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Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Last Neil Young Album You Really Cared About? | Steve Hoffman Forum

Neil Young
Interview on Norwegian TV - 2005

A question: What was the last Neil Young album that you really cared about?

This provocative question was posted recently on the audiophile forum Steve Hoffman Forum by Musician95616:
Artists with long careers and large catalogs (Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney) generally face a challenge with latter day releases matching the quality of their classic albums.

For Neil, what was the last album of his that you really cared about? I will admit that "Storytone" left me cold, as well as "A Letter Home" and the majority of his more recent albums. In fact, I might say that although "Psychedelic Pill" was an exception for me, Neil Young hasn't really made an album I like since "Ragged Glory" and "Harvest Moon".
And -- you might imagine -- lots of folks have lots of opinions. The thread is already up to over 12 pages with opinions going back to the 1970's with Rust Never Sleeps right up to Neil Young's latest The Monsanto Years.

In our somewhat unscientific assessment, it would seem that a consensus of sorts centers around Psychedelic Pill with Crazy Horse from 2012 being a benchmark for many. Not unreasonable with many finding albums like A Letter Home (2014) and Storytone (2014) being less than compelling and somewhat inaccessible.

Here's a somewhat typical comment on Steve Hoffman Forum by tolkev:
The last Neil record I really cared about was Harvest Moon, but I saw him this summer and the show fantastic!

His band was excellent & did a great setlist of classic stuff. He started solo acoustic, then did full band country and finished with an onslaught of rock. The band was very versatile and could do authentic country and full-on Crazy Horse. The sound was great his voice and guitar were top notch.Totally clear and dead center in the mix. As for the new material, the Monsanto stuff was when he really let loose and rocked hardest and although the lyrics lack his best craft being a bit to direct repeating corporate names ad nauseam and basically being a straight out, blunt bitchfest, He and the band tore into them and lit it up like they were kids with a boombox at a keg party standing around a bonfire.

A great show!
So what do you think? What was the last Neil Young album that you really cared about?

Thanks for voting and let us know what you think!

UPDATE: See comment below regarding the removal of Live/Compilation albums from choices.

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At 9/27/2015 11:44:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

I care about all of them. Doesn't mean I have to love them.

At 9/28/2015 09:26:00 AM, Blogger Some guy said...

I think this poll should exclude archival and live releases.

At 9/28/2015 10:47:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks wardo! know the feeling.

@ Some guy - good point. We've done this sort of polling before and have always eliminated albums like Decade or Greatest Hits (which we did here).

So you're right that we're being inconsistent.

So, we've gone and removed Live/Comp albums from the listing like Fillmore, Cellar Door, etc. Also, removed Archives which had the most votes of the Live/Comp albums (about 20 or so).

This does statistically invalidate poll by removing options but we wanted to keep this going and not re-start. If you voted for an album removed, you should be able to re-vote. As far as we can tell, the removal of Live/Comp albums made no difference in the rankings of Top 5.

why do we keep on....

