Harvest is an album by Neil Young, which was the best-selling album of 1972. The album featured several high calibre guests, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, David Crosby and James Taylor. Harvest hit #1 on the Billboard Music Charts (North America) pop albums chart, spawning two hit singles, "Old Man", which peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Heart of Gold", which peaked at #1.
After the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young split, Young recruited a new group of country session musicians, which he christened The Stray Gators and recorded a country rock record in Harvest. The record was a massive hit, producing a US number one single in "Heart of Gold". Other songs returned to some usual Young themes: "Alabama" was "an unblushing rehash of 'Southern Man'"; "Words (Between the Lines of Age)" featured a lengthy guitar workout with the band; and "The Needle and the Damage Done" was a lament for great artists who had died of heroin addiction. The album's success caught Young off guard and his first instinct was to back away from stardom. He would later write that "Heart of Gold" "put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there.
According to a Rolling Stone interview, Young had wanted the album sleeve to biodegrade after the shrink-wrap was broken, but was overruled by the record company on the basis of expense and the possible product loss due to shipping accidents.
In 2002 (the 30th Anniversary of the album) Harvest was digitally remixed and remastered for the DVD-Audio format. The new 5.1 mix was a minor subject of controversy due to its unconventional panning (with the vocals in the centre of the room and the drums in the rear speakers).
All songs written by Neil Young.
|Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart|