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No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

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Not Fade Away - Reissue Review from Issue #75 May-June 2008

Fred Neil

Trav'lin Man: The Early Singles (Fallout)

Though revered as an influential singer-songwriter, Fred Neil is best known for other people’s recordings of his work, particularly Harry Nilsson’s 1969 Top-10 hit “Everybody’s Talkin’”. With that in mind, it makes sense that, before he gravitated to the Greenwich Village folk scene, Neil worked in the hits-for-hire hive the Brill Building. The Neil originals salvaged from these half-dozen hard-to-find 45s, cut between 1957 and 1961, and all in a pop/country/rockabilly vein, might just as easily (and more successfully) have gone to established stars. With its multi-tracked vocals, the peppy “Listen Kitten” seemed better suited to the Everly Brothers, while the syrupy “Secret Secret” yearns for placement in a Connie Francis flick. While consistently strong, Neil’s performances are likewise mercurial, failing to shed much light on his own aesthetic. Still, like Carol King’s pre-Tapestry solo sides for Dimension, these selections offer a nifty glimpse at how his pop craftsmanship would help pay greater dividends later on.

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Originally Featured in Issue #75 May-June 2008

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