At 9/28/2015 04:00:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Most Rock Stars do nothing in their later years of much interest. Not so for Neil Young. There is compelling music on Monsanto years, great guitar riffs. And he didn't ravage his vocal cords like Dylan did by smoking cigarettes. The music he has done just in the last 10 years would be a very respectable career total for most artists. There are are great guitar passages on the album. People Want to Hear About Love. Listen to it and then tell me it doesnt ROCK!. Neil Young has a Fiery Intensity, even in his seemingly mellow tunes like Wolf Moon. A heartbreaking ode to Earth (and moon, in a small way), deeper and more to the point than After the Gold Rush. He has focused and stepped up to smack down the Bad Guys just when we need him most! Neil's Energy, which he has now focused on the dark corporations ruining the food supply, Global Warming, Environmental Destruction and the corruption inherent to Citizen United…. if you can't dig it, you are probably one of the millions of Americans who are Apathetic politically and uninformed on the real undercurrents of who has power and who gets the money… meanwhile, the middle class bleeds money to make up for lost taxation on Corporations, the poor starve and get ignored, all so GE can get a "Minus 11%" tax rate while carcinogens are pumped into the food supply at alarmingly skyrocketing rates. Meanwhile, the FDA and Monsanto share a pool of employees between them, so everyone's needs get met…. except for the people who Eat the carcinogenic crap they are forcing the masses to eat. Its almost like they don't CARE if a large segment of society dies off.
Neil has become THE REBEL ROCKSTAR in an AGE OF APATHY. He is the guy who never sold out. He is the Bernie Sanders of Hippie Grunge. We need a Cheerleader like him to get folks to notice they are getting Screwed by the System. In the 1950's, Corporations paid 50% tax. They have paid lobbyists and politicians to reduce their taxes to nothing, for the majority of corporations in the USA. And even though Corps receive 99% of "welfare money", ALL we hear about is lazy poor people, who actually receive just 1% of "welfare" money. Wake up y'all. Neil Young will give you a head start on sifting through the Bullshit we have all been believing about just society in the USA. Thanks Neil. See you Sunday. I wonder what he will do next. I am very optimistic, as usual, having been following him closely several decades.
Alan in Seattle.

At 9/28/2015 06:28:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

What Alan said!
I voted for Monsanto as this album has captured Neil and his conscience muse to the hilt. It is absolutely direct, open, honest and REAL. The more I listen to it the more I get energized about what he's singing and saying. Maybe I'm just a rat to the pied-piper, but a lot of the issues he's addressing I wouldn't even know about had I not been a fan of him and his music. For that Monsanto is the most relevant to me of any. I've been hit by the bug by a lot of his albums, but Living With War and Monsanto take the cake as direct hits. There are plenty of feel good records with unbelievable good tunes that echo in my brain all the time. But TMY and LWW are bullets that pierce the soul. That is if you're available.

At 9/28/2015 07:56:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think Greendale would round out that trilogy nicely SONY. Very well said Alan! Awesome stuff Thrasher.

At 9/28/2015 08:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I care about all of them esp the next one

At 9/28/2015 11:38:00 PM, Blogger Grey Rider said...

Care for and liked them all,
Of course some more than others,
Especially those released in the Fall,
From Chicago, I'd vote multiple if I had my druthers.

Last night was a harvest moon, super moon, blood moon and lunar eclipse.
Hope Neil was recording!

At 9/29/2015 01:18:00 AM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Thanks Grey Rider, that's also what I was thinking. If only the Calendar had cooperated a bit more, then we could have had a Blue Moon in September (instead of July) to add to the bunch.

Did everyone catch the Eclipse last night? I saw the moon come up while walking on the beach and watched it there until sometime after 8 pm. Then saw the phases from home nearby--lots of folks out with their kids and dogs. The Blood Moon phase was quite impressive, and my favorite was the change and look as the moon emerged from full eclipse (there's gotta be some kind of symbolism in there).

Pretty certain Neil wouldn't let such an opportunity go for naught...we'll see! And as Keith Burris put it so well, I also care about all of the albums, especially the next one. Based on past history, we're in the last-half-of-every-other-decade period when some of Neil's greatest music has appeared.

Low red moon
How can you
Sleep like a baby
Sleep like a baby

And you shine so different on another
You shine different on another
--Tanya Donelly

At 9/29/2015 06:01:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Storytone is a masterpiece to me. I Just love those songs and I played them as much as many other old records... I love chrome dreams II, Prairie wind, Living with war, Psychedelic pill. Maybe being 23 years old makes my opinion change about those records...

At 9/29/2015 06:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/29/2015 06:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starting with Harvest I bought every Neil Young album the day it came out then A Letter Home and Storytone were released. Listening to them first online I just wasn't excited anymore at picking those albums up. This century his music starting with Are You Passionate has pretty much let me down( exceptions are Le Noise and Psychedelic Pill) and I just felt his standards as an artist have lessened. There is always the next album.

At 9/29/2015 10:00:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks to all for voting and comments!

An update has now been posted at:


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