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Find someone who`s turning
on 14 April 2012
If there`s a more immaculate album out there, I want to hear it.
This was the 1970 follow-up to Neil`s incredible second record, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and he did it again - then again with Harvest, On The Beach, Tonight`s The Night, Zuma...what a stunning run of inspired brilliance.
Tell Me Why is a catchy opener, and you know from the off you`re in good hands.
The title track is so famous now that I`m not going to go into its beauties, but boy do you have a treat if you`ve yet to hear it. Even Dolly Parton`s covered this one.
Ony Love Can Break Your Heart is one of those NY songs that you tend to forget about till you hear it again, and go "Aaah, yes!". Lovely.
The mighty Southern Man is a cutting condemnation of racism and segregation in the South, with a terrific atmosphere to it, abrasive and urgent. It got an equally memorable - and outraged - response in Lynyrd Skynyrd`s great anthem Sweet Home Alabama. Apparently, Neil was happy to be mentioned in one of their songs. (I don`t know if Neil and the late Ronnie Van Zant ever met, but I like to think of wry smiles, a clap on the back, and a shared Jim Beam or two.)
Till The Morning Comes is a pleasing brief interlude ending "Side One" (ah, those were the days).
"Side Two" opens with a tender slowed-down version of Don Gibson`s country classic Oh Lonesome Me. It fits Neil like a glove.
Next comes what is for me, along with Southern Man and the title track, the album`s masterpiece, the edgy, mid-tempo Don`t Let It Bring You Down, with its guardedly optimistic refrain:
"Don`t let it bring you down, it`s only castles burning
Find someone who`s turning, and you will come around"
The verses set up sorrow, the chorus turns to joy. It`s all too short at a whisker under three minutes but a great song nevertheless. (Most of these songs are shorter than I remember them, but the upside is they leave you wanting more.)
Birds is a delicately lovely song, sung to piano backing, with heavenly harmonies on the chorus. Surprised this hasn`t been covered more often.
When You Dance...is a wonderful NY rocker, I Believe In You another superb slow song, yearning and keening as only Neil can.
Cripple Creek Ferry is another snippet of a song to finish this 35-minute classic.
With its perfect front & back covers - they looked so much better on the LP foldout sleeve - and in remastered sound, this is as essential as rock ever gets.
"There was a band playing in my head
and I felt like getting high..."