Tag Archives: Harvest

Rocks In The Attic #495: Neil Young – ‘Harvest’ (1972)

RITA#495If ever I could pick a perfect album, this is one of the ones I would pick. Yes, it might not be to everybody’s taste, but in terms of a record that has a consistent level of quality songwriting from start to finish, it’s up there with the likes of Revolver, Dark Side Of The Moon and Led Zeppelin IV.

I shouldn’t like it either. It’s got both feet firmly steeped in the country tradition, and I’m somewhat allergic to that most inbred of musical genres. It was recorded in Nashville too, so it’s the real deal. Young went down there and recorded the album with a pick-up band, writing out the charts for them using the Nashville number system they would have been very familiar with.

Of all the 33⅓ books I’ve read, the one on Harvest, by Sam Inglis has been my favourite so far. It’s one of the earliest ones in the series – the third one to be published – and is well recommended if you wish to know more about the recording of the record. Some of those 33⅓ books can be a bit hit and miss, but that one seems to stand out from that early bunch of titles.

I probably need a new copy of this record. I picked up a second-hand copy a few years ago that has definitely seen better days. The cover looks like it’s been under somebody’s pillow for 12 months, and there’s a fair bit of surface noise on the actual disc. Either that or Neil Young employed somebody to fry some eggs in the studio as they were recording.

Hit: Heart Of Gold

Hidden Gem: The Needle And The Damage Done

Rocks In The Attic #211: Bob Dylan – ‘John Wesley Harding’ (1967)

RITA#211This is fast becoming my second favourite Bob Dylan album – after 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. I’m not usually the sort of listener who would favour acoustic guitar over electric, but I think Dylan sounds better here, stepping away from the heady mix of the his last couple of electric albums.

John Wesley Harding is very laid back, with a similar minimalist country feel that Neil Young would later employ on Harvest, and I think that’s what I like best about it.  It’s a very nice album just to listen to, without having to think about deciphering his lyrics. He sounds much more comfortable here, stepping out of the spotlight and away from his duties as the voice of a generation.

George Harrison must have been a fan of side-two opener Dear Landlord – his Old Brown Shoe (b-side to The Ballad Of John And Yoko) borrows more than a little of the progression in Dylan’s song.

Hit: I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

Hidden Gem: I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine