Neil Young – Unplugged (1993)

FrontCover1Neil Percival Young OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer, musician and songwriter. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg in the 1960s, Young moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Since the beginning of his solo career with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has released many critically acclaimed and important albums, such as Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, Harvest, On the Beach and Rust Never Sleeps. He was a part-time member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Young has received several Grammy and Juno Awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him twice: in 1995 as a solo artist and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.[6] In 2000, Rolling Stone named Young No. 34 on their list of the 100 greatest musical artists. According to Acclaimed Music, he is the seventh most celebrated artist in popular music history. His guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and signature high tenor singing voice define his long career.

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He also plays piano and harmonica on many albums, which frequently combine folk, rock, country and other musical genres. His often distorted electric guitar playing, especially with Crazy Horse, earned him the nickname “Godfather of Grunge” and led to his 1995 album Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam. More recently he has been backed by Promise of the Real. 21 of his albums and singles have been certified Gold and Platinum in U.S by RIAA certification.

Young directed (or co-directed) films using the pseudonym “Bernard Shakey”, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He also contributed to the soundtracks of the films Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).

Young has lived in California since the 1960s but retains Canadian citizenship. He was awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2006 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. He became a United States citizen, taking dual citizenship, in 2020.

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Unplugged is a live album by Canadian / American singer-songwriter Neil Young, released on June 15, 1993 on Reprise. Recorded on February 7, 1993, the album is an installment of the MTV series, Unplugged. The performance was also released on VHS.

The recording of Unplugged was reportedly rife with tension, with Young displeased with the performances of many of his band members. The released version was his second attempt at recording a set suitable for airing and release.

The track “Stringman” was recorded for Young’s famously unreleased studio album, Chrome Dreams (1977). (wikipedia)

Taped on February 7, 1993, and first broadcast on MTV on March 10, Neil Young’s Unplugged appearance was released as a home video to coincide with the release of an audio CD version. This 73-minute tape ran seven minutes longer than the album, the extra time consisting of applause, guitar tuning, and a few scattered asides (“Aw, it’s nothin’, really,” Young said, for example, after an audience member called out, “Thank you, Neil”). Young was anything but videogenic in his leather jacket, Harley Davidson T-shirt, jeans, and boots, sitting hunched over his guitar, often scowling as he turned his face, hooded with unruly, grey-flecked hair and partially covered by a week-old stubble, to the microphone. Yet his casual appearance and introspective demeanor served to focus attention on his music.

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And a 14-song set that on record seemed a random selection from across his career made more sense on video, as Young began with a series of early songs, accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica, then moving to keyboards and gradually bringing other musicians on-stage to augment the sound. The songs were wistful, midtempo reflections on stardom, love, and the passage of time. Some were familiar, including “Mr. Soul” and “Like a Hurricane,” and were given new treatments; others were obscure or even previously unrecorded (“Stringman”). But all were melodic and inviting, especially the selections from Harvest Moon, including the title tune, which featured a broom as a percussion instrument. Unplugged was a low-key Neil Young performance that emphasized the consistency of his work over time and the repetition of certain lyrical themes and musical tendencies. If it avoided some of his best-known folk and country material, it did contain a few crowd-pleasers, and it brought up several forgotten tunes for reconsideration. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Oscar Butterworth (drums)
Tim Drummond (bass)
Ben Keith (dobro)
Nils Lofgren (guitar, autoharp, accordion, background vocals)
Spooner Oldham – piano, pump organ
Neil Young – guitar, vocals harmonica, piano, pump organ
+
Larry Cragg (broom on 09.)
+
background vocals:
Astrid Young – Nicolette Larson

Booklet04A

Tracklist:
01. The Old Laughing Lady 5.15
02. Mr. Soul 3.54
03. World On A String 3.02
04. Pocahontas 5.06
05. Stringman 4.01
06. Like A Hurricane 4.44
07. The Needle And The Damage Done 2.52
08. Helpless 5.47
09. Harvest Moon 5.20
10. Transformer Man 3.36
11. Unknown Legend 4.46
12. Look Out For My Love 5.58
13. Long May You Run 5.21
14. From Hank To Hendrix 5.50

All songs written by Neil Young

In addition to the tracks found on this album, Neil Young performed the following songs live during the performance:

