Neil Young - Re-ac-tor (or is it 'Reactor'?) - Any Love for this album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Doctor Jimmy, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Doctor Jimmy

    Doctor Jimmy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    South Korea
    I ignored this album for long time, only hearing 'Opera Star' and 'Shots'.
    I heard this album for the first time in a while, and surprised that this album is actually quite good!
    Probably the rawest NY & Crazy Horse album, sounding a lot like post punk at that time.
    Every track is decent, I really love 'Southern Pacific' and 'Rapid Transit'.
    Any body loving this album?
    rd1, Music=Life, Mike Dow and 2 others like this.
  2. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Reactor's not bad IMO, it has it's moments ("Shots", "Southern Pacific", "Surfer Joe") but unfortunately the album's lows -"T Bone"- are what most people really remember about it.
  3. Wild Frank

    Wild Frank Forum Resident

    Shrewsbury, UK
    Shots is a great song. Would love to hear more live versions. Has Neil played it much historically?
  4. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I love "T-Bone"!
  5. I love 'R-r-rapid Transit' and 'Southern Pacific', I like 'Shots', don't care much for the rest of it.
  6. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    "Opera Star" is also great.
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  7. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    More Garfong!

    "Every wave is new until it breaks."
    BDC likes this.
  8. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    new york
    I've always liked this album a lot. Clearly not up there with his best, but I love the aggressive, sloppy feel of it, and it has some great rockers. Rapid Transit, Southern Pacific, and Shots are my favorites on the album, but I even like T-Bone and Opera Star. To me it easily beats anything he's done in the last 15 years except Psychedelic Pill.
  9. RomanZ

    RomanZ Forum Resident

    Agree with this.
    Anyone else hears a bit of Devo influence on this album? That Human Highway version of Hey Hey My My would fit right in there, IMO.
    warewolf95 likes this.
  10. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    This is one of those albums that divides Neil fans. I fall on the "love it" side. I loved Rust Never Sleeps, wasn't crazy about Hawks & Doves, but this Re-ac-tor blew me away (including all 9 minutes of T-Bone). "Get Back On It" is the only dud, IMO. Who would have guessed "Trans" would follow this up?
    purple-lazy and JoeRockhead like this.
  11. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    It's fun. When I want rocking Crazy Horse I put on Ragged Glory. Then when I want more rocking CH I put on Arc/Weld.
    Then when I want even more rocking CH I put this on.
  12. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I definitely hear it and apparently Neil's participation in therapy with his non-communicative new son, Ben, which involved excessive repetition had an impact on the music as well.
    warewolf95 and majorlance like this.
  13. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Not among his best, but pretty good anyway. "Shots" is one of my favorite NY numbers.
    warewolf95 likes this.
  14. LC4O

    LC4O Well-Known Member

    great album
  15. Alert

    Alert Forum Resident

    Great River, NY
    I used to play "Southern Pacific" from this album quite a bit at that time.

    I liked the way the growling guitars propelled it.

    "It was Mr. Jones,
    We've got to let you go
    It's company policy
    You've got a pension, though."

    I haven't played this album in years, thanks for reminding me!
  16. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Baja Virginia
    I love it. My local FM station played "Southern Pacific" a lot when it came out and it's always stuck by me. Also love "Opera Star", "Surfer Joe", "Shots". This was actually one of the first Neil Young albums I ever bought.
  17. maui jim

    maui jim Forum Resident

    Disliked upon its release
    Then Trans came
    Then Rockin
    Then Old Ways
    Ok it’s not so bad
    Never reach for it today
    warewolf95 likes this.
  18. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    For some reason, I love Rapid Transit. What a groove.

    I still don't listen to T Bone, but there's some goodies here--Southern Pacific, Shots, even Surfer Joe.
  19. TS582

    TS582 Forum Resident

    Central MA
    "Southern Pacific" is one of my favorite Neil songs. I had to buy the album just for that because that triangular single is too crazy to play. Didn't get into the album back then but I'll take a listen tonight.
    The Quiet One and uzn007 like this.
  20. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Little Britain
    I like it! Got it on vinyl in the early 90s or something (I've probably only played it about twice).
  21. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    In honour of my two favourite songs on the album, the only known live version of "T Bone":

    As far as I'm concerned I don't see how someone who's a fan of Neil and Crazy Horse could not like Reactor. It is one Neil's more challenging albums, though.
    Reactor and Trans are connected in a lot of ways- Neil's Synclavier experiments on Reactor led to their full blown use on Trans; both albums were affected/inspired by Ben and the program Neil and Pegi were in as parents of a nonoral child (the section describing all of this in Shakey is kind of tough to read; as a parent myself I can't imagine what that must have been like.) And, of course, Reprise's poor promotion of Reactor -in Neil and Elliot Roberts' view- is what compelled them to go to David Geffen. That combination gave us Trans.
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  22. qtrules

    qtrules Forum Resident

    got mashed potato?
    Musicisthebest, Chemguy and uzn007 like this.
  23. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Compared to Neil's output since Storytone I think this album is a classic. I would love for Neil to put something out to the caliber of just this.
  24. The very first Neil Young "album" I ever owned (and the only Neil Young I had for a good 2-3 years), was actually a concert I taped off the radio in 1986 (my junior year in high school), which included "Opera Star" from Re·ac·tor. So consequently, over 30 years later, I *still* think of ALL those tracks -- including the killer Crazy Horse versions of "Computer Age" and "Sample and Hold" -- among my ultimate favorite Neil Young tunes.

    But while I love "Opera Star" - I have to confess I haven't listened to Re·ac·tor in ages (though another confession, I only listen to a whole lot of Neil about once every 5 years or so, when I get the urge).

    I seem to remember "Southern Pacific" and "Shots" pretty fondly, and overall a lot of this album is really pretty good. I'll have to dig it out this month, and revisit.

    Side Note: As a result of that 1986 cassette-off-the-radio (being my main introduction to Neil, other what I heard on the radio at the time)-- to this day live versions of "Computer Age" and "Sample and Hold" are almost LITERALLY my favorite Neil Young songs. Like if I was headed to that fabled desert island, those are the two (2) Neil Young tunes I'd probably take with me (as long as they were live versions). Not kidding either.
    Cassiel, guppy270, qtrules and 2 others like this.
  25. Kahunasunset

    Kahunasunset Forum Resident

    Love the album. Very raw. T-Bone, Surfer Joe, Rapid Transit, Opera Star and Shots all classics. Southern Pacific and Motor City are great as well but imo have been surpassed by the versions on A Treasure. As someone said above Get Back On It Is a bit of a dud.

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