- Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Neil Young (vocals, guitar, flute, harmonica, accordion, piano, marimba); Frank "Poncho" Sampedro (guitar, piano, synthesizer, bass marimba); Billy Talbot (bass, vibraphone, bass marimba); Ralph Molina (drums).
- Recorded at The Complex Studios, West Los Angeles, California.
- SLEEPS WITH ANGELS was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.
- Personnel: Neil Young (vocals, guitar, flute, accordion, piano); Frank "Poncho" Sampedro (guitar, piano, marimba); Billy Talbot (marimba); Ralph Molina (drums).
- Recording information: Complex Studios, West Los Angeles, CA (11/08/1993-04/25/1994).
- Judging by the regard with which Neil Young is embraced by contemporary bands, it's clear that this rocker retained his youthful crankiness and experimental verve--willfully oblivious to popular fashions. Like John Mellencamp's DANCE NAKED, Young's SLEEPS WITH ANGELS has the mythic feel and smell of vintage, crawl-under-the-car and change-the-oil rock and roll.
- SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is produced in a simple, uncluttered, rootsy manner, full of gritty, earnest appeal. Young projects the grace of an elder mentor, aware of his own mortality ("Prime Of Life"), trying to save his friends from unnecessary grief, while gently prodding his wildest children away from the precipice ("Driveby") and looking back fondly on his own ancestors ("Western Heroes").
- It doesn't take too great a leap of imagination to hear "Sleeps With Angels" as "The Ballad Of Kurt & Courtney." Grungeophonic rockers such as "Change Your Mind" and "Blue Eden" answer despair with an odd mix of compassion and rage for those beyond saving, while the rest of SLEEPS WITH ANGELS seeks the saviour in shopping malls, tries to remember what made life worth living and decries disposable America (the aptly titled "Piece Of Crap"). SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is a magnificent autumnal work by a rocker who realized there are viable life options besides burning out or fading away.
Rolling Stone (8/25/94, p.88) - 5 Stars - Classic "...SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is not the first album Young has made about the widening cracks in the American dream or what's left of the teenage refugees after the broken promises of the '60s....it is among his best..."
Spin (10/94, p.108) - Recommended - "...SLEEPS WITH ANGELS expresses garden-variety modern melancholia laced with romantic musing....You'd think the sage and skeptical Young might have more to say. Maybe next trek..."
Q (9/94, p.112) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "...SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is too rich and vivid to digest all at once. The effect is like hearing a whole load of new DECADE, taken from the most stunning points along Young's 30-year-journey..."
The Wire (p.48) - "SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is perhaps Young's most detailed and immersive song based record since his 1969 solo debut, largely due to the variety of instrumental textures employed and the warmth and depth producer David Briggs brings to the mix."
Musician (10/94, p.83) - "...It's a little like San Francisco weather: If you don't care for Neil Young's musical style at any given moment, wait a while and it'll change....SLEEPS WITH ANGELS might be the closest thing we get, this side of DECADE II, to the best of all the various 'Neils' together...'It's heavy and light.' It's also great...."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #5 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #66 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Young's angels and demons show out in force, battling mortality and the fragile bonds we shore up in defence."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/95, p.50) - Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994" - "...dark grunge-folk album of meditations on fame and poverty and love....The result was riveting."
NME (Magazine) (12/24/94, p.22) - Ranked #11 in NME's list of the 'Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
NME (Magazine) (8/13/94, p.47) - 9 - Excellent Plus "...SLEEPS WITH ANGELS is written with contemplation and healing in mind, hymns to the human condition, universal church music from Mister Soul..."