Fifty years ago, Neil Young released his third album, After The Gold Rush. His self-titled debut album seemed tentative. His second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, was the first to feature his band, Crazy Horse, and proved an unsurprising hit. After The Gold Rush proved a different sort of experience. Wistful, a bit melancholic, yet not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, it promised much—and it delivered. But it’s the title track that really endures. Though the song’s lyrics are quite oblique—and Young himself doesn’t claim to know what they mean—he sings of things relating to relationships, drugs, ecology, and death. It’s since become one of his greatest hits and one still heard on radio and is a live set standard—even though it was never released as a proper single. Still hits hard, thanks to Young’s fantastic singing and a haunting flugelhorn. A perfect song, bar none.
Purchase Neil Young After The Gold Rush: 50th Anniversary Edition: Amazon