10 January 2009

Best Albums of '08: Neil Young - Sugar Mountain

Neil Young sounds a lot like . . . Well, I'm sure he sounds like someone before him, but he has now himself become a fixed standard to which others are compared. He is an American original. This is a live album recorded in 1968 just after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, as he was preparing to launch his solo career. He of course does some Springfield ("Mr. Soul," "Broken Arrow"), but mostly material he would release on his first album, or later albums. Young has always been a stripped-to-the-bone performer, but it doesn't get any more basic than this: Young and his acoustic guitar. It's a great snapshot of an iconic singer/songwriter just coming into his full powers, at the age of 22. If you don't like this, you won't like anything by Young. NPR's Bob Boilen did a great piece on Young and this album that you can read here. And now, the whole album, and in the proper track order (!).

No comments: