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Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)

May 10, 2012

[Album 48/1001]

I would very much like to enjoy Neil Young.

He means a lot to many people whose musical tastes I greatly respect, including family, friends, and Pearl Jam.  With at least 9 appearances (as a solo artist, with Crazy Horse, with Buffalo Springfield and with Crosby, Stills & Nash), he represents the bulk of the Canadian content on the 1001 list.

Yet I struggle to get past the voice.

Musically, After the Gold Rush is inoffensive, mostly pleasant piano and acoustic guitar work with the odd electric number.

Though Neil probably didn’t make many new friends south of the Mason-Dixon line with Southern Man, he did inspire the lyric in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, “Well I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don’t need him around anyhow.”

This record is often acknowledged as his peak, so for Young fans, it’s a must hear. 

He certainly has no shortage of devotees, including the members of Pearl Jam, who frequently cover his tunes in concerts.  To the delight of a 2009 Toronto crowd, when the opening act didn’t show up, lead singer Eddie Vedder opened the show with solo acoustic versions of The Needle and The Damage Done and Sugar Mountain

I’ll concede, After the Gold Rush is well written; I’m just curious as to how it would sound with Eddie Vedder on vocals.

From → 1970s

  1. peatmoss permalink

    Don’t let that nasally voice distract you. It works, not so much on its own, but with the music. I can’t imagine a different voice singing those songs. this album and Harvest are probably his best.

    • Part of what I’ve enjoyed about this project is how over the years I’ve started to change my tune about some artists – the son of hockey author Scott Young would probably be exhibit A!
      By the time I got to Harvest, I started to really appreciate the authenticity of his voice – it’s frail, he misses notes, but like you said, it belongs with his songs.
      Thanks for reading!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  4. 1970 | 1001albumsin10years

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