Monday 22 March 2021

On the turntable today...Neil Young

It’s a 70’s lockdown...on the turntable today we have Harvest by Neil Young.

This was the Canadian’s fourth album, released in February 1972 it was the biggest selling album in the USA that year. It had the likes of Graham Nash, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor on backing vocals.

The album featured the London Symphony Orchestra on A Man Needs A Maid and There’s A World while country rockers The Stray Gators backed Young on many of the other tracks. This was to be the breakthrough album for Neil Young and followed on from his previous release, the excellent (and some would say better) After The Goldrush.

Harvest was a massive smash album for Neil Young and is probably his most accessible and commercially aware piece of work. He has been prolific in his musical output since, more so than any other artist of his generation.

The success of Harvest caught Young off guard and he maintained it put him firmly in the middle of the road, a place he didn’t want to be. His natural inclination was to head towards the ditch for a tougher ride, as his follow up albums such as Time Fades Away and Tonight’s the Night would show.

Neil Young albums are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you dip into them. It could be the gentler acoustic, folksy country rock sound or the heavier electric, loud, noisy, garage sound when he works with bands like Crazy Horse, Pearl Jam and Promise of the Real. He’s a single minded awkward cuss with an unpredictable musical output, this is what makes the unwrapping of a new Neil Young album so exciting.

You never know what to expect from Neil Young but delve deep enough into his huge back catalogue and I guarantee that you will find some real gems. Harvest is a good starting point.

No comments:

Post a Comment