Wednesday Flashback: Neil Young's Harvest

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
It was in Gregg Kitchen's den in 1972 that I was introduced to Neil Young as an artist. My memory is that the den was covered in wood products but that may have been every den in 1972. While I had been familiar with Neil Young because of his work with Buffalo Springfield and CSN I had never really spent much time thinking about him as an artist. Harvest changed that.

I was 13 when this album came out. I had been born too late for the 60's, but I remember the influence of it creeping into my world from a very young age with music. What I knew, if I knew anything at 13, was that there was something going on in the world, some mystical, foggy, alive thing...and I was not a part of it. I really didn't even understand it.

But Neil Young did. Racism, Drug Addiction, Loneliness, a world upside down. Neil Young managed to take very complicated things and condense them into their base feelings in Harvest.

It wasn't well thought of in critical circles. I know "Heart of Gold" was the most popular song on the album though it wasn't one of mine. I loved "Old Man" and "Needle and the Damage Done" though others argue that "Are you ready for the Country" is the best written song.  All I know is that when I heard Harvest for the first time it seemed to make my very complicated world simple, and a little less foggy.

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