Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Goodies from GFreedom's Music Collection # 14

                   NEIL YOUNG: HARVEST (1972)
   'Harvest' was the 4rth album by the Canadian musician/songwriter Neil Young, and it was released on 25th of February 1972. It's his most famous album which achieved great sales all over the world.
It reached at No.1 in Billboard album's chart, and remained there for 2 weeks. There were two hit-singles which entered the charts as well: 'Old Man' (Billboard sigles charts #31) and 'Heart of Gold' (Billboard singles charts #1).
   There are many famous musicians participating in this album, such as: Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Linda Rondstadt and James Taylor. (As you can see the whole 'Crosby Stills Nash & Young' band is present here). But further than that, it also feautured 'The London Symphony Orchestra' in two songs: 'A Man Needs a Maid' and 'There's a World'.
  The style of the album is mostly Country-Rock, and that's because Neil young used a group of Country music session musicians for the recordings.
 But this album is also somehow 'responsible' for a smashing hit from another band as well.
I'm reffering to the song 'Sweet Home Alabama' which was in a way Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'answer' to the song 'Alabama' which is included here. (But also to another Young's song; 'Southern Man' from the album 'After the Gold Rush') In these two songs Neil Young deals with the problems of Racism and Slavery in the American South, so a bit later Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded their 'answer' to these songs. Here's a verse from 'Sweet Home Alabama' which reffers to that:
Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her (Alabama)
Well, I heard ol' Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow.

  Another very interesting song is 'The Needle and the Damage Zone' which was actually a lament for the great artists who died of Heroin addiction.
 But despite the very good sales and the popularity which this album brought to Neil Young, the crtitics it received weren't as good; the opposite I would say. There were some critics like Rolling Stone's for example, calling the album  "a disappointing retread of earlier, superior efforts by Young", or another one written in the Montreal Gazette calling the album "embarrassing in places but interesting lyrically".
But with the passing years the album took the place it deserved from the start in the history of Rock music, and almost 3 decades later Rolling Stone placed 'Harvest' at #78 in the 'Greatest Albums of all time' list. 
   Speaking for myself, I bought 'Harvest' on vinyl record when I was a teenager, later on I bought it again on CD, and now I also got the MP3 version.I believe it is a wonderful album filled with great melodies and good compositions. 
I will conclude this post by adding a couple of videos from the album. I chose the songs 'Harvest' and 'Alabama'.
I hope you found this post interesting and informative.
Thank you for reading. :)