33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Awhile ago somewhere I don't no when . . . "
Few artists can match Neil Young in musical artistry, creative versatility, and artistic/personal intergrity - Dylan, Lennon, Hendrix, Stipe, Young - the list does not go much beyond that. Young's *Harvest* is further reminder that we are dealing with a legendary composer and performer, one who defies categorization while still remaining relevant to so many...
Published on September 4, 2000 by haikuvulcan
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the music, not the quality of sound on CD.
Great album. loved it when it came out back in the day. This CD mix sounds pretty good. I had also ordered Neil's After the Gold Rush CD. The first copy i had received was terrible. Sounded like arse, had to send it back. The replacement was better but still not as good as the album. Not sure if it is the Loudness wars remix issue or what, but disappointing all the same.
Published 1 month ago by Capt,Crunch Jr.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Awhile ago somewhere I don't no when . . . ",
Few artists can match Neil Young in musical artistry, creative versatility, and artistic/personal intergrity - Dylan, Lennon, Hendrix, Stipe, Young - the list does not go much beyond that. Young's *Harvest* is further reminder that we are dealing with a legendary composer and performer, one who defies categorization while still remaining relevant to so many categorized styles. Not many artists can lay claim to that(see the short list above and maybe add three or four more).
Harvest ranges from the understated, pensive mood of songs like "Out on the Country," "Harvest," and "Old Man" to the sheer desperation of "A Man Needs a Maid," and "Words" to the acoustic heartbreak of "Needle and the Damage Done," to the Moody Blues-style optimism of "There's A World," to the dark country rock of "Are You Ready for the Country," all the way down to the proto-grunge social criticism in "Alabama" (Made famous on the top 40 thanks to Lynard Skynard). With the possible exception of "There's a World," (which, a la Moody Blues, rather lays the London Symphony on a bit too thick - it works on "A Man Needs a Maid owing to the sheer drama of the song, but goes over the top on "There's a World), each track is a masterful cut, demonstrating Young's ability to conquer and mix numerous genres. Lyrically Neil is at his best, capturing mood and evoking emotion in ways that few composers can even touch. Young's singing, in spite of criticisms of the alleged "thin quality" in his voice, is superb - skillfully phrasing his lyrics so that they play well off of the Stray Gators heavier sound. You have to go pretty far to find a better Neil Young album - *Everybody Knows This is Nowhere* and *After the Gold Rush* are superior, but not by much, and after that there isn't much from the Young catalogue that beats it. Indeed, there aren't many albums from anyone that surpass *Harvest*. I've been playing it since 1972 - and I still find it fresh and meaningful. Highly recommended.
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's that good,
By A Customer
Neil Young's Harvest is sometimes dismissed as his most commercial album, due in part to the success of Heart of Gold as a single. He's been criticized for employing lush strings on a couple of tunes here (A Man Needs a Maid; There's a World) but I don't care what anybody says; they work, and the songs are gorgeous. In fact, the whole record is full of great songs. Out on the Weekend, Heart of Gold, Old Man, Needle and the Damage Done, -- how many albums can boast a lineup like that? Bottom line is, this rates with his best work. Don't miss it.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil's masterpiece...remastered at last,
I suppose the release of the Archives box set (which I still plan to buy on Blu-ray) could have easily been the harbinger of a remastered Neil Young catalogue, but even if not, this is still most welcome. Up to now, the closest thing I had was the 30th Anniversary DVD-Audio, with Harvest remixed in 5.1 Surround, but we've definitely needed the straight CD to be improved.
And Neil has not let us down - this, and its 3 predecessors (his self-titled solo debut from 1969, the first album with Crazy Horse [Everybody Knows This is Nowhere], and the equally-classic After the Gold Rush), are now remastered and greatly improved upon from the muddy CD mixes Warners first gave us in the late '80s. I should imagine that SHM-CD or Blu-spec versions aren't far behind, although I'd like to see Neil go back and redo the Buffalo Springfield albums next, preferably the expanded 1997 version of the first album and an expanded version of Again with the long-unavailable 9-minute version of "Bluebird" added as a bonus track, perhaps even as a Collector's Edition. (Note to Neil if he's reading this: Please do it!)
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Harvest,
Neil Young fans had to wait two years for the successor to AFTER THE GOLDRUSH.In between albums, moved out to the country,got divorced and found love again with actress Carrie Snodgrass,and injured his back severly while moving furniture. All these factors contributed in a mellow release entitled HARVEST;with pickup group The Stray Gators(plus guest artists like James Taylor and Linda Rondstat).HARVEST is a country tinged album,with a lot less to worry about than later releases.Neil broods on love(HARVEST,OUT ON THE WEEKEND,A MAN NEEDS A MAID,THERE'S A WORLD),racism (ALABAMA),and drug abuse(THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE).Two hits resulted from this album,HEART OF GOLD(which Young claims put him in the middle of the road,so he headed for a ditch)and OLD MAN. WORDS(BETWEEN THE LINES OF AGE)is a long jam session.ARE YOU READY FOR THE COUNTRY became a hit for Waylon Jennings.A few Young fans regard the album as two countrified and commercial;I think this is his best in his country period which includes COMES A TIME,HARVEST MOON and OLD WAYS. This was my first Neil Young album,and I'll probably have a copy of it on me somewhere when I go.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all music fans,
This album is the mortar and bricks that have built up the music industry. The lush sounds, sad themes and haunting melodies are beyond category, beyond time, and beyond what I had expected. The people influenced by this album are numerous. The song "Sweet home alabama" has references to Young's own Alabama. There is a Nirvan bootlegg named after "Needle and the Damage done," and, there was numerous uproars about the song "man needs a maid" This album is definately worth checking out!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must for every folkie and country rock fan!,
Neil young is truely an artist. Never afraid to experiment, his talent is often misunderstood, and even misused. That, however, is simply not true on this album. From beginning to end, every bit of this album smacks of genius. Some songs represent a good time (are you ready for the country, out on the weekend) and some just touch you (the needle and the damage done, there's a world). while the two songs with orchestra stick out(world, and a man needs a maid), one can appreciate neil's song-writing ability, even with this over-production. Not to be lost, however is the sparse needle, a classic, and alabama, with its not so subtle message, provoking a famous response from lynyrd skynyrd. Even if you buy this disc only for heart of gold, and needle, you will fall in love with the entire album.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "....Keeps Me Searching For...",
As we all know, Neil Young has famously resisted the remastered reissue of his huge catalogue on CD because of what he feels is the format's less than stellar representation of analogue tapes' 'original sound' - and almost a full 20 years after 1989's first issue of Harvest on a dullard CD - it looks like the guy is having the last laugh - because this meticulously prepared tape transfer is GLORIOUS. It really is.
First to the details - Harvest was released in February 1972 on Reprise Records MS 2032 in the USA and K 54005 in the UK (it went to Number 1 in both countries and many others around the world). This 2009 NYA OSR remaster (Neil Young Archives - Original Release Series) is Disc 4 of 4 and carries the HDCD code on the label and rear inlay (High Definition Compatible Disc). Until now, 2004's "Greatest Hits" set (which offered us three Harvest tracks remastered into HDCD sound quality) was the only real indication of just how good the album 'could' sound. And outside of the DVD Audio release (which few people have), this is the first time the 'entire' album has been given a sonic upgrade. The Audio Tape Restoration and Analog-To-HDCD Digital Transfer of the Original Master Tapes was carried out by JOHN NOWLAND (24-Bit 176 KHZ) with the Editing and Mastering done by TIM MULLIGAN - and they've done a stunning job.
The inlay faithfully reproduces the foldout lyric sheet in the same earthy textured paper that the matching album cover had (a sort of first for recycling way back then) and the print isn't cramped either - it's very readable. In fact the booklet in "Harvest" is probably the most aesthetically pleasing of all 4 releases.
And as these are the first four albums in a long reissue campaign - to identify them from the old CDs, the upper part of the outer spine has his new NYA OSR logo at the top and an 'issue' number beneath - D1, D2, D3, D4...and on upwards of course.
However, the big and obvious disappointment is the complete lack of musical extras or any new info in the booklet; they're in "The Archives Vol.1 1963-1972" box set that's still sitting in shop windows at varying extortionate prices. Still - at mid price - this remaster of "Harvest" is great value for money and with this hugely upgraded sound - it makes you focus on the music as is and not anything else.
Some have complained that the sound is a little underwhelming after all the hype that has preceded these releases - I don't think that at all. The danger in remastering would be the cranking of everything, ultra-treble the lot - but I'm hearing ALL the instruments on this carefully prepared remaster - especially the bass and drums which now have a clarity that is so sweet rather than flashy. The sound is very subtle - there's no brashness, very little hiss and when the muscle of the remaster does kick in - like the strings of the London Symphony Orchestra on "A Man Needs A Maid" and "There's A World" - it's really BEAUTIFUL. The music is just `there' in your speakers all of a sudden.
I suspect for many fans, rehearing this album and the other 3 will be like revisiting old friends and finding something new - thrilling to them once again. I'm onto "After The Gold Rush" as I write - it's impressive stuff - it really is - beautiful reproduction too.
The gold sticker on the jewel case of each of these issues states - "Because Sound Matters" - and although it took him a few decades, on the strength of this reissue, I think Rock's great curmudgeon was right to wait to get it right...which in many respects is the ultimate nod to his fans.
PS: I've reviewed "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "After The Gold Rush" also - just as good soundwise...
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young�s Mid-20s,
While albums such as Rod Steward's Every Picture Tells a Story and The Rolling Stones' Exile On Mainstreet celebrated the decadent pleasures of being a studly, twenty-something male, Neil Young's equally classic Harvest explored a decidedly different side of that stage in a man's life. The time between being a subordinate minor and a domesticated middle-aged man was a celebration of sex, drugs and rock and roll for Mr. Steward and the Stones, but for Mr. Young it was apparently marked by an unbearable void of tenderness and contentment. The lyrics to Harvest's number one hit, "Heart of Gold" sums-up the album's sentiment, "I've been to Hollywood/I've been to Redwood/I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold/I've been in my mind/It's such a fine line/That keeps me searching for a heart of gold." Harvest is the sound of a young man on his own, desperately searching for a comfortable and gratifying place in the world.
The songs of Harvest are somber, acoustic and elegantly touching ( The album of coarse contains the few thundering hard rocker that is are an obligatory part of even the softest of Young's albums). Each of these gorgeous tunes, takes on a different varient of Harvest's themes of loneliness and consternation. In "Out on the Weekend," Mr. Young plays a forlorn wanderer, roaming dusty country roads with a preoccupied look on his face. In "A Man Needs a Maid," he becomes convinced that a specific woman is the answer to all of the upheaval in his heart. In "There's a World," he throws open the curtains, lets inside the sun and attempts to see the world in an optimistic light. And in "Words (Between the Lines of Age)" he plummets into brutal desolation. No matter what variant it is bestowed, each song echoes with consternation, sincerity and profundity. Harvest may not be nearly as much fun as some of the more raucous, slipshod rock albums that were being released in its day, but its own intelligent, tender and sensitive persona make it just as worthwhile.
45 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Promise Of A Man,
This is where Neil Young's lyrics began to lose some of their contrived weirdness and really hit home.
"I wanna live, I wanna give...it's these expressions I never give that keep me searching for a heart of gold. And I'm getting old."
That pretty much sums up a point a lot of us get to in our late 20s/early 30s, doesn't it?
So much of this album is about reaching that point where a decision must be made between good or bad, up or down, right or wrong. Much has been made of "Are You Ready For The Country?" and Young's turn away from Rock to Country music. To me, that is just one of the decisions Young struggles with on HARVEST, and a minor decision at that. He is fighting over his solo-mountain-man image and living a more social life in a band; trying to decide if traditional southern thinking makes any sense or if a full-blown step into 20th century civil rights philosophy is viable ("The devil fools with the best laid plans" in "Alabama"), and argues against the worst case results of 1960s drug culture.
This is an album about reaching breaking points, about deciding which way to go at lifes crossroads.
Or, as Young hinted at with the the albums title, it is about reaping what you've sown when it's time for the HARVEST.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young's One Twist At Stardom With This Smash Hit Album!,
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This was the smash middle of the road album the prolific Neil Young released after the breakup of CSN&Y, and once again he shows just how wide and deep his musical talents are. All we aging sixties kids all have a copy of this album, After The Gold Rush", and his "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" album; all are standard issue for older babyboomers. Indeed, out of the welter of so many artists with so much in the way of incredible and unforgettable music, Neil Young stands alone as a sixties icon, someone who has consistently done the music his way, and with great sincerity, consistent authenticity, and a singular verve. No one has produced the range and quantity of memorable songs and melodies, as has Mr. Young, who has always produced what he wanted on his terms, and has never sold out to commercialism or tried to appeal to the mainstream audience.
Here we have so many terrific songs like "Harvest", "Out On The Weekend", and "A Man Needs A Maid", and his smash hit, "Heart Of Gold", that it is hard to remember that this is just one of several such albums he released in short order over a three or four year period. As always, Neil's genius and guitar virtuosity shines, especially in songs like "Words' and "The Needle And The Damage Done", and a personal favorite of mine, "Alabama". Young may well be an iconoclast, someone who is unpredictable, unreliable from a business sense, and something of a prima donna, but he always plays straight from the heart (and groin), and one knows that the guy playing that axe so masterfully is absolutely in control of the incredible sounds emanating from it. Wow! Put this baby in the CD player and listen as the CD illustrates why Neil Young will never die! Long may his chrome heart shine!
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