After The Gold Rush
Young gained popular recognition with his involvement in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Deja Vu, and followed it up with the excellence of After The Gold Rush. After The Gold Rush is perhaps the quintessential Neil Young album, a diverse set that shows his main stylistic interests, from gentle folksy ballads and mournful country to loud guitar rockers. Most of the album was recorded with Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, CSNY bassist Greg Reeves, and an eighteen year old Nils Lofgren who was plucked from obscurity to play piano on the album despite having little experience with the instrument.
After The Gold Rush is packed with highlights; the gentle title track sees Young accompanied by piano, intoning astounding ecological lyrics, while a flugelhorn player contributes a splash of colour. ‘Southern Man’ and ‘When You Dance (I Can Really Love)’ are arresting rockers, while a cover of Don Gibson’s country standard ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ is also successful. The sweet acoustic ballads ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ are beautiful, ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ is haunting and enigmatic, and even the song fragments of ‘Till The Morning Comes’ and ‘Cripple Creek Ferry’ are memorable.
After the Goldrush demonstrates a full breadth of Young’s capabilities and is a great place to start an exploration into his extensive catalogue.