Top positive review
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Money well spent...
on 8 January 2004
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).
“Unplugged”, a review of some of his best tracks from the previous 25 years, takes this often tired format to its highest levels. Opening with “The Old Laughing Lady” (a wonderfully laid-back acoustic re-working of a stand-out track from his first solo album) and followed by a beautifully low-key version of his Buffalo Springfield hit “Mr Soul”, the album just flows from start to finish. And… on the way through you get arguably better versions than the original outings of “Pocahontas”, “Harvest Moon”, “Look Out for My Love” & “Transformer Man”. Played and sung with the sincerity of an artist who wants to deliver a cohesive retrospective of his career, and impressive in that it avoids revisiting many of his better known, more obvious choices, this is mellow music at its very best and an album that leaves you feeling… happy. Money well spent!