Neil Young on the “worst record” he ever made

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Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young is certainly one of the most highly regarded musicians of this generation.

One album which marked his solo career was ‘After the Gold Rush’ which was released in 1970. This led to him being one of the most prolific and vital artists of the rock-folk generation.

Neil is a talented and influential musician and has contributed a lot to the field of music. His unique voice and guitar style have helped to shape the sound of many popular bands and artists.

And he has inspired countless musicians over the years with his innovative approach to songwriting and performance.

His writing material for ‘Harvest’ in the early 1970s reveals his love for peaceful countryside life which is hard to come across.

He revealed, “About that time when I wrote [‘Heart of Gold’], and I was touring, I had also—just, you know, being a rich hippie for the first time—I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today. And there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avila and his wife Clara. And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep”.

Neil added, “He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there’s this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, ‘Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?’ And I said, ‘Well, just lucky, Louis, just real lucky.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s the darnedest thing I ever heard.’ And I wrote this song for him.”

His songs revolve around concepts of country, rock, blues, and even grunge sound. His sound of ‘The Rust Never Sleeps’ earned him the title of ‘The Godfather of Grunge’.

Neil also had his own ups and down in his career and that’s when Neil’s ‘Time Fades Away’ was released in 1973. A live album recorded with The Stray Gators on the supporting tour for 1972’s Harvest.

It is certainly something that Neil didn’t like. After his 1972’s Harvest, fans were waiting for more songs that matched the previous vibe but it was just laid back.

Fans were not expecting to hear everything that played on the album when they purchased it. Neil undeniably had things to say about it too. In a British Radio Interview in 1978 with Dave Ferrin, Neil commented,

“My least favorite record is Time Fades Away. I think it’s the worst record I ever made – but as a documentary of what was happening to me, it was a great record. I was onstage and I was playing all these songs that nobody had heard before, recording them, and I didn’t have the right band. It was just an uncomfortable tour. It was supposed to be this big deal – I just had Harvest out, and they booked me into ninety cities. I felt like a product, and I had this band of all-star musicians that couldn’t even look at each other. It was a total joke.” 

Even during an interview from Q magazine in 1999, when asked what’s the worst record you ever made? He responded with.

Probably ‘Time Fades Away‘ but only because it makes me so nervous. The whole tour was a nervous experience. It wasn’t really a lot of fun. I kind of got into documenting that vibe. It’s not something I want to listen to a lot and when I listen to it I’m not that impressed.”

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