Proclaiming his intentions with "Are You Ready for the Country?", Young detoured briefly to the Nashville mainstream. On this 1972 album, even the singer's acquired-taste voice comes across smooth and beautiful--the smash "Heart of Gold", with steel guitars and Linda Ronstadt's backup vocals, is by far Young's most commercial-sounding song. His usual dissonant touches, like the otherworldly guitar in "Out on the Weekend", are less spooky in this new context. The last two tracks, the deceptively gentle "The Needle and the Damage Done" and the hypnotic rocker "Words (Between the Lines of Age)", predict "Tonight's the Night", Young's haunted 1975 classic. --Steve Knopper
The original 1972 classic that includes "The Needle and The Damage Done" and "Heart Of Gold". Essential!