32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Full Circle With Crazy Horse,
This review is from: Ragged Glory (Audio CD)
With Neil Young's 1989 solo effort Freedom, I like many others was warming up to his music again, after the numerous and sometimes alienating stylistic changes he was making in the 1980's. On Freedom, I tended to favor the harder cuts on the album such as "Don't Cry" "Rocking In The Free World" his driving cover of "On Broadway". At the same time I was heavily listening to some of his work with Crazy Horse; Live Rust and Rust Never Sleeps. All though this I was thinking, "Why doesn't he just make another kick-a**, all electric album from beginning to end?" "And at the same time why not just get back together With Crazy Horse?"
Well less than a year later in 1990, both prayers were answered. Neil Young finally reunited With Crazy horse for Ragged Glory. And the music matched my expectations and anticipation. I was totally blown away with their resulting effort. Raw, honest, intense and most importantly, excellent songs. Truckloads of guitars and solos. Short, terse rockers are mixed with their trademark eight to ten minute jams and loads of feedback in the right places. Most importantly this album matches all of his 70's work, with and without Crazy Horse.
Ragged Glory is also the essential album to listen to on a long country drive, disturbing the cattle and the small towns on the way! The leadoff track on the CD "Country Home" is obviously well-suited for the aforementioned type of drive. "White Line" has an excellent driving riff and is a very concise song, almost ending prematurely, kind of like Stone Temple Pilots "Interstate Love Song" four years later.
"F*!#in' UP" is my favorite track on Ragged Glory. It is the most aggressive song on the album lyrically and musically. It's an understatement, but this song kicks serious a**. The title itself prevented it from major airplay, but changing or editing that would be a grave injustice. "Over And Over" has a killer melody, a great chorus and the guitars keep on rocking.
"Love to Burn" is a ten-minute long opus that seriously rocks. It will hold your attention the entire duration and at the same time may cause to you look deep inside yourself on what you want and need out of love and out of life.
The bouncy "Farmer John" snaps you out of that, I think of a comely, natural, well built county girl almost every time I listen to it. "Mansion on the Hill" is the track that garnered the most radio airplay at the time. The second ten-minute opus is "Love And Only Love".
The only downer is "Mother Earth" I respect the message Neil is trying to make with this track, but it is completely subpar and totally out of place on the CD, unfortunately, it practically rescues the CD from near perfection. It is a totally expendible track.
This album may have prepared me somewhat for 1991-92 grunge explosion. I was beginning to gravitate towards rawer, grungier rock at the time, not to replace the more polished hard rock or progressive rock that I was listening to but to compliment it. While Neil Young's "Godfather Of Grunge" title is obvious and a little overused now, Ragged Glory helped me welcome the sounds of Nirvana, Soundgarden & Pearl Jam with open arms.
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Initial post: Sep 6, 2014 12:21:00 PM PDT
Robin C. says:
Couldn't have said it any better. My re-introduction back into Neil's music. Loved the previous effort Freedom, but this one? Man, it's killer!
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