Love him or hate him, Neil Young rocks. Even when he’s not rocking, per se.
The man has this uncanny song-writing ability that shines through on just about everything he does (certain recent short-shelf-life politcal-tinted rant albums excluded). He welcomes you in, teaches you a lot about life, and then leaves it up to you what you’ll choose to do with his wisdom.
Joni Mitchell said (I think it was in The Last Waltz?) that Neil Young was the master of something I recall her calling the Prairie Lope. She’s right. That’s the perfect description for the sound on this album, Young’s Nashville-aimed masterpiece. It lopes. It saunters. It has a goal, but goals don’t mean that much, sometimes, when life gets in the way.
The musicianship on Harvest is completely brilliant. It twangs, it’s bluesy, it wants to relax yet it’s yearning throughout. There’s a pull, some unnamed thing that won’t let the man rest. And we, the listeners, are so much the better for his coming back and telling us the tale when he can.
The year this record was released it went Number One across America, which says something about just how powerful these songs really are, that they overtook the (usual) utter shit that sits atop popular music charts. It is a fine, fine example of how much one artist can pour of themselves into a record. Just look at the track list, below, and you’ll know what I mean. Admit it – you know most of those songs already. Exactly! Heck, he even got James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt to come over and sing backup on Heart Of Gold. Ah, the 70’s!
I say this a lot in these pages, but you really should own this record. If you don’t already, that is.
01 Out On The Weekend
03 A Man Needs A Maid
04 Heart Of Gold
05 Are You Ready For The Country?
06 Old Man
07 There’s A World
09 The Needle And The Damage Done
10 Words (Between the Lines Of Age)