Friday, October 7, 2016
Neil Young - a beginner's guide
By the time you read this post, Neil Young may have released a new album. Such is the prolific nature of his career. And it's probably detrimental to gaining younger fans, not that he needs them. It would be very easy for someone to randomly choose one of his albums and hate it. But it probably wouldn't be indicative of his ouevre.
So, here's my little guide to the essential albums if you happen to be a newbie or casual fan:
* Decade [2-disc best of compilation spanning 1967-1977] - does what it says on the package. It also includes some early essential songs he did with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash. A great introduction to his early work and will either spur you on to further dig into his early catalog or just move on.
* Freedom  - A masterpiece of an album that very much put him back on many people's (especially critics) radar.
* Ragged Glory  - A long-winded jam album with backing band Crazy Horse that never loses the great batch of songs Neil came up with.
* Sleeps With Angels  - Shows the versatility of Crazy Horse, as Neil veers all over the place, seemingly hitting all the genres he's ever explored in one single LP. But it somehow works as a whole. Probably his darkest album.
* Harvest / Harvest Moon - For those who really dig the laidback acoustic side of Neil Young, these albums are the go-to ones, for sure.