“Dreamin’ Man” – “Sample And Hold” – “War Of Man” – “Winterlong”

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The official website:
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Neil Young – Landing On Water (1986)

FrontCover1Neil Percival Young OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer, musician and songwriter. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg in the 1960s, Young moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Since the beginning of his solo career with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has released many critically acclaimed and important albums, such as Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, Harvest, On the Beach and Rust Never Sleeps. He was a part-time member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Young has received several Grammy and Juno Awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him twice: in 1995 as a solo artist and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield. In 2000, Rolling Stone named Young No. 34 on their list of the 100 greatest musical artists. According to Acclaimed Music, he is the seventh most celebrated artist in popular music history.

NeilYoung01

His guitar work, deeply personal lyrics[8][9][10] and signature high tenor singing voice define his long career. He also plays piano and harmonica on many albums, which frequently combine folk, rock, country and other musical genres. His often distorted electric guitar playing, especially with Crazy Horse, earned him the nickname “Godfather of Grunge” and led to his 1995 album Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam. More recently he has been backed by Promise of the Real. 21 of his albums and singles have been certified Gold and Platinum in U.S by RIAA certification.

NeilYoung03

Young directed (or co-directed) films using the pseudonym “Bernard Shakey”, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He also contributed to the soundtracks of the films Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).

Young has lived in California since the 1960s but retains Canadian citizenship. He was awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2006 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. He became a United States citizen, taking dual citizenship, in 2020. (wikipedia)

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Landing on Water is the 15th studio album by Neil Young. The album was released on July 21, 1986, by Geffen Records. Several of the songs on the album were resurrected from Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s failed 1984 sessions – a set of sessions where, according to longtime producer David Briggs, the musicians “played like monkeys”. (wikipedia)

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Backed only by co-producer Danny Kortchmar on guitar and Steve Jordan on drums, with all three playing synthesizers, Neil Young turns in an album that attempts to mix the raunchy rock thrust of his Crazy Horse-style music with contemporary trends in pop, especially the tendency to turn the drums way up in the mix. It’s an uneasy combination in which Jordan’s forceful drumming dominates the tracks, with Young’s vocals nearly buried. But that only means that the production has ruined a group of songs few of which were any good anyway. The only one that offers the promise of being one of Young’s better efforts is “Hippie Dream,” a sober criticism of what became of ’60s idealism in general and Young’s erstwhile bandmate David Crosby in particular. But if Landing on Water was not a good album, at least it seemed to point Young away from the stylistic dabbling of his last three albums and back toward the kind of rock he did best, and at least some of his fans returned as a result, giving him a slight uptick in sales. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Steve Jordan (drums, synthesizer, background vocals)
Danny Kortchmar (guitar, synthesizer, background vocals)
Neil Young (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica, synthesizer)
+
San Francisco Boys Chorus (vocals on tracks 02. + 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Weight Of The World 3.38
02. Violent Side 4.18
03. Hippie Dream 4.10
04. Bad News Beat 3.13
05. Touch The Night 4.27
06. People On The Street 4.29
07. Hard Luck Stories 4.05
08. I Got A Problem 3.15
09. Pressure 2.42
10. Drifter 5.02

All songs written by Neil Young

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The official website:
Website

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Neil Young – Live At Jones Beach Music Theater, Wantagh, NY (1989)

FrontCover1This is a real great Neil Young bootleg, a solo unplugged concert:

The Jones Beach concert is comes off rather lifeless and uninspired…the excellent production simply accentuates a lack of passion here. It’s Neil solo and you are missing Crazy Horse after awhile. I never thought I’d say that because just Neil with a guitar, harmonica & piano is a wonderful thing…usually. The highlight is the closing encore with Bruce Springsteen on “Down By The River”. The Boss’ presence gives Neil a little kick in the ass.

Jumping ahead to the SNL performances…the broadcast portion is common to us all but the rehearsals are really something! Neil is a possessed animal and there is the best version of “Rockin’ In The Free World” featured in this segment, hands down. This is Neil at his most passionate ever. I remember seeing the original broadcast and going “holy shit!”. I did the same thing again upon viewing this portion of the DVD. Great stuff!

The sound and video both are superb and makes this an easy purchase for Neil Young fans. (hotwacks.com)

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Personnel:
Ben Keith (dobro, keyboards, vocals)
Frank Sampedro (guitar. mandolin, vocals)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals, hrmonica, piano)
+
Bruce Springsteen (guitar, vocals on 20.)

Alternate frontcover:
AlternateFrontCover

Tracklist:
01. 1. My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) 3.57
02. Rockin’ In The Free World 5.12
03. Comes A Time 3.16
04. Sugar Mountain 6.10
05. Pocahontas 5.10
06. Helpless 5.41
07. Crime In the City (Sixty To Zero Part 1) 6,37
08. For The Turnstiles 5.49
09. This Old House 4.58
10. Roll Another Number 3.39
11. Too Far Gone 3.18
12. This Note’s For You 3,29
13. The Needle And The Damage Done 2.16
14. No More 5.13
15. After The Gold Rush 5.21
16. Heart Of Gold 3.25
17. Ohio 4.40
18. Rockin’ In The Free World 6.34
19. Powderfinger 5.51
20. Down By The River 9.35

All songs written by Neil Young

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Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armor comin’
Sayin’ something about a queen
There were peasants singin’ and drummers drummin’
And the archer split the tree
There was a fanfare blowin’ to the sun
That was floating on the breeze
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the 1970s
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the 1970s

I was lyin’ in a burned out basement
With the full moon in my eyes
I was hopin’ for replacement
When the sun burst though the sky
There was a band playin’ in my head
And I felt like getting high
I was thinkin’ about what a friend had said
I was hopin’ it was a lie
Thinkin’ about what a friend had said
I was hopin’ it was a lie

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver space ships flyin’
In the yellow haze of the sun
There were children cryin’ and colors flyin’
All around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loadin’ had begun
Flying Mother Nature’s silver seed
To a new home in the sun
Flying Mother Nature’s silver seed
To a new home

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Live Rust (1979)

FrontCover1Live Rust is a live album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, recorded during their fall 1978 Rust Never Sleeps tour.

Live Rust composed of performances recorded at several venues, including the Cow Palace near San Francisco. Young also directed a companion film, Rust Never Sleeps, under a pseudonym “Bernard Shakey”, which consisted of footage from the Cow Palace.

The CD version of the album was slightly edited so as to fit on a single compact disc, which were limited to 74 minutes at the time this album was first issued on CD. In 2014, a remastered, high-resolution download was made available on the Pono store, restoring the album to its original length.

Between tracks 2 & 3 on side 2 there is a stage announcment calling for people to get off of a tower and comments on an ongoing rainstorm. This is actually taken from Woodstock, almost a decade prior where Young performed as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. (by wikipedia)

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All the kudos Neil Young earned for Rust Never Sleeps he lost for Live Rust, the double-LP live album released four months later. Live Rust was the soundtrack to Young’s concert film Rust Never Sleeps (he had wanted to give it that title, but Reprise vetoed the idea, fearing confusion with the earlier album), and likewise was recorded October 22, 1978, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. But much of the Rust Never Sleeps album had been recorded on the same tour, and Live Rust repeated four songs from that disc; besides, since Young had released the career retrospective Decade in 1977, critics felt he was unfairly recycling his older material and repeating his new material.

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In retrospect, however, Live Rust, now a single 74-minute CD, comes off as an excellent Neil Young live album and career summary, starting with the early song “Sugar Mountain” and running through then-new songs like “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” and “Powderfinger.” Young is effective in both his acoustic folksinger and hard-rocking Crazy Horse bandleader modes. The various distractions of the concert itself and the film, such as the pretentious props and cowled roadies, are absent, and what’s left is a terrific Neil Young concert recording. (by William Ruhlmann)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Ralph Molina (drums, vocals)
Frank Sampedro (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Billy Talbot (bass, vocals)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals, harmonica, piano)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Sugar Mountain 5.04
02. I Am A Child 3.01
03. Comes A Time 3.16
04. After The Gold Rush 4.01
05. My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) 4.06
06. When You Dance I Can Really Love 3.52
07. The Loner 5.34
08. The Needle And The Damage Done 2.27
09. Lotta Love 2.56
10. Sedan Delivery 4.58
11. Powderfinger 5.51
12. Cortez The Killer 7.29
13. Cinnamon Girl 3.28
14. Like A Hurricane 7.51
15. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) 4.37
16. Tonight’s The Night 7.19

All songs written b Neil Young
except 05. + 15. which was written bei Neil Young & Jeff Blackburn

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Neil Young – After The Gold Rush (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgAfter the Gold Rush is the third studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released in September 1970 on Reprise Records. It is one of four high-profile albums released by each member of folk rock collective Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping 1970 album Déjà Vu. Gold Rush consists mainly of country folk music, along with the rocking “Southern Man”,[6] inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Bermann screenplay After the Gold Rush.

