Details Magazine - Nov. 1990
Excuse me, but can someone please say that Neil Young's career has reached another peak?
OK, so this is pretty arcane stuff. I mean seriously? Plotting a musical career like the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Really.
Details Magazine made an attempt back in November 1990 citing the well known peaks and valleys of Neil's career from 1969 - 1990.
So -- just for our amusement -- suppose we attempted to continue the graphic through Prairie Wind? Is it a After The Goldrush? A Tonight's The Night? A Rust Never Sleeps? Even a Ragged Glory?
Of course not.
But judging from the harmonic convergence around Neil Young's career in 2005 and the the seismic events forecast for 2006 like the "Heart of Gold" film and The Archives, it seems that we are reaching "Peak Neil".
Here are a few indicators signaling "Peak Neil":
Official Neil Young Archives Web Page Established
Musical Guest for week on the Conan O'Brien TV Show
2 Grammy Nominations for Neil Young
Neil Young on Saturday Night Live
"Bring me a cheeseburger and a new Rolling Stone"
So what's next? A guest appearance on Jay Leno? A concert appearance with Dylan?
Neil Young & Jonathan Demme
"Heart of Gold" film Premeires @ Sundance 2006
Well, at least we don't have to worry about Neil showing up at the White House like some other rock stars.
Hey, I think we'll all be happy if we hear The Archives in 2006.
UPDATE Feb. 6, 2006: Sometimes when writing these brief news items, Thrasher doesn't put as much clarification and background as we would like. Greg's comment below needs to be highlighted:
"Neil can only be defined in terms of peaks and lows by people who can only think in linear terms. Can't you just appreciate what's happening in the present? Why do you feel compelled to glory in the "peaks"?"
Couldn't agree with you more here, Greg. Absolutely. Thinking in terms of peaks & valleys seems to be the nature of today's discourse. But anything involving the creative arts should not be held hostage to the whims of the market. Clearly, Neil has never been too concerned with these ups and downs. And this is what we admire and has allowed Neil's creativity to ebb and flow over a much longer period than if he had simply flamed up & burned out.
See Rust Never Sleeps analysis and The Greendale Challenge for more on artistic freedom and creativity vs. audience pandering.