Ragged Glory: A Neil Young Adventure.
By Robert Jones
The first time I heard the name Neil Young was April 1994. Lyrics from his song "Hey Hey, My My" had been used in the final writings of Kurt Cobain and the line "It's better to burn out, than to fade away" was tattooed on the hearts of every grungy, punk rock, Gen X kid across the world.
Other than that moment of infamy, Neil Young didn't get on my radar. Another of the older generation of hippies and punks trying desperately to cling to some relevance at a time when "our" music was defining the world.
He came up again almost a year later, when the lead singer of my favourite band inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The approval of Eddie Vedder was all I needed to take the plunge into the prolific catalogue of Neil Youngs music. I think at a time where we were all looking for something to replace the Kurt shaped hole, the "my way or nothing" attitude of Neil and his music was a comfort. Here was another who would never sell out.
My first Neil Young album was "Sleeps with Angels" and I've always been well aware of the slightly weird entry point I had to this tremendous library of work. All my favourite records by Young are post 1990, Harvest Moon, Living with War, The Monsanto Years and of course that first album of his I bought, "Sleeps with Angels" but there are so many gaps that I need to catch up with.
So I need to start from the start and work forwards, beginning with the 1968 debut solo record right through to "World Record", his 42nd studio album released in November 2022. I'll look at what was going on in the world while Neil was making these records and then give you my thoughts on them. One at time and some for the first time. It's going to be quite the adventure but I better get moving with it or there'll be another 6 albums to cover by the end of the year.
It'll be great if you can join me on this Neil Young adventure and you can do so by simply following or subscribing to the show in your podcast app.
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