31 August 2013

31st August - Neil Young's After the Gold Rush

Artist - Album: Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
Released: 31st August 1971
Sounds like: A comforting arm around your shoulder

One of the albums that I loved most when I was a wee bairn was a mixtape made by my Auntie for my Mum. We only ever listened to it on long journeys, so it invariably meant holidays and beaches and fun. It also meant awesome songs, but the fact that it was on a cassette (ask your parents, kids!) meant that it was soon forgotten about and lost, and I have little idea of how to track down the songs that were on it. Most are now lost to the ether, but there's a few that I've stumbled upon now that I'm older: there's Johnny Cash's cover of 'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right', and the splendidly obscure folk-samba of 'Trade Winds' by Mark-Almond (not the Soft Cell lead singer). There was also a couple from classic albums in the form of David Bowie's 'Kooks' and, my then absolute favourite, 'Til the Morning Comes' from this album.

Neil Young has an unparalleled ability to write music that is both sweet and naive, and yet interesting and beguiling.  After the Gold Rush is my favourite of his and its full of such songs. Some, such as 'Tell Me Why' and 'I Believe in You', are adorned with gorgeous harmonies; some rock out, like 'Southern Man' and 'When You Dance I Can Really Love'; and others, for example 'Oh Lonesome Me' and 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart', are deliciously resigned. All are brilliant.

Incidentally, this is also the album that I turned to during a bad break up a few years ago - the rocking 'Southern Man' aside, this is an album obsessed with love and heartache. It's not particularly objective of me to be reviewing an album which I have such personal affection for, but, in this case, I'm not sure it makes a difference: I love the album because of what it did for me, but I'm certain that I'd love it anyway. It's a corker.

Albumaday... rating: 10/10

1. Tell Me Why – 2:54
2. After the Gold Rush – 3:45
3. Only Love Can Break Your Heart – 3:05
4. Southern Man – 5:31
5. Till the Morning Comes – 1:17
6. Oh Lonesome Me – 3:47
7. Don't Let It Bring You Down – 2:56
8. Birds – 2:34
9. When You Dance I Can Really Love – 4:05
10. I Believe in You – 3:24
11. Cripple Creek Ferry – 1:34

Listen to 'Don't Let It Bring You Down': www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBG4vxi9mtk

Also released on 31st August:
1970: The Beach Boys – Sunflower
Also released on 31st August:
1987: Michael Jackson – Bad

Also released on 31st August:
2004: Jill Scott – Beautifully Human

No comments:

Post a Comment