Album #186 – After The Gold Rush
This album was Young’s first album released after the album he did with Crosby, Stills and Nash. It is also the first album where Young starts to explore his acoustic/folk/country side. Some of the album’s tracks (Cripple Creek Ferry, Til’ The Morning Comes) are unfinished because Young was writing them for a film at the time. They belong on this album just as much as the others. This album is in my top five Neil Young albums of all time. It is so perfect in every way. Each song belongs on this album. It is an easy album to get into and it laid the groundwork for Harvest and the other albums that followed. Crazy Horse are on some of the album’s tracks as are Stephen Stills and Nils Lofgren. Lofgren, who now plays with Springsteen in the E Street Band, was only seventeen or eighteen at the time. He knew how to play guitar but not piano. The story goes that Young would let Lofgren play on this album only if he played piano. Lofgren obliged and would end up becoming a member of Crazy Horse after guitarist and vocalist Danny Whiten’s tragic death. My favorite songs off this album are: When You Dance I Can Really Love and I Believe In You. When I went to see Young two years ago, he opened the show with When You Dance I Can Really Love. I was floored and to this day when I hear that song, it takes me back to that concert. I Believe In You is one of his best songs. The arrangement is so beautiful and I love how angelic it sounds. The lyrics are very good too. It is a song that Young rarely plays live and gets any radio airplay but it is a gem worth checking out. Other highlights: Tell Me Why, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, A great cover of Don Gibson’s Oh, Lonesome Me in which Young changes the melody and makes it more dark and sad, Birds, Southern Man and the title track. Overall, I give this album 5.5 out of 5.
Next: Led Zeppelin III by Led Zeppelin!!!