Neil Young – Words (Between the Lines of Age)

• “Words (Between the Lines of Age)” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to Christopher Forte.

8.2 “Fantastic Rock from the USA”

From his album “Harvest” (Reprise Records MS-2032) released in 1972.

My album review:

America’s best-selling album of 1972 has plenty going for it. The usual brand of agreeable head-nodding Americana is present early doors on tracks like “Out on the Weekend” and “Heart Of Gold”. The mid-section has “A Man Needs A Maid” and “There’s A World”, both of which benefit enormously from the accompaniment by the London Symphony Orchestra and the arrangements by Jack Nitzsche. Neil gets into trouble with many in “Alabama” as he takes a covert dig at racism. It’s right-on, even if a bit boring musically. Much more appealing as a performance is “The Needle and the Damage Done”, which Young elects to be represented by an acoustic version recorded live in concert back in January 1971. It’s all the more poignant for being delivered so starkly. The song is inspired by the heroin addiction of his friend, and Crazy Horse bandmate, Danny Whitten; he loves the guy but can’t stand to watch the debilitating effect the addiction is having on his talent. In a horrible twist of fate, Whitten would be dead before the year was out on a drugs-related misadventure. “Words (Between the Lines of Age)” closes the album gloriously, as the slow-paced rocker meanders for almost 7 minutes on pure vibe and feeling, with fantastic contributions from Ben Keith (pedal steel guitar) and Jack Nitzsche (piano). Right here, the philosophical dreamer is in fine form.

You can check out the rest of my album reviews for 1972 here.


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