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Crate Digger’s Gold: Neville Brothers – Yellow Moon

March 10, 2013

neville bro yellow moonBy 1989 Daniel Lanois had been on quite a roll:

– John Hassel’s Power Spot (jazz)
– Peter Gabriel’s So
– U2’s Joshua Tree
– Robbie Robertson’s Robbie Robertson
– Dylan’s Oh Mercy

And then the Neville Brother’s Yellow Moon.  I have been familiar with this album as it made some noise at the time (1989) and brought the Neville Brothers to the mainstream.  Somehow I managed to never have this in my collection.

I recently picked up a decent quality LP version for $2 at the Rock Sale. I had forgotten that it was a Danny Lanois production until I dropped the needle on the first cut and I heard the unmistakable Lanois sound – I rushed to the linear notes to verify that this must be Lanois and sure enough it was.

This is not a typical Neville Brothers release, but it is a perfect calling card none the less.  Despite his Canadian birth, Lanois has a New Orleans soul.  He perfectly applies his unique ambiance to the Neville Brothers.  He transforms them to a new sound without selling them out.  It is a true collaboration.  Imagine U2’s Joshua Tree applied to New Orleans R&B and then spiced with Dylan and you have Yellow Moon.

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