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Yellow Hand

Yellow Hand

(Capitol; US: 10 Jun 2008; UK: 12 May 2008)

The lone 1969 album from Yellow Hand carved a niche in rock and roll history on the unknowing back of Neil Young and Steven Stills. Over half its tracklisting is filled out with songs originally recorded as demos from Buffalo Springfield’s heyday, many of which are still only legally available on this eponymous record. Most never left the studio except in acetate form, and yet, through whatever dubious means, those tunes obviously found their way into the hands of temporary bandleader Jerry Tawney, who handily turned them into a quick profit.


Though clean and well-played, the style in which this album was recorded can be seen as nothing less than a parody, especially in the constant cheeseball harmonizing that came off so dynamic when done by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The Yellow Hand version of Young’s culturally provocative “Sell Out” counts the fact that Jerry’s vocals stand up on their own as one of the song’s greatest strengths, as well as a choice guitar sound that makes it one of the record’s few highlights. Upon its initial release, many thought Yellow Hand was a lost Buffalo Springfield album, but since then, its rarely been available in print. The reasons for this are apparent. They aren’t the Vanilla Fudge.  As such, this album can only be recommended for super fans of Stills and Young.

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Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys, with a butt that won't quit.


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