- Audio CD
- Publisher: Reprise (November 16, 2004)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00063EMJ6
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 5 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 1,189 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Greatest Hits Audio CD – Import, November 16, 2004
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One question would be: What took him so long? After all, a contemporary like Van Morrison has sold boatloads of his single-disc best-of set to buyers wary of diving into that deep catalog without a primer to get them started. So three and a half decades into his solo career, Neil Young finally delivers his version of that most modest of albums--the pre-holiday "hits" overview. What's surprising, coming from such a proud maverick, is its conventionality. Granted, the original master mixes are a boon for fans, but otherwise, there's not much here for loyalists who quite likely already possess the original "Like a Hurricane" on a couple of albums, as well as a handful of live interpretations scanning the years. Since Young cracked the Top 10 only once (1972's "Heart of Gold"), this set is built around concert staples as "Cinnamon Girl," "Rockin' in the Free World," and "Hey, Hey, My My" rather than chart favorites. Despite Young's honorable standing as a still-vital graybeard, the disc is skewed heavily toward his early work, shortchanging some mighty productive recent years. Peripheral fans may find this set of interest, but faithful followers are better advised to investigate the DVD version, which, at least, includes videos, photos, lyrics, and Web links. --Steven Stolder
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A very satisfying collection for one of music's true survivors!
I bought the disc and got a free digital download of the album as well. Sort of nutz when the digital download version was more expensive than the disc. Anyway...thanks for that.
This one was purchased to be listened to in the vehicle, while in the boat fishing as well as play at our fishing base camp, since we already had one for the house.
It is such a fantastic CD with so many great songs we had to buy another for listening to while driving in the vehicle, and share "out loud" with anyone who actually may have the nerve to dare to venture within 100 yards of our fishing base camp. Not only do we like all the songs, it is obvious from looking at all the fish we catch in the Gulf of Mexico that multiple species of saltwater fish are "lured in" (double entendre intended) to the sounds of Neil Young's Greatest Hits.
That should tell other Amazon buyers a lot, one CD was not enough for us !!!
Top international reviews
1. Down By The River
2. Cowgirl In The Sand
3. Cinnamon Girl
4. Helpless (as part of CSNY)
5. After The Gold Rush
6. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
7. Southern Man
8. Ohio (as part of CSNY)
9. The Needle And The Damage Done (live)
10. Old Man
11. Heart Of Gold
12. Like A Hurricane
13. Comes A Time
14. Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) (live)
15. Rockin' In The Free World
16. Harvest Moon
The first three cuts are classics from Young's second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, including the two extended tracks that bookended the album. Just check out Down By The River as an example of how good the remastering is - it is rich, deep, warm and bassy. A real pleasure to listen to,as is the great guitar work throughout the song. That exact quality is even more apparent on the superb, rambling (but never boring), Cowgirl In The Sand. Young and Crazy Horse could really ramp it up. For 1969, this was ground-breaking, impressive, improvisational stuff. Man, that guitar sound. Cinnamon Girl is one of that album's two shorter, rocky numbers. It is an infectious merging of late sixties slightly psych-ish vibes with the solid rock sound that would be used in the seventies.
Helpless came from Young's Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album, Deja Vu. It is a suitably atmospheric slice of folk rock. Slow, dignified, melodic and evocative. Young sings plaintively of his "town in North Ontario". The town was said to be Omemee, Young's hometown, which now has a museum dedicated to him. After The Gold Rush is one of Young's best-known songs - a haunting song that nobody really knows the meaning to, but there's something very Woodstock, very late sixties/early seventies hippy about it. The flugelhorn perfectly merges with Young's bleak but melodic piano. Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a very late sixties, breezy, harmonious love song. It showed that the often cynical, caustic Young had a tenderness deep within him. Southern Man has achieved notoriety in that it was the song that provoked Lynyrd Skynyrd to write Sweet Home Alabama as a response to Young's daring to call into question the often racist ways of many in the south of the USA. Young was dead right if you ask me, particularly in 1969. Lynyrd Skynyrd should have taken a look out of their own window, much as I love their music. Anyway, it is a great song, with a solid, pertinent message and some excellent guitar. Ohio continues in the "protest song" vein, detailing the Kent State University killings of four protesting students by the Ohio National Guard. Again, this song leaves you in no doubt as its meaning. Fair play to Young once more for highlighting this shocking incident in song.
The Needle And The Damage Done is a quiet, acoustic but hard-hitting anti-drug song. The recording here is a live one. Old Man is an appealing acoustic and bass-driven folky number, enhanced by some gentle drums and piano. It is very typical of the early seventies folk rock period. Heart Of Gold is another well-known song, a mixture of acoustic and more solid rock, taken at a mid-pace with another enigmatic and memorable lyric. Like A Hurricane sees Young return to guitar-driven, more conventional rock. It is full of searing lead guitar and is overall a barnstormer of a track. Roxy Music and solo Bryan Ferry have covered the song successfully over the years.
Comes A Time is a country violin-powered folky number. Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) is from Young's live album, Rust Never Sleeps (recorded live then overdubbed in the studio). It was Young's response to the punk genre and what he perceived as his growing irrelevance. It contains some buzzy, grungy guitar that went down well with punks at the time. Young's "difficult" and "irascible" persona also endeared him to many. It was popular in 1979 and remains so. It was notable for its lyrical reference to Johnny Rotten, already "gone but not forgotten". The solid guitar riffage continues on the iconic Rockin' In The Free World, with its easy to sing along with chorus. Young was, by now, seen as a sort of grand old man still protesting away. He was about to become "the Godfather of Grunge". Those titles are very annoying. Harvest Moon, from 1992, is a less abrasive and gently appealing, laid-back song.
Personally, I feel there are periods in Young's career and some songs that have been overlooked - Cortez The Killer, Welfare Mothers, Mansion On The Hill and Powderfinger, for example. That is nit-picking, though, as this, particularly with its excellent sound quality, is a great listen.
Personally I'd hate to have to boil down the career of Mr.Young into 16 tracks, although I don't think I would have devoted almost 20 precious minutes to two long and similar tracks from the first album with Crazy Horse ("Cowgirl in the sand" & "Down by the river") whilst ignoring material from the "Zuma" and "Ragged Glory" albums (to name but two) - but there you go.
This aside, this is a great overview of the career of one of rock's great innovators - it's all here from the plaintive, fragile introspection of the "Goldrush"/"Harvest" era to the hard rockin' Crazy Horse material with a little bit of CSNY thrown in for good measure.
What grabs me about Young (apart from his unique voice and demented guitar solos) is his ironic, almost subversive take on life, "Rockin' In The Free World" for example, a song released around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the old Soviet empire, ostensbly sounds like an anthem for Republican cold-war warriors, when in fact the verses reveal the darker side of life in the good ol' western world. With Neil Young what you see isn't always what you get.
To concude this is a wonderful album and a great place to start/update your Neil Young collection, and the price makes it unmissable.
Brilliant memories evoked by beautiful Album!!