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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Neil Young's 'A Treasure' is an Absolute Treasure

Unburied Treasure....
Treasure tribute from Little Raggie

Based on all of the dazzling reviews of "A Treasure" thus far, it would seem that Neil Young & The International Harvesters have a bumper crop in their silos.

Which brings us to a recap of some of the recent reviews and interviews with Neil Young. Rarely have we ever had so much insight into the creative process of producing a release as we have had with these recent interviews and the videos Tech Notes and Neil Young's Photo Gallery Interview on the International Harvesters.

Both fans and critics seem to ecstatic with the results of a 25 year old live country album release. At one point, A Treasure was as high as #8 #5 on Bestseller List.

Go figure. Although numbers add up to nothin'.

Neil Young & The International Harvesters

From Rolling Stone interview with Neil Young by David Fricke:

"If you're going to do something, you should do it all the way. You have to have the right musicians, and you don't want them playing another way. You want them to play with you in a way that is right for them."

Neil Young - 1985
Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty

From interview with Neil Young on by Randy Lewis:
"The only thing I can do is go forward. It's the only place that doesn't have any ghosts and shadows from the past."

Photo by Pegi Young

Album Review of the Moment: Neil Young's A Treasure - "Need We Say More?" on

Also, see:

Ben Keith: 1937 - 2010

Also, a tribute to the late Ben Keith.

More reviews of A Treasure - Neil Young & The International Harvesters.


At 6/29/2011 11:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm as big a Neil fan as anyone and thank you so much for this site!!!! That said, I don't love every phase that Neil has gone through over the years. I appreciate that he lets himself do it, but have my preferences, as do others. It's been written on here before - those that want Neil acoustic, those that are dying for Crazy Horse, etc. Neil with the International Harvesters, both from a musical standpoint (my taste) and cultural standpoint (including OLD WAYS), represent to me the absolute lowest point of Neil's creative career. I went to the first show in 1980 at the Greek in Berkeley and it was shocking the contrast from any earlier Neil phase. We didn't know it then, but the guy was hurting badly from his personal tragedy and so I absolutely cut him a ton of slack. The Reagan comments, not so much. As much as I love this site, I will respectfully say that you guys love all Neil and sometimes maybe give him more of the benefit of the doubt than I would (ticket prices, for example). I can't hate on any of you - I love you and keep up the great job. I just finally had to come on here, since you are portraying nearly unanimous praise for this album, and give my opinion - International Harvesters and this new record, with the exception of the wonderful Grey Riders is IMO the opposite of a treasure. Thanks and yes, keep up the fantastic job on here!!!!

At 6/29/2011 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous MDB - Just a Loser said...

"That's what this record is about: Paying tribute to my friends." Neil said this himself. He also regarded these friends as "the real deal"...some of the greatest musicians he ever encountered. In a small way, "A Treasure" lets us hear what Neil hears and feel what he feels. This is what's important to me.

At 6/29/2011 04:05:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

@Anonymous - fair enough to express an opinion but "the first show in 1980"? I'm pretty sure he wasn't touring with the International Harvesters in 1980 - they came along in 1984/85.

At 6/29/2011 04:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes and No, MDB. It was the "Hawks and Doves Band", I suppose at the Greek, but it was the pretty much the first show with Rufus and Ben in the direction of what became the International Harvesters:

Band: Hawks and Doves
Neil Young - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano
Ben Keith - steel guitar
Rufus Thibodeaux - fiddle
Dennis Belfield - bass
Greg Thomas - drums
Ann Hilary O'Brien - backing vocals

At 6/29/2011 06:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of people do love this phase of his career, both the Treasure and Old Ways albums. The metacritic score for the album is 79 is not too far off unanimous praise, so I'd say it is a fair portrayal!

At 6/29/2011 07:10:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ 11:41:00 AM, Anonymous - Thanks for the comment. The kind words are appreciated.

We could probably respond in great detail to your points but really feel that if you've been following this blog long enough, you get Neil and don't need us to explain it again.

We can all agree to disagree.

Regarding this post, please re-read. We are providing a synopsis of fans, critics & the markets response.

It is pretty unequivocal to say A Treasure is loved, appreciated and -- fwiw -- purchased. Those are 3 big yardsticks to measure up to.

So this post is not our personal opinion so much as a statement of facts.

And that's what we try and do here @ TW. Stick to the facts and let other draw their own conclusions.

At 6/29/2011 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

At 6/29/2011 11:41:00 AM,
I tip my hat to you for couching your contrarian opinion in a thoughtful way, all I can say is that I've been on your side of the fence before ('ie' Fork ... hasn't spoken to me yet ...) but I have to say I think this phase for Neil was just epic and I'm thrilled he's been focused on bringing out this archived material in a way only Neil can ... The past few years have been one great development after another ... and look if this one doesn't speak to you, chances are he'll bring out another one soon and that one will.

At 6/29/2011 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You folks are beautiful and I in no way want to downplay the fantastic job you do. It's true that the album is loved by many, but of course you understand that it's also a fact that many don't like it. I can assure you that I personally know plenty of diehard Neil fans that weren't crazy about this period of his. Anyway, man - Buffalo Springfield! OK, somebody probably didn't like that either, but that was really cool and wish I'd seen that!!!! And once again, you folks deserve a ton of credit for getting the word out - thanks again for everything!

At 6/30/2011 05:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young's 'A Treasure' is an Absolute Treasure!

At 6/30/2011 01:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Treasure" is as good as "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out".

At 6/30/2011 01:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live Music Is Better


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