Neil Young, On The Beach (1974)
The first time I ever heard this was in 2003 – when it was first issued on CD. I fell for it, fell under its spell on first listen. I was already well into my run as a huge Neil Young fan – couldn’t believe I’d never heard this, but back then there wasn’t much way to hear it unless you knew someone who had the LP from when it came out…and I didn’t. So I knew a couple of the songs only, from compilations and bootlegs and then the rest of the album was a revelation. That’s over a decade then, a decade and a half pretty much, of being in love with this album – many times On The Beach was the only thing to turn to, a perfect end-of-night album, a perfect last-drink album (also a pretty great first-drink album); one to share with friends, one to listen to on your own…and then I figured I should really find the LP. It was reissued too – but only recently. I’ve had a few opportunities where I could have chosen it but picked something else. Finally, just recently, I made the call, took the plunge, returned home with this magical record. And first night listening to it – I saved it – was when I was enjoying a whisky – my first after an operation – I’d lived with a polyp in my nose, blocking my ear, nose and throat for about a year. When they removed it I was cured. Overnight. Well, pretty much in one day. A couple of days later, the end of a rather surreal week all up, I sat with a half bottle of Johnnie Walker Island Green – a magical drop – and listened to this album right through for the first time on vinyl. Every bit as good as I’d hoped. And then maybe even a little bit more than that. One of my all-time favourite albums by one of my all-time favourite acts. Perhaps he was actually never better than when he made these songs.
Sample Track: See The Sky About To Rain
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown