When I was kid, my Father introduced me to much of the music I still listen to today. One album that stands out to me is Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush.
Today’s featured Album:
After The Gold Rush debuted in 1970 arriving at a time when the United States was still embroiled in Vietnam and the rest of the world seemed to want to implode. Much like today, the world was upside down and everyone felt it. Neil Young had been performing with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at the time and soon after the release of their album ‘Deja Vu’ they each released an album of their own. Comprised of 11 songs and running just over 35 minutes, over time, this album became recognized as some of Young’s finest work.
Why this album?
Before 1988 I mostly listened to my parents music. They had grown up in the 60’s so much of their joint collection consisted of classic rock spanning from Buddy Holly to Creedence Clearwater Revival. My Father, however, had a more eclectic taste in music so his personal favorites were even more varied. On many of our road trips to visit family my Father would build a selection of music for the trip. We listened to everything. Paul Simon’s Graceland would be a mainstay as would sampling from Leon Redbone, Hank Williams Sr., The Travelling Wilburys, and the list goes on. One album that made the rotation every trip was After The Gold Rush and, from my first exposure to it, I was an instant fan.
By today’s standards there is really nothing overly impressive about the album but, one thing you have to grasp, ‘folk’ music like this wasn’t as much of a mainstream thing as it is now. For a popular musician to put out an album this unique was many times a death sentence but Young persevered and has become known as one of the icons of his time. This album is a nice, stripped down, not overly produced product that gives you the sense of intimacy that he seemed to intend and it is all the better for it.
I vividly remember, after falling in love with this album, my Father making a cassette copy of it for me with a photocopy of the cover on the case. It wasn’t long before he bought me an official release version and I have loved it ever after.
After the Gold Rush (track 2), The title track is one that nearly everyone knows but it is so full of intriguing visuals and moments throughout the 3:46 minute song. I can’t really explain what the song means but to me, it means good memories and feelings of a simpler time.
When you Dance, I can Really Love (track 9) This one is just a good song all around. Great backing band with a sound that is very indicative of the time. The guitar riffs in this one are just plain cool.
Cripple Creek Ferry (track 11) A simple short narrative about a ferry. An earworm for sure.
Ok, where do I get it?
You can certainly listen to this album on Spotify despite Young’s hatred of digital media, that hate is mostly directed to MP3’s though.
You can also pick the album up an pretty much any music store these days. I tend to send people to Bestbuy for videos and Amoeba Records for music but the both carry this album so just follow the links or hit up your local shop. Also apparently as of December 1st you’ll be able to get all of his music for free via his new Archive site because Young is just that kinda guy.
what else does he have?
His work with CSNY is not as well known to me as it should be so I will direct you to some of his other solo albums. Two specifically I find fantastic, Harvest (1972) and Silver and Gold (2000). He’s been making music for 50 years, even if these aren’t your taste, there is sure to be a song or two that is.
I also recommend his work with Buffalo Springfield. It’s good stuff.
Thank you for reading, If you like what you have read please take a look at some of my other music reviews as well, including a write up on the Decemberists Picaresque and a review of the Classic Tom Petty Album Echo.
Late to The Game 12/21/17
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Wednesday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. Be sure to check out our contributor Darkmovienight with the New Movie Reviews every Sunday.
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