Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

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18. Mai. 2011, 15:22


Like most people, I have . One of mine is an awful , Sandi Thom - I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair). She is pictured below on the record sleeve, desperately failing to look sexy. It is a twee little ditty, albeit catchy, and the lyrics appear to make no sense: who was having hits perfectly in tune with the mood of both?



Surprisingly there is such a person, his name is Neil Young. My favourite album of his is Harvest from 1972, but when I looked at my Last.fm charts, I find that it is the preceding album that has most plays. This illustrates the difference between a loved album, and an album where I love every track.

Harvest was written after a nearly two years recuperating from a back injury. He had plenty of time to plan it. Yet during the recording, he wasn't fully recovered, so he was in some discomfort. He felt pressured to complete the recordings in as little time and as few takes as possible. This resulted in a perfect song cycle; a perfect musical journey where each song is enhanced by conjunction with its neighbours. Although it contains great masterpieces like Heart of Gold and The Needle and the Damage Done, not every song stands at that level on its own.



On the other hand, is a disparate mish-mash of songs. Every single one is a great song, but they cover the full range of styles and moods that he had encountered so far in his music career.

Tell Me Why
A folk rock number with sweet harmonies in the style of the imaginatively named Crosby, Stllls, Nash & Young

After the Gold Rush
Sweet and plaintive psychedelic pop.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Catchy, witty, romantic pop

Southern Man
Bitter protest song

Till the Morning Comes
A blues tinted folk song



Oh, Lonesome Me
A gentle ballad

Don't Let It Bring You Down
Blues-rock flavour pop

Birds
Gentle bitter-sweet pop

When You Dance You Can Really Love
Power pop.

I Believe in You
Country and Western

Cripple Creek Ferry
A cowboy campfire sing-along

In some sense the only commonality is the group of musicians (including one of the earliest appearances by Nils Lofgren, then 18). Yet each song stands on its own (and probably is even better out of context, where the competition isn't so fierce)

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