So why is Neil Young’s Harvest on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
Since Harvest is my “highest” ranked of Neil Young and Neil Young-related albums on the best 1,000 albums project, it’s worth taking a moment to think about his great and lengthy career, and how he was able to create successful and memorable albums both as a solo artist and in collaboration with existing, successful musical entities (Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse).
- Neil Young – On the Beach: #879 of best 1,000 albums ever
- Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – So Far: #710 of best 1,000 albums ever
- Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Rust Never Sleeps: #644 of best 1,000 albums ever
Harvest has two of the best songs Neil Young ever produced (or was associated with) in “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man,” and further, the melancholy yet yearning/hopeful vibe of the album puts it just over the top of his other work.
As I’ve discussed from time to time, though I’m a writer amongst other vocations (and put “writer” in quotes if you like!), I’m far more drawn to the music in songs than I am to the lyrics. If I really like a song, it might take me multiple listens to begin to pay close attention to the lyrics*.
* Obviously, I’ll pay attention enough to get the general read on what a song like “We Will Rock You” by Queen is trying to lay down (they are declaring that they will shake back and forth the recipient of their sonic conveyance, I take it?).
That said, with Neil Young, his song writing and vocal performances are so open, clear, and direct that it’s easy to get drawn in. Seeking love and comfort while facing down regrets and the march of time lace through both “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man.” And, further, they are great examples of Young pulling off his unique ability to intertwine singer songwriter-style music with country rock.
Here’s a great live performance of “Old Man,” and it’s a reminder too of how adept Young is at changing his vocal register.
I can’t think of a more brutal song title than “The Needle and the Damage Done.” It’s a beautiful and haunting song about losing friends to heroin.
Some stats & info about Neil Young – Harvest
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Album Rock, Country Rock, Singer-Songwriter
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #72
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Harvest released? 1972
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #606 out of 1,000
Neil Young’s Harvest on YouTube
A lyrical snippet from Neil Young’s Harvest that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
I want to live, I want to give. I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.