Neil Young – After The Gold Rush / Harvest (Warner Music Canada)

With his solo career picking up momentum, Neil Young released After The Gold Rush in 1970, 15 months after the rocking Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. After The Gold Rush found Young leaning on country-rock for the bulk of the album, with beautiful songs such as the title track, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart,’ ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ and ‘Tell Me Why’ among the most splendid songs in his catalogue.

Harvest would bring Young to even greater heights of success with tracks ‘Old Man,’ ‘The Needle & The Damage Done’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ remaining radio staples to the present day. The non-hits have plenty to offer as well. ‘Are You Ready For The Country’ transcends the otherwise melancholic mood of the record while album closer ‘Words’ brings this career-defining record to a close with a thrilling instrumental jam in the later part of the song.

Both of these records should be essential albums in anyone’s music collection. Practically perfect in all respects, there is a reason why these records have endured the past two decades so well.

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