Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Reprise
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


The Ducks (Neil Young) High Flyin' 3LP

The Ducks

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First Official Release by Neil Young's Short-Lived 1977 Band The Ducks on 3LP!

Michael Fremer Rated 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sonics!

This is the first official release by The Ducks - a short-lived group that Neil played with in 1977. The Ducks featured Neil (guitar, harmonica and vocals), Bob Mosely (bass and vocals), Jeff Blackburn (guitar and vocals) and Johnny Craviotto (drums). Mosely was an original member of Bay Area band Moby Grape; Blackburn had previously fronted his own band and co-wrote with Neil the classic track "My My Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)."

The band played several shows in Santa Cruz, CA and other California venues during two months in 1977, and this 3LP, 25-track live album features highlights from those shows. The setlists were very democratic, with each member of the band taking the lead in turn. Five Neil Young songs are showcased, including a rocking version of "Mr. Soul," plus beautiful renditions of "Are You Ready for the Country," "Little Wing," "Sail Away" and "Human Highway."

Young of late has pumped out a large volume of records, some great and some mediocre. This is one of the greats. It's got the ferocity of Buffalo Springfield, plus the crunchy wall of guitar sound perfected by Crazy Horse plus a rare occasion where Neil Young blends in with a band instead of leading or dominating it. He's also in fine voice and the recording is 'you are there' immediate analog multitrack to digital mix down you're sure to enjoy cranked up club level loud.
-Michael Fremer, Tracking Angle, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10
The Ducks were a bar band in the same way NRBQ were a bar band - their mix of country rock, blues, and tough, straight-ahead rock & roll was rooted in the classics without getting mired in clichés. While they had good, unpretentious fun on-stage, they also had impressive chops and a catalog of fine material, and the energy of seeing a group this good in a funky, intimate setting was not lost on their audiences. Young seems to be having a ball not having to be the star of the show, and his guitar work is excellent, ripping out solos in his unmistakable style but also buzzing along beside Blackburn.....Mosley and Blackburn's originals are good enough to stand up to comparison to Young's, and Mosley seemingly taught some of the tricks of Moby Grape's glorious harmonies to his fellow Ducks, feeling rougher but no less satisfying. Mosley and Craviotto are a superb rhythm section, too, knowing when to groove and when to push the music into fifth gear. It's a shame the Ducks didn't have the chance to mature and cut a studio album, because they clearly had talent and potential to spare, but there's no shame in being a truly great bar band, and High Flyin' shows the Ducks were something special...
-Mark Deming,, 4/5 stars (The AllMusic 2023 Year in Review - Favorite Archival Releases)


  • 3LP
  • Neil Young Archives Official Bootleg Series
  • First Official Release by The Ducks
  • Wide-Spine Gatefold
  • Made in USA


Side One:

  1. I Am a Dreamer
  2. Younger Days
  3. Gypsy Wedding
  4. Are You Ready for the Country?
  5. Hold On Boys

Side Two:

  1. My My My (Poor Man)
  2. I'm Tore Down
  3. Hey Now
  4. Wide Eyed and Willing
  5. Truckin' Man

Side Three:

  1. Sail Away
  2. Gone Dead Train
  3. Silver Wings

Side Four:

  1. Human Highway
  2. Your Love
  3. I'm Ready
  4. Little Wing
  5. Car Tune

Side Five:

  1. Windward Passage
  2. Leaving Us Now
  3. Mr. Soul

Side Six:

  1. Two Riders
  2. Honky Tonk Man
  3. Sailor Man
  4. Silver Wings

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