Records That Made History

The Neville Brothers – Yellow Moon

todayNovember 18, 2023 101

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Yellow Moon is the seventh studio album by the Neville Brothers and was released on March 14, 1989 by A & M Records and produced by Daniel Lanois.

The Neville Brothers delivered a very good pop-rock album, their first under A & M Records, which was as musically solid as any they released with that label. The vocals were so well-arranged and superbly performed that they contributed greatly to the album’s musical cohesion, with songs cleverly chosen and placed on the album, which entered the charts and remained there for many weeks while the Nevilles toured to great public interest. The album wasn’t a big hit, but it was widely respected and represents perhaps their best overall pop LP.

The Neville Brothers are a New Orleans institution. Their voices glide freely and harmonize in a rich texture. For Yellow Moon, they enlisted the help of producer Daniel Lanois so they could merge their voices and rhythms with his swampy dreams. The percussion is delicate, the guitars melt into the background and the voices pierce the calm night sky, like the soundtrack of an old western. Two Dylan songs from his protest song era, “With God On Our Side” and “The Ballad Of Hollis Brown,” are arranged as modern anthems for spiritual reconciliation. Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” remains promising while the original “Sister Rosa”, about activist Rosa Parks, is among their best. The album is not a return to the trivial, but a welcome break from tradition.

In the past the Neville Brothers relied heavily on Aaron’s uncanny falsetto. In Yellow Moon, however, it is channeled into harmonies with his brothers and into solos that emphasize its uniqueness. The album’s standout solos on the songs “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “With God On Our Side” showcase Lanois’ impeccable musical choices and the very effective fusion of Neville’s sound with the sounds of other Lanois groups such as U2 .

Unfortunately, these standout tracks like “Yellow Moon” and Dylan’s “The Ballad Of Hollis Brown” make some of Neville’s choices, e.g. “My Blood”, “Healing Chant” and “Wild Injuns”, suffer by comparison.

From this beautiful album we choose the title track of the album “Yellow Moon”.

Tracklist

  1. My Blood 4:11
  2. Yellow Moon 4:04
  3. Fire And Brimstone 3:57
  4. A Change Is Gonna Come 3:43
  5. Sister Rosa 3:29
  6. With God On Our Side 6:37
  7. Wake Up 3:21
  8. VooDoo 4:26
  9. The Ballad Of Hollis Brown 5:45
  10. Will The Circle Be Unbroken 5:16
  11. Healing Chant 4:34
  12. Wild Injuns 3:17

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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