Classic Album Sundays: Neil Young – After The Gold Rush26.05.19
Founded by radio host, music producer, label owner and journalist, Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy, Classic Album Sundays allows listeners to fully immerse themselves into an album by exploring its context, the making of and a full replay of the album on vinyl. This month, Classic Album Sundays presents Neil Young’s ‘After The Gold Rush’.
The ’60s were barely over and the ’70s just starting when Neil Young recorded a requiem for the era. The mournful title track to his third album, After the Gold Rush (which was released on Sept. 19, 1970), is ostensibly an ode to the environment, but viewed from other angles, deeper implications surface.
It’s also the end of an early chapter in Young’s career. After breaking from Buffalo Springfield and releasing his debut solo album in 1968, the singer-songwriter would begin what would become the first of many career left turns. On 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, he plugged in and scraped away at the scabs with the young Crazy Horse.
But by the following year, when he was set to make a follow-up LP, he had fired them (but retained a few songs they had already laid down) and retreated to his basement in Topanga, Calif., where he started recording tracks for the follow-up record, a 360-degree turn into acoustic country and folk music with a group of musicians whose approach was a bit more delicate.
Rubbing against the plugged-in numbers left over from the Crazy Horse sessions, the new songs — which featured 18-year-old Nils Lofgren on guitar and piano, an instrument he was mostly unfamiliar with — helped create a ragged and almost disjointed record that’s never quite sure if it’s electric or acoustic, part of the ’60s or part of the ’70s.
And it’s a brilliant juxtaposition, one that gives After the Gold Rush a feeling of frustration and resignation. It’s a romantic album too — the soft “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is a highlight — but the sting of “Southern Man,” which immediately follows in the track listing, tempers the mood.
Listen now Tracklist
Shaun Davey – The Night Flight [CBS]
Andwella’s Dream – Lost A Number, Found A King [CBS]
John Wadham & Brian Dunning & Frank Hess – Floatin’ [Allchival]
Taxi – Continuing Time My Way [Golden Guinea]
Skid Row – Felicity [CBS]
Jim Doherty Trio – Ladies Wear [Decca]
Noel Kelehan Trio – Dublin Blues [Emerald]
Granny’s Intentions – Nutmeg, Bitter Suite [Allchival]
Eire Apparent – Yes, I Need Someone [Buddah]
Taste – On The Boards [Allchival]
Them – Just One Conception [Tower]
Joe O’Donnell – Caravan [Allchival]
Nirvana – Requiem To John Coltrane [Island]
Noel Kelehan Quintet – Spon Song [Allchival]
Scullion – Back At 2 [Wea]
Thin Lizzy – The Friendly Ranger At Clontarf Castle [Decca]
Supply, Demand & Curve – When You’re By Yourself [Allchival]
Apartment – Weekend [Allchival]
Jonathan Kelly’s Outside – Sensation Street [RCA Victor]
Pat’s People – December Sequel [Not on Label]
The Plattermen – African Wah Wah [Allchival]