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Neil Young: Greatest Hits

Neil Young

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iTunes Review

Far from a broad retrospective, Neil Young’s Greatest Hits is just what it purports to be. Young himself notes that the 16 tracks were chosen based on “original record sales, airplay, and known download history,” a method certain to leave large chronological and stylistic gaps. Still, the collection manages to offer a glimpse at some of his musical personas — edgy and searching hard-rocker, socially aware folkie, country troubadour, surreal balladeer — and how they often bleed into one another. “Down by the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand,” from 1969, have the sturdy, rumbling support of Crazy Horse and feature long, jittery guitar explorations built on basic two-chord vamps. Two Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cuts, the wistful, gorgeous “Helpless” and the angry, confrontational “Ohio,” are true rock landmarks. With Young at the piano, 1970’s tender “After the Gold Rush” is full of bizarre imagery that feels both optimistic and ominous. Three tracks from 1972’s Harvest, including “Heart of Gold,” his biggest hit, have a laid-back, pastoral feel. Only two songs here were recorded after 1978: “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a fiery screed from 1989, and “Harvest Moon,” a touching love song from 1991. It’s pointless to mention how narrow a view of Young’s restless career this set provides (oops, too late now) but these brilliantly remastered FM-radio staples are certainly beyond reproach.

Customer Reviews

Such a Gifted Writer

Neil Young is such a talent! There is such an emotional depth to the songs on here and if you listen closley you might just learn something. "Cinnamon Girl" is to to be written about Pamela Courson who was Jim Morrison's muse and soulmate. "Southern Man" is a response to the racism Neil witnessed in the South when he first came to America from Canada. This was the song that inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd to write "Sweet Home Alabama". "Ohio" is from Neil's time with CSN and is written about the Kent State shootings. "The Needle and the Damage Done" is perhaps the most beautiful song on here. It was written about Danny Whitten, the guitarist who played in Young's backing band Crazy Horse. It's a song about heroin addiction. "Rockin' in the Free World" is excellent social commentary written during the Bush era during the 80's. Thats where the line "We've got a thousand points of light" comes from as Bush often used this mantra in his speeches. The guitar palying on tracks such a "Down By the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" showcase Young's amazing guitar skills. I don't understand why "Cortez the Killer" was left off of this album. That song contains the best guitar playing Neil has ever done. If you want to find that song, its on Neil's "Zuma" album. This is a solid collection of songs from a inspiring and passionate man.

Good Compilation

Neil's done so much over his career and had so many great hits that I don't know how a record company could put out a Neil greatest hits without it being a box set. Let's face it. However, these are great hits, so if you're shopping and looking for some outstanding tunes, you found 'em. Hey Hey, My My...

Good, but not quite...

Neil Young is a god, in every sense of the word. But I think most people who seek his music just go straight for the greatest hits, which is usually a gret idea, but not in this case. To get the REAL NEIL YOUNG EXPERIENCE, grab a copy of DECADE. There you will find all the best, and then some. And while it may be ten extra dollars, I assure you, it is worth it!

Biography

Born: November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After Neil Young left the California folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield in 1968, he slowly established himself as one of the most influential and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters of his generation. Young's body of work ranks second only to Bob Dylan in terms of depth, and he was able to sustain his critical reputation, as well as record sales, for a longer period of time than Dylan, partially because of his willfully perverse work ethic. From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s through...
Full Bio

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