in a pink suit with brylcreem in his hair and holding an old-fashioned archtop guitar. Over him the buyer could read the text “Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks”. The “Shocking Pinks" were Larry Byrom, Anthony Crawford, Tim Drummond, Karl Himmel, Ben Keith and Rick Palombi.

The album, in which the most songs are covers (from the standard blues number "Bright Lights, Big City" to the less known "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes" by Bobby Freeman), has its merits, but from an artist on that level more could be expected. One of the best numbers is “Wonderin’”. The live version on Live At the Fillmore East (2006) with its country qualities is probably better, however.

It's all over in less than 25 minutes and the collection of songs could be seen as a parenthesis in Neil Young's album flood. (Some of the songs on Everybody’s Rockin’ would later be included on the odd compilation Mystery Train.)


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