ARTIST: Neil Young
TITLE: Neil Young
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: The Loner
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Old Laughing Lady
LINEUP: Neil Young, Ry Cooder, Jack Nitzsche, Jim Messina, Carol Kaye, George Grantham, Earl Palmer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First solo album from former Buffalo Springfield member has some good tracks but is marred by mix issues.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Most Neil Young albums are unique experiences, but his first solo record is totally different from those that followed. This one had an orchestral, ornate feel that was more of a product of Nitzsche’s production than Young’s aesthetic.
No doubt this came from some Springfield songs like “Broken Arrow”, which were put together laboriously in the studio. At times, it diminishes the heft of some of the songs, but the material itself isn’t up to Young’s standards before and after this album. Also, the weird mix was a result of a process that made stereo compatible to mono that rather much failed.
“The Loner”, “The Old Laughing Lady” and a few others are definite keepers. It’s not an essential album, and “The Loner” is a crucial song that could be found elsewhere.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They remixed the album without the stereo/mono process in 1969. The difference in the mixes are denoted by different covers.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B-: A couple great songs, but the production is a bit intrusive on most others.