After the Gold Rush peaked at number eight on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart; the two singles taken from the album, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “When You Dance I Can Really Love”, made it to number 33 and number 93 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite a mixed initial reaction, it has since appeared on a number of “greatest albums” lists.

Initial sessions were conducted with backing band Crazy Horse at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles amid a short winter 1970 tour that included a well-received engagement with Steve Miller and Miles Davis at the Fillmore East. Despite the deteriorating health of rhythm guitarist Danny Whitten, the sessions yielded two released tracks, “I Believe In You” and “Oh, Lonesome Me.”

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Most of the album was recorded at a makeshift basement studio in Young’s Topanga Canyon home during the spring with Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young bassist Greg Reeves, Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina and burgeoning eighteen-year-old musical prodigy Nils Lofgren of the Washington, D.C.-based band Grin on piano. The incorporation of Lofgren was a characteristically idiosyncratic decision by Young: Lofgren had not played keyboards on a regular basis prior to the sessions. (Along with Jack Nitzsche, Lofgren would join an augmented Crazy Horse sans Young before enjoying success with his own group, solo cult success and a 25-year membership in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band). The Young biography Shakey[8] claims Young was intentionally trying to combine Crazy Horse and CSNY on this release, with members of the former band appearing alongside Stephen Stills (who contributed backing vocals to “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”) and Reeves. The cover art is a solarized image of Young, walking past the New York University School of Law campus, passing an old woman. The picture was taken by photographer Joel Bernstein and was reportedly out of focus. It was because of this he decided to mask the blurred face by solarizing the image. The photo is cropped; the original image included Young’s friend and CSNY bandmate Graham Nash.

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Songs on the album were inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Bermann screenplay for the unmade film After the Gold Rush. Young had read the screenplay and asked Stockwell if he could produce the soundtrack. Tracks that Young recalls as being written specifically for the film are “After the Gold Rush” and “Cripple Creek Ferry.”[11] The script has since been lost, though has been described as “sort of an end-of-the-world movie.” Stockwell said of it, “I was gonna write a movie that was personal, a Jungian self-discovery of the gnosis… it involved the Kabala (sic), it involved a lot of arcane stuff.” Graham Nash claims that “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” was written for him about the pains he was going through with his break up from Joni Mitchell.

AlternateFront+BackCoverAlternate front + backcover from Germany

According to the Neil Young Archives, After the Gold Rush was released on September 19, 1970. One month later, on October 24, the lead single “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It was voted number 62 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). (by wikipedia)

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In the 15 months between the release of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and After the Gold Rush, Neil Young issued a series of recordings in different styles that could have prepared his listeners for the differences between the two LPs. His two compositions on the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album Déjà Vu, “Helpless” and “Country Girl,” returned him to the folk and country styles he had pursued before delving into the hard rock of Everybody Knows; two other singles, “Sugar Mountain” and “Oh, Lonesome Me,” also emphasized those roots. But “Ohio,” a CSNY single, rocked as hard as anything on the second album. After the Gold Rush was recorded with the aid of Nils Lofgren, a 17-year-old unknown whose piano was a major instrument, turning one of the few real rockers, “Southern Man” (which had unsparing protest lyrics typical of Phil Ochs), into a more stately effort than anything on the previous album and giving a classic tone to the title track, a mystical ballad that featured some of Young’s most imaginative lyrics and became one of his most memorable songs. But much of After the Gold Rush consisted of country-folk love songs, which consolidated the audience Young had earned through his tours and recordings with CSNY; its dark yet hopeful tone matched the tenor of the times in 1970, making it one of the definitive singer/songwriter albums, and it has remained among Young’s major achievements. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jack Nitzsche (piano)
Nils Lofgren (guitar, piano, vocals)
Ralph Molina (drums, vocals)
Greg Reeves (bass)
Billy Talbot (bass)
Danny Whitten (guitar, vocals)
Neil Young (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, vibraphone)
+
Bill Peterson (flugelhorn)
Stephen Stills (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Tell Me Why (Young) 2.58
02. After The Gold Rush (Young) 3.45
03. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Young) 3.07
04. Southern Man (Young) 5.30
05. Till The Morning Comes (Young) 1.15
06. Oh, Lonesome Me (Gibson) 3.50
07. Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Young) 2.57
08. Birds (Young) 2.33
09. When You Dance I Can Really Love (Young) 4.03
10. I Believe In You (Young) 3.25
11. Cripple Creek Ferry (Young) 1.31

