It’s a fallow time of year. The release cupboard is almost bare. Thoughts inevitably turn to would-be releases. Will we ever hear again from Beach House, Bowerbirds, Cotton Jones, East River Pipe, Elvis Perkins, Feist, Fleet Foxes, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Jill Andrews, Richard Hawley, Sufjan Stevens, Vetiver? In the meantime, the only recourse is to lists. Here are my top 10 Neil Young albums.
10. Broken Arrow
Golden moment: Side 1. “It’s all one song”.
9. Sleeps with Angels
Golden moment: ‘Change Your Mind’ at 7:37. The song has built up to a natural conclusion only for Neil and the boys to say ‘to hell with it, let’s play it all again’. And they do, for another seven minutes.
8. After the Gold Rush
Golden moment: ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’. A song “that’s guaranteed to bring you right down”.
7. American Stars ‘n’ Bars
Golden moment: ‘Like A Hurricane’ at 2:23. The best one-note guitar solo ever.
Golden moment: ‘Words (Between The Lines Of Age)’. Another song where time can stand still. Mind you, the definitive version is on the ‘Journey Through The Past’ soundtrack.
Golden moment: “What A Killer”.
4. On the Beach
Golden moment: ‘Revolution Blues’, “I see bloody fountains, And ten million dune buggies, comin’ down the mountains”
3. Rust Never Sleeps
Golden moment: The last verse of ‘Powderfinger’. But how come the narrator is still telling the story when he’s just told us he’s been shot dead.
2. Ragged Glory
Golden moment: ‘Why do I keep F*!#In’ Up?’
1. Tonight’s the Night
Golden moment: “I’ve got time to roll a number
and rent a car.” Avis have since officially distanced themselves from this sort of behaviour.