Saturday, January 20, 2007

186. Neil Young - After The Gold Rush (1970)

Track Listing

1. Tell Me Why
2. After The Goldrush
3. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
4. Southern Man
5. Till The Morning Comes
6. Oh Lonesome Me
7. Don't Let It Bring You Down
8. Birds
9. When You Dance I Can Really Love
10. I Believe In You
11. Cripple Creek Ferry


Neil Young is one of my top-five singer-songwriters of all time, and this is probably my favourite Neil Young album. Actually it is an album which is very hard to top by anyone. Young is a master not only of cryptic, yet heartfelt lyrics but also a musical master.

Neil Young's songs in this album have a hard to define quality which brings all the tracks together, even tough they are in quite different styles. Southern Man is a rocker for example while Cripple Creek Ferry is a sing-along and Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a romantic ballad. They are all, however, undeniably Young's music. Maybe it's the trademark drums, or Young's voice that does it. Anyway there is a lot more musical variation in this album from in Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and the fact that he has been through CSNY really shows.

The music has been toned down and more harmonised since his previous album and this is a good thing. This album is really near perfect, with the possible exception of Oh, Lonesome Me, an unremarkable track, everything here is perfect. Folk-Rock never had it so good and would never have it as good again. Buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Southern Man
2. After The Gold Rush
3. Don't Let It Bring You Down
4. When You Dance You Can Really Love

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Critics were not immediately enamored; the original review in Rolling Stone began:

"Neil Young devotees will probably spend the next few weeks trying desperately to convince themselves that After the Gold Rush is good music. But they'll be kidding themselves. For despite the fact that the album contains some potentially first rate material, none of the songs here rise above the uniformly dull surface."

As is typical of Young releases, critical reaction has improved with time, and Gold Rush is now considered a milestone in Young's recording career. Ink Blot magazine's retrospective review summarizes more current critical thinking:

"One of his least stylized efforts, the record gains its strength from not only the rock solid songwriting, but the array of musical personalities that Neil displays. ... The variety and quality of the songs causes After The Gold Rush to play like a greatest hits album, which unbelievably it is not."

In 1998 Q magazine readers voted After the Gold Rush the 89th greatest album of all time. It was ranked 92nd in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time. In 2003, Rolling Stone named the album the 71st greatest album of all time.

Why are Rolling Stone critics so shit?

Don't Let It Bring You Down:


Anonymous said...

Hey there, I found your site at LibraryThing. Since you and I are involved in similar projects, I'm sure I will be popping by from time to time to discuss movies, books and music with you.

I'm listening to After The Goldrush this weekend. I haven't listened to Neil Young much yet. The music is pretty good, but I'm not sure it is really my style. Who are some of your other favorite songwriters?

Francisco Silva said...

hi there media,

I am sure that you will grow to love Neil Young, it wasn't my cup of tea at the beginning as well. Other great songwriters for me would be people like Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and then bands like Sparks for example in a completely different style.