THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Official Release Series Discs 1-4 (Reprise)

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Everybody Knows This is Nowhere: The Losing End
THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Official Release Series Discs 1-4 (Reprise)

Just as you could argue that on his debut album Are You Experienced, Jimi Hendrix sketched out the map of sounds and styles he would explore in his short career, so you could make the case that on his first four albums Neil Young did much the same for his long career.

With the obvious exception of the electro-pop Trans, of course.

But from his folksy self-titled debut album in '68 (with Ry Cooder, Jack Nitzsche and others) through Everybody Knows This is Nowhere just six months later (with the band that would become Crazy Horse) to the career-defining After the Goldrush ('70) and Harvest ('72), Young pulled out sensitive singer-songwriter tropes, country, folk, folk-rock and noisy rock in songs which were introverted, extroverted, mystical, yearning, angry, hokey and . . .

Yes, even back then he was an unpredictable character and the span of the music on these albums is pretty much what he has explored, off and on, ever since in his solo career (outside of forays with Crosby, Stills and Nash).

While that debut sounds perhaps rather too much a product of its period, material from Everybody -- notably Cinnamon Girl and the 10 minute Cowgirl in the Sand -- sound like a template for just about every album with Crazy Horse since, probably because when they recorded they'd only been together for a few months and that ragged edge was what Young liked . . . and they remained faithful to.

Then of course Goldrush and Harvest delivered cornerstone songs and/or hits (Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Southern Man, When You Dance I Can Really Love, Heart of Gold, Old Man, The Needle and The Damage Done etc) 

After these albums Young got darker (the double whammy from the depths of On the Beach and Tonight's the Night, the latter recorded some years previous, in the mid Seventies) but as a starting point on a long journey, these first four are, literally, where the Neil Young story begins.

JB_HZ_CHEAP_longAll four have been remastered and come in a tidy box and are released through Young's archive programme.

At just $25 from JB Hi-Fi stores here, this -- which incidentally allowed me to pick up my first ever copy of Harvest -- is our Bargain Buy

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Rob Stowell - Sep 17, 2012

Wow, 4 for $25 is pretty irresistible. I'm gonna grab it!
I've been hanging out in Young's 'dark zone' lately- "Tonight' and 'On the Beach' especially Albequerque (I keep waiting for it to turn up in 'Breaking Bad' but not so far :)) and 'Revolution Blues'.
Great songs, great musicians.

Where Else? - Sep 17, 2012

That's a very good price. It's currently NZD$22.52 (excl VAT) on Amazon UK and NZD$29.51 on Amazon USA (via market place dealer "Zoverstocks"). Both prices include shipping to NZ. Boxed sets in NZ used to be well above the UK and US prices. Well done JB HiFi.

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