While there are more than enough individual tracks dotted around his huge number of recordings to justify Neil Young’s major reputation there are only a few albums that, on their own, hold together as satisfyingly complete “works”. And… in the (self imposed) absence of any sensible retrospectives since 1977’s “Decade” (definitely the best place to start for any “casual buyer”) those not “in the know” could be in for some seriously expensive mistakes. So, what’s been worth the money since then? Well…for anyone looking for the mellower side of this brilliantly mercurial but annoyingly erratic artist here’s a few suggestions: “Comes a Time” (1978), “Freedom” (1989), “Harvest Moon” (1992) and “Unplugged” (1995).
“Harvest Moon”, a straight reference back to his massively popular “Harvest” which he immediately chose to move a long way away from at the time (preferring, in his own words, to head for the ditch rather than the “middle of the road”) is, amongst his peers, the rarest of things – a follow-up album not only 20 years too late but arguably better than its career-building predecessor. Over the top?... well the debate could continue for hours but, with such wonderfully laid back tracks as “Unknown Legend”, “From Hank to Hendrix” & “One of these Days”, the rolling country-rock of “Old King”, the quite beautiful “Harvest Moon” (brilliantly re-worked by Cassandra Wilson on “New Moon Daughter”) and the deeply reflective “You and Me” it’s a close call indeed. Mellow music at its best and an album that leaves you feeling… happy. Money well spent!