1989 - 1996 was a period of creative and professional rebirth for Neil Young. He was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame in 1995 and enjoy a renewed popularity and critical acclaim. He would also be connected by the media to the hottest new music buzz word/style as the Godfather of Grunge. I have outlined the releases from this era below. Please note what I deem to be the ESSENTIAL releases.
|1989 - Neil Young - Eldorado EP: Just 5 songs, 3 of which appear on his next release Freedom. The first glimpses of Neil back on his game.|
|1989 - Neil Young - Freedom: Neil’s best album since 1979’s Rust Never Sleeps. This release is book ended by a live acoustic version and studio version with full band of the great anthemic song “Rockin’ in the Free World”. ESSENTIAL
|1990 - Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Ragged Glory: Neil reunites with the Horse and famed producer David Briggs for this album that proved that he and the Horse could still rock out. I have always thought that the title of this record was the perfect descriptor for the bands particular brand of raw, unbridled rock n roll. ESSENTIAL
|1992 - Neil Young - Harvest Moon: This album was partly intended to be a sequel to one of Neil’s most popular albums Harvest, having roughly the same players and feel as the original. It unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor but it is a solid and consistent release. ESSENTIAL
|1994 - Neil Young - Sleeps With Angels: Neil was creatively reinvigorated and he claims he was inspired by the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain. Sadly the albums release would precede another death, as David Briggs would die of lung cancer in 1995. This was their last collaboration together. The album features some of the most instrumentally and tonally diverse to come from the band.|
|1995 - Neil Young - Mirror Ball: Instead of using Crazy Horse on this release he decided to enlist Pearl Jam and they were happy to back him. Whatever your opinion of the band they are a tight rock band and they provided a great backdrop to some enjoyable songs on this release. ESSENTIAL
|1996 - Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Broken Arrow: Along the same vibe as the previous two records. After this record Neil would retreat from public life and go on a long hiatus.
|Live Albums from this period:|
|1991 - Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Arc/Weld: Weld is a great heavy set of Neil/Horse classics. This conventional live album was also releases as a double disc set that included the bonus disc Arc which is a bit of an anomaly being it was a compilation of snippets of shapeless heavy distortion recorded during that tour.
|1993 - Neil Young - Unplugged: Famously preformed twice because Neil wasn’t happy with the first performance. In fact he was so unhappy with it he paid for the first performance himself. Although he was extremely sensitive about the decision to team up with MTV on this, he ends up putting out a compelling acoustic performance with some great acoustic versions of classics like Mr. Soul, Pocahontas, and Transformer Man. ESSENTIAL
Here is a playlist I have put together featuring my favorites from this era. If you can not see the playlist below, please follow this link.
This will be my last post on Neil Young… for at least awhile. I will not be covering Neil’s music from 2000 on as I have found little interest in it outside of a few releases.
Posted originally: 2009-04-11 00:40:24