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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Neil Young's Harvest Moon Vinyl Release for Record Store Black Friday

Neil Young's Harvest Moon - 1992

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Neil Young's Harvest Moon album is newly remastered and presented for the first time on vinyl in North America, in case-wrapped 2xLP gatefold jacket. (Thanks kahunasunset!)

The 1992 album official vinyl reissue for this year’s Record Store Black Friday on November 24. The release is limited to 5000 copies.

Neil Young Vinyl Shopping - April 16, 2011
Plan9 Music, Richmond, Virginia
Photo by Emaleigh Franzak

Neil Young's 1992 "Harvest Moon" is the followup to his most commercially successful album "Harvest" - 20 years later.

"Harvest Moon" was recorded with many of the same original musicians who appeared on "Harvest", such as Ben Keith, on pedal steel guitar, and Linda Rondstadt and James Taylor on backing vocals. The intentional sequel nature of "Harvest Moon" created high expectations which for the most part were fulfilled. The album was accompanied with music videos and extensive interviews. All indicators of both the record label Reprise's support and even the normally reticent Young himself.

On a Canadian radio interview, Young denied that 'Harvest Moon' was a sequel to 'Harvest':

    "The whole idea of following up the 'Harvest' album is something that's contrived more from the standpoint of record companies, and mostly questions. You know, people see the correlation between the two, and it's kind of a plus to be able to refer back 20 years and see the same people and do that. But the thrust of the albums is different, even though the subject matter is similar, so I tend to shy away more from comparisons between them - they're reference points for one another. I mean, people who have never heard of 'Harvest' may really like Harvest Moon and may end up referring back to 'Harvest' because of all this conversation about how the two of them go together..."

So why is a Harvest Moon so special to Neil Young fans?

Many may recall back in 2008, when Steve and his girlfriend Danielle made a request for "Harvest Moon" to played when Neil Young visited Brisbane, Australia. And by some extremely wonderfully little miracle, Neil Young actually did perform "Harvest Moon" that night and it brought a tear of joy for many around the world.

Then in 2009, Gavin in Ireland Requested "Harvest Moon" in memory of his father. Wish granted. And shortly thereafter, another Wish for "Harvest Moon" was Granted to Liza in Germany.

So we here at Thrasher's Wheat hold the song and this night very dearly. 3 fans that we've never met, on 3 continents touched by Harvest Moon magic. We know that some of you may not understand.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Some instructions for best viewing: "Keep an eye on the Moon as it creeps above the eastern skyline. The golden orb may appear strangely inflated. This is the Moon illusion at work. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, a low-hanging Moon appears much wider than it really is. A Harvest Moon inflated by the moon illusion is simply gorgeous."

Reviews of Neil Young's Harvest Moon.

Also, see:

Moons and Neil Young Songs by Anne - Lady of Northern Moons

Review: Neil Young's Dreamin' Man - A live "Harvest Moon" album.

"Harvest Moon" - Neil Young, MTV Unplugged - 1993

From a Harvest Moon review in FUNHOUSE!:

    "Harvest Moon is the quintessential down-home-mom's-apple-pie American folk album. It's one of the few Neil Young albums that you can share with the one you love, along with a bottle of something nice, without having to apologetically hit the fast forward button or move the tracking arm forward.

But not all fans agreee that "Harvest Moon" is one of Neil's finest albums. Dave Sigler writes in a Harvest Moon album review :

    "In my opinion, there is not a single cut on 'Harvest Moon' that does not sound better in its 'original state: solo acoustic. Neil has always said he prefers simplicity. Always the advocate of live recording whether it be in the studio or the concert hall, Neil has always been able to capture the essence of his music at its most spontaneous. There is nothing on 'Harvest Moon' that strikes me as spontaneous...or even close. It is the kind of slick, overly produced product that record companies dream about. Reprise must certainly be happy with it. With its heavy country sound, 'Harvest Moon' arrives just in time to (hopefully) capture a share of the market in the current country/western music fad/phase we seem to be in the midst of. "

From a Jack Feeny review:

    "'Harvest Moon' is often regarded as the follow-up to 'Harvest' but I hardly think it is a clear-cut affair. It is less ambitious in its scope (after Young's genre confusion in the eighties) but its modesty is also the key to its success. I guess the fact that the Stray Gators return to the fore echoes 'Harvest' but the arrangements on here are mainly acoustic based and only at times sound like his unfairly critically savaged watershed release. 'Comes a Time' is a more accurate comparison, if you ask me, although the musical themes on this album are more varied. The songwriting is certainly as strong as Comes a Time although not every song is a veritable masterpiece."

From a review on Nude as the News by Ben French:

    "The 'simple man' image of Harvest Moon may become a tad overplayed at times -- especially on songs like 'Dreamin' Man' and 'One Of These Days' -- but it never seems to become overbearing. Neil Young often misrepresents himself as a plain man, but this album proves his more simple approaches to songwriting can often yield his most perfectly enjoyable results."

From a review onQ Music Magazine by Mark Cooper:

    "Simplicity has always been one of Young's greatest strengths and weaknesses, so while he occasionally merely re-creates the moon-eyed dreamer of yore, he has surrounded his meditations in some of his simplest, most gorgeous melodies in years. This is Young taking stock, recalling old friends in One Of These Days, paying tribute to a departed hound in Old King and apparently re-evaluating his marriage in a succession of heartwarming, sometimes troubled love songs.

    Best of all are the opening Unknown Legend and the title track, tender shuffles with celebratory choruses that rekindle old flames while acknowledging the passing of time. Nostalgia is often the last resort of scoundrels but Harvest Moon is ultimately not content to be Harvest 2, even as it re-affirms and re-examines Young the naif romantic, still dreaming after all these years."

From on comparing "Harvest Moon" and "Harvest":

    "Harvest Moon, on the other hand, is a chronicle of survival, focusing on loss and compromise and the ultimate triumphs of being a married father approaching fifty. It's full of bittersweet tributes to lost friends, dead hounds and love grown old. 'What this album is about is this feeling, this ability to survive and continue and grow and get higher than you were before,' says Young. 'Not just maintain, not just feel well. Not just 'I'm still alive at forty-five.' You can be more alive.'"

Also, here's a collection of album reviews and commentary of Neil Young's Harvest Moon.

Track list, MP3 samples, and more details @ Neil Young's Harvest Moon. Also, see the ZUMA payload post in the context of black Fridays, black budgets, Black Balloon Productions, EMP black-outs, BLM and other "black" days. Have a Merry Black Friday to all!!!

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At 10/29/2017 02:47:00 PM, Blogger no soy said...

Do we think this will be officially rereleased outside of Record Store Day? I stand no chance of scoring a copy of this.

At 10/29/2017 03:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/29/2017 06:15:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

by joseph werfelman on 10/18/17:

Harvest Moon to be released as a 2 LP RSD FIRST on Black Friday November 24th.

This means that it will initially be only available at independents but at some point Later in time will be available to all internet and retail outlets. The reissue of Decade LP was handled in the same manner. My question is how can this be a 2 LP reissue. Hopefully there will be some outakes from the original sessions (perhaps Silver and Gold) to fill out the two records. The original pressing along with the German Pressings were 1 LP. Maybe the info on the record store day website is wrong. They list it as a 2 LP set.

At 10/29/2017 08:23:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

Uh oh. Look out Tbone Talker is in the house. Same tall stories new name.

At 10/30/2017 01:25:00 AM, Blogger no soy said...

Joseph, I bet they went with 2LP for optimal vinyl pressing. It will cost an arm and a leg, but at least will be readily available. That album was recorded in high quality (wasn't it digital?) so it merits a proper release in optimal quality... as Neil is wont to do.

At 10/30/2017 10:55:00 AM, Blogger Columella said...

Put me in the "meh" column vis-à-vis "Harvest Moon." As one of the reviewers said, it's far too overproduced and slick. Would be much better were it a stripped down affair, link Harvest or Comes a Time. A 2 LP vinyl version - meaning 45 rpm, no doubt, and getting up to flip it every 10 minutes. No thanks.

At 10/30/2017 01:26:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

With the Box set that was released on record store day two years ago it was labeled as a numbered limited edition, yet none of them had a number. You could only get a numbered copy from the web site store. Decade was numbered last RSD, but the later release was not. As far as numbered editions go, It's cool but not necessarily that important to me as long as I can own the music. I buy music to hear it, not to collect it. So as long as Harvest Moon can be purchased by everyone who wants it, I don't care if it has a number embossed on the cover.


At 11/24/2017 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Peter van der Heide said...

The songs are on three sides. The fourth side is etched.

At 12/01/2017 02:17:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Just got my copy of the Harvest Moon reissue today. I find it interesting that its not part of the "Official Release Series." I wonder why he's reissuing the entire catalog as "ORS" and this one has no mention of that series on the sleeve...


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