Acclaimed Albums – Neil Young Has A Lot Of Albums: Part One

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 105/250

EverybodyKnowsThisIsNowhere After_the_Gold_Rush
Title: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Artist: Neil Young with Crazy Horse
Year: 1969
Position:
#238
Title: After The Gold Rush
Artist: Neil Young
Year: 1970
Position: #53

Of all the artists I have left in the Acclaimed Albums list there are five Neil Young albums left and one by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It’s an impressive haul for any one musician to have so many albums that have been so well thought of. In terms of solo albums it puts him joint first with Bob Dylan. No mean feat.

The initial temptation was, therefore to try and just listen to all five of them in one fell swoop. Realising that this would mean five hours of an singer I had no idea about put an end to that plan immediately. I therefore decided to just go for the chronologically first two, which means I will end up comparing his highest positioned with his lowest positioned. Weird how these things work out.

One thing I am immediately going to knock on the head is the assigning of hard rock to Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by WikipediaAside from a guitar solo or two on the final track this is very much a folk/blues rock album. If I had to find an album of my own listening that I could link this to it would probably the Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan albums.

Not that he sings in the lower Mark Lanegan register on both albums. On After The Gold Rush he starts to singer in a far higher pitch. The delivery feels more confident and, on a personal level, makes for a more enjoyable listen.

Now, I am going to be breaking with the tradition of disagreeing with list placement here. I completely see how After The God Rush is placed higher than Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. This isn’t just because of it having the original version of ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’, even though that was a pretty pleasant surprise after only knowing of the Saint Etienne cover.

Where Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere makes sense as a debut album since it tries to expand in a number of different directions; After The Gold Rush has a far more focused sound. Sometimes a scattershot interweaving of sounds works better than focus, don’t get me wrong, but with these albums it is After The Gold Rush really wins the day.

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