Album #62 – Fred Neil a.k.a. Everybody’s Talkin’
When I first saw Fred Neil’s name on the list, I thought he was going to be a country singer in the vein of Buck Owens or George Jones. What I found instead was a folk singer and innovator of folk-rock. While Fred Neil is not that well known, he did write the song Everybody’s Talkin’ which became a hit for Harry Nilsson in 1969 and that caused this album to be re-released under the title Everybody’s Talkin’ that same year. The album is folk-rock but it does not sound like The Byrds, Dylan or Simon and Garfunkel. It sounds more like Donovan’s early records. There is lost of acoustic guitar and harmonica here. This album can be viewed as a precursor to the alt-country and Americana movements. But, this album takes more from the folk tradition than country music. Fred Neil almost reminds me of a troubadour in his approach. Each song is a story or revelation with the song titles being as unique and interesting as the songs themselves. Neil also does an Indian influenced piece on the last track which brings together the folk music he is familiar with with new Middle Eastern sounds to create something unique to folk-rock that had never been heard before. This album was also the first album in about a week where I had no expectations and that I had never even heard of before. It was quite refreshing and relaxing to listen to this album knowing that. This is a must have album in any collection and I challenge everyone to listen to this simple yet complex album at least once. You will not be disappointed. Other highlights include: The Dolphins, Everything Happens, Sweet Cocaine and Green Rocky Road. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5. I was so happy it was on the list!!!
Next: Fifth Dimension by The Byrds!!!