To honor our third Summer Of Rock artist, we are taking a straight-ahead approach and highlighting Neil Young's 5 best albums. This musical maverick is one of rock's greatest mainstays and these are easily his greatest works.
Harvest – Neil's fourth solo album, Harvest, produced the huge hit "Old Man", and was a bit of a departure from his previous work. Featuring more of a country flair, Harvest included guest appearances by a number of his former band mates in Crosby, Nash and Stills, as well as other famous artists of the day in James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Time has proven the original detractors of the album wrong, as Harvest is now considered a classic rock masterpiece and one of Young's strongest albums.
Tonight's The Night – Coming off of the tragic death of two close friends at the hands of drugs, Tonight's The Night is an album of unrelenting darkness and desolation. Harsh and grating, somber and maudlin, Tonight's The Night runs the gamut of swirling emotions that come with dealing with a severe loss. Another record that debuted to lukewarm reviews, Neil Young's eighth album is another gem in his vast recording catalog and proves that he is "The Godfather of Grunge"!
Rust Never Sleeps – It's a gamble for any artist to debut a new album in a live setting, but for someone like Neil Young, and with material of this caliber, the payoff was his for the taking and Rust Never Sleeps is certified more classic rock classic. Displaying the dichotomy that would define his career, the album is split in two, with one side being all acoustic, the other, all electric. This 1979 masterpiece also produced two versions of the hit single Hey hey, My my, a staple of classic rock radio.
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - With iconic artwork, the debut of Crazy Horse and the hit song Cinnamon Girl – among others – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is one of Neil Young's finest moments. This outing finds more muscular guitar work than previously seen and a slight dip into the pop rock pool, to everyone's delight, even the critics. By not straying too far from what dedicated fans came to expect, on this album Neil was able to rope in hordes of new fans while cashing in none of his artistic integrity.
After The Gold Rush – Released during the most prolific period in his career, After the Gold Rush finds Neil Young stripped down to his essential strengths with his most solid release up to that point, and arguably ever. After the Gold Rush produced the hit songs "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", "When You Dance I Can Really Love" and "Southern Man" – an indictment of the South's dark past that prompted a response from Lynyrd Skynyrd in the form of Sweet Home Alabama. Hindsight is always 20/20 – critics didn't immediately "get" the album, but so many years later it is a much-loved record and appears on many a list of top albums of all time – as it should be.