Saturday, 12 March 2011

Random Review #28 Neil Young - Zuma

C7S7CD7 It took me a long time to get into Neil Young I decided a long time ago I hated his voice, he was a bit like Bob Dylan for me I appreciated him as a songwriter and a key figure in modern music over the last 40 years but struggled to listen to him. I own some great cover versions  of Neil Young tracks, Paul Weller covering Ohio and Natalie Merchant singing After The Gold Rush are as good as the originals (don’t kill me Neil Young fans) and Warren Hayes guesting with The Dave Matthews Band Live at Central Park playing Cortez The Killer is the moment my obsession with DMB started. So backed with my understanding that Neil Young wrote good songs I eventually relented and bought Harvest for £3 in a local supermarket after all nearly every music magazine says Harvest is outstanding and album and for the price of a pint of beer I thought I would take a chance.

So 31 albums, a few DVD’s and an Autobiography later I guess you could say I’m a Neil young convert, I don’t have all his releases but I have a fair representation of his catalogue of work, from solo acoustic, to grudgy full band (Crazy Horse) Neil Young is always trying to push himself, changing musical direction, (he was once sued by his record label for giving them an album that didn’t sound like Neil Young!) or lyrics, Living With War (very political) and Fork In The Road (All about a car) 

This album is a perfectly good album from Neil Young but I always expect more from him and that’s the issue. Recorded with his backing band Crazy Horse (who released music in their own right) it’s good in parts Pardon My Heart is a beautiful song that could sit  easily on Harvest and Cortez The Killer is a Neil young at his epic best (but the live version on Weld is better see video below) and the closing Through My Sails is trade mark Neil Young, great harmonies and sensitive arrangement, but the rest is generic Neil Young and is ok but washes over you without making an impact. I don’t hate this album but think I would be better putting the 3 tracks I love on a play list rather than play the whole album again. Neil Young has dozens of better albums than this one, but I’m also saying that a lot of artists won’t record anything as good as this album such is his standards. Does that make sense?

If you want to get into Neil Young get his Greatest Hits or better still get Harvest or After The Gold Rush you will fall in love with him and then 31 albums later.......

Mark 5/10


  1. Neil Young is an artist I love listening to, but knowing my obsessive nature (as I found when I decided to get "a couple" of Johnny Cash albums) I just know that I will end by spending far too much time in trying to complete my collection.
    Harvest is awesome though.

  2. Same here started with Harvest and 21 albums later....Watched Deja Vu Documentary the other day, really good. Mojo had reworking of Harvest a couple of months ago really good for a free CD.