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Neil Young - Harvest Moon

On November 2, 1992, Neil Young released his 19th studio album "Harvest Moon".



This is exactly the album you need to listen to right now. So this time let's do it differently. Please jump straight to the end of the review, click play, and start listening to this magic. We'll wait....


Did you click? Fine, so you can start ....


In 1992 exactly 20 years after the album "Harvest" Neil Young returns with an album reminiscent of that masterpiece. Neil Young insisted it was not a sequel, but this album certainly corresponds with that mind-blowing album.


Apparently, the album title explains the connection with "Harvest" in the best way. it makes it clear to us that this is the same family and therefore there are many similarities between the two brothers. At the same time, it has an addition. A kind of reminder that there is still an age gap between the two, so there is no chance that we will get "more of the same", but instead it would be the "next generation" version, more contemporary, and more up-to-date.


The great similarity between the two albums is not only found in the title. Similar to the "Harvest", this album was recorded in Nashville and with the same group of musicians who accompanied Young on that masterpiece: Ben Keith on the steal pedal, Tim Drummand on bass, Kenny Buttrey on drums and Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor on background vocals.


On this album Young chooses to go as far as possible from the sound that has established his title as the "godfather of grunge". Even before the "Arc" feedback subsided, even before the distortion sounds of "Weld" disappeared, Young replaced his electric "1953 Gibson Les Paul" with the acoustic "Martin D-45" and created for us a peaceful, calm, quiet, Magical and exciting album.


This album once again proves to us what we already know about Neil Young. He always does what feels right to him, not what is expected of him. He broke into electronic music with "Trans" when he thought it would help him communicate with his son who was born with cerebral palsy. He played "Rockabilly" on the album "Everybody's Rockin" as revenge on the record company that refused to release the album "Old Ways" and he does it again this time with "Harvest Moon", When everyone expected him to continue riding the grunge wave and produce another grungy and rough album. Just think what the music market looked like in 1992 and you will understand that it took quite a bit of courage to release a country-folk album at this time, especially after a huge live album like "Weld".


And what amazing songs there are in this album.


The romantic opening song "Unknown Legend" was inspired by Young's wife at the time Pegi Morton Young. Young first met Peggy when she was working in a restaurant and the song does refer to a waitress, a mother of two, who once lived restlessness on the roads, riding a Harley Davidson in the desert, with the chrome and steel blending with the air she breathes ...


"From Hank To Hendrix" continues along the same lines and describes the changes in the relationship over time, with Young mentioning various artists as reference points to the stage of the relationship, including those who influenced him musically like Hank Williams and Jimi Hendrix also mentioned in the song title.


The third song "You and Me" already proves to us that "Relationships" are probably the connecting thread between the songs on the album. How do you make a relationship last? How do we keep it alive and well despite over time? How do you make love last? The whole song is an invitation to cherish the past while maintaining hope for a good future. This track mentions and corresponds with "Old Man" from that masterful album ...


The perfect theme song "Harvest Moon" uses the motif of the "Moon", which Young mentioned as a very important factor and has a great influence on him. The influence of the moon on Young is so great that this motif is repeated in almost 30 of his songs. This song is also a tribute to Young's wife - Peggy and you can even see the two dancing in a bar in a video clip released for the song, here:


It is interesting that Young plays in this song with quite a few instruments. Guitar, harmonica, banjo, piano, organ, vibraphone. Another interesting fact is that the chords in the song is "Borrowed" from that of "The Everly Brothers" in the song "Walk Right Back", see here:


The dark folk-style "War of Man" track that addresses the destructive instinct of the human race, is one of our favorites on this excellent album. The chorus is so magical and catchy and the chord sequence is mesmerizing.


"Such a Woman" is a pure and moving love song and another homage to Neil Young's wife. Have we already said "relationships"?


And it's impossible not to mention the final track "Natural Beauty", more than 10 minutes of "natural beauty," recorded live in Portland, Oregon on January 23, 1992.


And now just let the music speak: Spotify, Apple Music


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