close your eyes
 
[music, albums]

XII: 1970 Neil Young - After the Gold Rush


1970, what a phantastic year in music.

August: The last official Velvet Underground album Loaded which treads similar country-rock grounds as my choice from

September: Neil Young's third long play, After the Gold Rush.

October: Robert Wyatt's almost overlooked debut The End of an Ear. Crazy experimental free-style jazz rock. Much more exciting than anything I have ever heard of Soft Machine. Maybe his best album.

December: Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon's primal scream therapy to cope with his parents' trauma. And Captain Beefheart's delta blues meets avant-garde record Lick My Decals Off, Baby which is a lot easier to digest than his previous outing, the mythic Trout Mask Replica.

Why did I choose the rather conventional Neil Young album? The main reason is that I have a personal relation to it which I don't have to the others. It was the record which comforted me after my first girl-friend had left me. I was disappointed in the beginning as it seemed so average but at the same time I discovered Neil Young. Whose feeble womanish voice I had detested before. Who taught me to never trust my first impression. And gave me back my belief in the power of innocence, the incredible strength of showing your own vulnerability to the world.

35 minutes and 15 seconds. A perfect length for an album. Every song a hitter. The whole Neil Young is here in a nutshell.

The definite statement on the flower-power thing of the sixties. The gold rush is over. The rednecks are still there. Southern Man as a precursor of the godly Cortez the Killer. The American dream is based on a nightmare. "Tell me lies later." Forget politics. It all comes back to

love, the strongest poison and medicine of all (Joni Mitchell)

Only Love Can Break Your Heart. The 90's band Saint Etienne had one good song, a cover of this.

To finish this embarrassing post off. A link to the gorgeous starter Tell Me Why. By the way the last song Cripple Creek Ferry closes this gem of a songwriter album like a cheese closes a great meal. It lingers on for a good while in your eardrums.

Further reading: a discussion on the meaning of the lyrics of the title song.

Here is the overview of the series 40 years, 40 albums of which part XII was this post.


 
 

yes, a great choice. "only love can break your heart" is such a 'standards' like song - i can imagine frank sinatra doing a version. he never wrote one like that again. and i concur most favourably with your st etienne comments. i think they were a band you had to see / mingle with the times in london itself to get them properly - ie they mean shit to everyone else.

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Classic for me as well

Maybe it is because that album hit me at a similar time in my life (me and my girlfriend are no longer a couple), but that albums is one of my favourites of my life

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Classic? or Timeless?

It will always remain a favourite of mine as well.
However, I prefer to classify it as a timeless album.
Classical implies emotions conveyed in the past, while Timeless symbolizes something ongoing forever...
'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' NJ, and it broke mine.
--But I wouldn't trade the memories for anything.
P&L Davey Jones

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