Thursday, February 03, 2005

First true greatest hits album.

Over the years, Neil Young has put out a ton of albums. Most of his work as a solo artist has been very critically acclaimed, along with his work playing in bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Buffalo Springfield, and Crazy Horse. His early works are borderline masterpieces, while his middle and later works have also stood out and remained consistent. Oddly enough, Young, who is responsible for many classic songs has never put out a true "Greatest Hits" album. His album "Decade" spans the 70s, and many have cited this as a greatest hits, but not album or box set has truly spanned his whole carear.
Just in time for Christmas, Neil Young put together a greatest hits collection. Unlike many greatest hits collections, Young put his together using a variety of sources; such as radio airplay, spots on the charts, album sales, and oddly enough, internet downloads of his music. Few artists have as much range as Neil Young. He has songs that are hard and appeal to people who like heavier music, for example, "Cinnamon Girl," "Southern Man," "Hey Hey My My (depending on the version)," and "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World". Other songs are extremely mellow and are along the lines of singer-songwriter categorization. Songs like "After the Goldrush," "Old Man," "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," and "Heart of Gold" are great songs to chill to. Not only that, but many of these songs have a country feel that Yound makes his own with his legendary whining vocals. Most of Young's songs consist of rhythmic guitar strumming, sparse pianos, and a simple beat; while other songs consist of large arrangments, these songs include horn and string sections usually.
Honestly, I'd recommend that people just buy his albums and listen to those rather than a greatest hits collection, but for artists like Young, new listeners need some kind of introduction to his catalog of great songs. Young's Greatest Hits is a good place to start for anyone starting to listen to Neil Young


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