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Rare German Label.jpgRare German label

Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armor comin’
Sayin’ something about a queen
There were peasants singin’ and drummers drummin’
And the archer split the tree
There was a fanfare blowin’ to the sun
That was floating on the breeze
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the 1970s
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the 1970s

I was lyin’ in a burned out basement
With the full moon in my eyes
I was hopin’ for replacement
When the sun burst though the sky
There was a band playin’ in my head
And I felt like getting high
I was thinkin’ about what a friend had said
I was hopin’ it was a lie
Thinkin’ about what a friend had said
I was hopin’ it was a lie

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver space ships flyin’
In the yellow haze of the sun
There were children cryin’ and colors flyin’
All around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loadin’ had begun
Flying Mother Nature’s silver seed
To a new home in the sun

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Rust Never Sleep (1979)

FrontCover1Rust Never Sleeps is an album by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young and American band Crazy Horse. It was released on July 2, 1979, by Reprise Records. Most of the album was recorded live, then overdubbed in the studio. Young used the phrase “rust never sleeps” as a concept for his tour with Crazy Horse to avoid artistic complacency and try more progressive, theatrical approaches to performing live.
The bulk of the album was recorded live at San Francisco’s Boarding House and during the Neil Young/Crazy Horse tour in late 1978, with overdubs added later. Audience noise is removed as much as possible, although it is clearly audible at certain points, most noticeably on the opening and closing songs. The album is half acoustic and half electric, opening and closing with different versions of the same song: “Hey Hey, My My”.

“My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”, “Thrasher” and “Ride My Llama” were recorded live at the Boarding House in early 1978 and all of side two was recorded during the late 1978 tour. Two songs from the album were not recorded live: “Sail Away” was recorded without Crazy Horse during or after the Comes a Time recording sessions, and “Pocahontas” had been recorded solo around 1975.

Young also released a film version of the album under the same title. Later on in 1979, Young and Crazy Horse released the album Live Rust, a compilation of older classics interweaving within the Rust Never Sleeps track list. The title is borrowed from the slogan for Rust-Oleum paint, and was suggested by Mark Mothersbaugh of the new wave band Devo. It is also an aphorism describing Young’s musical self-renewal to avert the threat of irrelevance.

Live

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau called Rust Never Sleeps Young’s best album yet and said although his melodies are unsurprisingly simple and original, his lyrics are surprisingly and offhandedly complex. “He’s wiser but not wearier”, Christgau wrote, “victor so far over the slow burnout his title warns of”.

Paul Nelson, writing in Rolling Stone magazine, found its first side virtuosic because of how Young transcends the songs’ acoustic settings with his commanding performance and was impressed by its themes of personal escape and exhaustion, the role of rock music, and American violence: “Rust Never Sleeps tells me more about my life, my country and rock & roll than any music I’ve heard in years.”

Rust Never Sleeps was voted the second best album of 1979 in The Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop critics poll. Christgau, the poll’s creator, ranked it second on his own list for the poll, as did fellow critic Greil Marcus. The album also won Rolling Stone magazine’s 1979 critics poll for Album of the Year. In a decade-end list for The Village Voice, Christgau named it the ninth best album of the 1970s.

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In 2003, Rust Never Sleeps was ranked number 350 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In a retrospective review, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said that the acoustic and electric sides were both astounding.

AllMusic’s William Ruhlmann viewed that Young reinvigorated himself artistically by being imaginative and bold, and in the process created an exemplary album that “encapsulated his many styles on a single disc with great songs—in particular the remarkable ‘Powderfinger’—unlike any he had written before.”[8] Rob Sheffield, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), felt that “Powderfinger”, “Pocahontas”, “Thrasher”, and “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” were among Young’s greatest songs.

Booklet04A
Personnel:
Ralph Molina (drums, background vocals)
Frank “Poncho” Sampedro (guitar, background vocals)
Billy Talbot (bass, background vocals)
Neil Young (vocals, guitar, harmonica, organ, percussion)
+
Karl T. Himmel (drums on 05.)
Nicolette Larson (vocals on 05.)
Joe Osborn (bass on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) (Young/Blackburn) 3.45
02. Thrasher (Young) 5.38
03. Ride My Llama (Young) 2.29
04. Pocahontas (Young) 3.22
05. Sail Away (Young) 3.46
06. Powderfinger (Young) 5.30
07. Welfare Mothers (Young) 3.48
08. Sedan Delivery (Young) 4.40
09. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) (Young/Blackburn) 5.18
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Neil Young – Harvest (1972)

FrontCover1Neil Young’s most popular album, Harvest benefited from the delay in its release (it took 18 months to complete due to Young’s back injury), which whetted his audience’s appetite, the disintegration of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Young’s three erstwhile partners sang on the album, along with Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor), and most of all, a hit single. “Heart of Gold,” released a month before Harvest, was already in the Top 40 when the LP hit the stores, and it soon topped the charts. It’s fair to say, too, that Young simply was all-pervasive by this time: “Heart of Gold” was succeeded at number one by “A Horse with No Name” by America, which was a Young soundalike record. But successful as Harvest was (and it was the best-selling album of 1972), it has suffered critically from reviewers who see it as an uneven album on which Young repeats himself. Certainly, Harvest employs a number of jarringly different styles. Much of it is country-tinged, with Young backed by a new group dubbed the Stray Gators who prominently feature steel guitarist Ben Keith, though there is also an acoustic track, a couple of electric guitar-drenched rock performances, and two songs on which Young is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. But the album does have an overall mood and an overall lyric content, and they conflict with each other: The mood is melancholic, but the songs mostly describe the longing for and fulfillment of new love. Young is perhaps most explicit about this on the controversial “A Man Needs a Maid,” which is often condemned as sexist by people judging it on the basis of its title. In fact, the song contrasts the fears of committing to a relationship with simply living alone and hiring help, and it contains some of Young’s most autobiographical writing. Unfortunately, like “There’s a World,” the song is engulfed in a portentous orchestration.

Inlet01AOver and over, Young sings of the need for love in such songs as “Out on the Weekend,” “Heart of Gold,” and “Old Man” (a Top 40 hit), and the songs are unusually melodic and accessible. The rock numbers, “Are You Ready for the Country” and “Alabama,” are in Young’s familiar style and unremarkable, and “There’s a World” and “Words (Between the Lines of Age)” are the most ponderous and overdone Young songs since “The Last Trip to Tulsa.” But the love songs and the harrowing portrait of a friend’s descent into heroin addiction, “The Needle and the Damage Done,” remain among Young’s most affecting and memorable songs. (by William Ruhlmann)

In other words: a classic album !

BackCover1Personnel:
Kenny Buttrey (drums)
Tim Drummond (bass)
Ben Keith (pedal steel guitar)
Neil Young (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals)
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David Crosby (background vocals on 05. + 08.)
John Harris (piano on 02.)
Teddy Irwin (guitar on 04.)
James McMahon (piano on 06.)
Graham Nash (background vocals on 05. + 10.)
Jack Nitzsche (piano, slide guitar on 03. + 08.)
Linda Ronstadt (backiground vocals on 04. + 06.)
Stephen Stills (backiground vocals on 08. + 10.)
James Taylor (banjo, guitar, background vocals on 04. + 06.)
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London Symphony Orchestra  (on 03. + 07.)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Out On The Weekend 4.35
02. Harvest 3.03
03. A Man Needs A Maid 4.00
04. Heart Of Gold 3.05
05. Are You Ready For The Country? 3.21
06. Old Man 3.22
07. There’s A World 3.00
08. Alabama 4.02
09. The Needle And The Damage Done 2.00
10. Words (Between the Lines Of Age) 6.42

All songs written by Neil Young

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