My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: After the Gold Rush was recorded during the second half of 1969 and the first half of 1970. The album was released in September of 1970. The backing musicians on the album consisted of both members of Crazy Horse and the backing musicians for CSN&Y. Nils Lofgren also plays piano on the album. The album was originally intended to be a soundtrack for a screenplay of the same name that was never made into a film.
What I think: Well it looks like 1970 was the year of albums from CSN&Y, Black Sabbath and the Carpenters. We’ll just keep rotating them for the time being.
The lack of diversity being forgiven, this is a really great album that really fires on all cylinders, especially on the first side. I love how Young can be tender and viscous in alternating songs. You have the wonderfully sad “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” followed by the harsh(and certainly earned) criticism of “Southern Man” (the song that along with Young’s “Alabama” inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd to write “Sweet Home Alabama”), then followed by the beautiful “Till the Morning Comes”. That three song stretch is as good as it gets.
The second half of the album, while still good, sags somewhat compared to the first, with “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” being the highlight.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I’ve never been a big Young fan, but maybe I’ve just never given him the chance he deserved. This album certainly belongs here.
Rating (Out of 5): 4
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (151/195)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%