Tuesday, April 13, 2004

#14) Neil Young - Decade (released in 1977, I listened to the Bloomington, IN library's copy on CD throughout middle school and finally bought it on cassette at the Mike's on North Atherton after moving to State College)

It's impressive how satisfying and cohesive this album is, seeing as how Neil Young has probably made more worthwhile albums than any other artist I can think of (I've intentionally avoided buying some of his most hailed albums so that I can have some classic Neil to hear for the first time when I'm older. Unless I find it cheap, I might not buy Zuma until after the guy dies). Not only does Decade have some of the strongest "compilation-only" tracks I've ever heard ("Down To The Wire" and "Campaigner" are among my favorite Young songs ever), it also keeps you from ever having to buy another album with Stephen Stills on it by grabbing all of Young's crucial Buffalo Springfield and CSN&Y numbers (though I still prefer the MTV Unplugged versions of "Helpless" and "Long May You Run"). Some of my fondest musical memories involve sitting in the library's listening room in middle school, listening to "Like A Hurricane" and "Cowgirl In The Sand" for the first time (off of their vinyl copies of American Stars'n'Bars and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere respectively - though they're both on Decade too), his voice so lonesome, vulnerable and honest, his solos fraught with caustic emotion that they struck me as both frightening and liberating. It's possible I found these songs so beautiful that I've suconsciously set up my life so that they'd ring truer with every passing year. And they do. Hell, today I got knocked out by goddamn "Heart Of Gold."

No comments: