My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: On the Beach is Neil Young’s fifth solo album. It was recorded in early 1974 and released in July of that year. On the Beach was not re-released on CD until 2003, making it a difficult find until that point.
What I think: This album finds Young in a dour mood looking at things from a dark place (although supposedly not as dark as Tonight’s the Night which was recorded before this album, but would be released after). And really it doesn’t surprise me. The socially, politically and environmentally aware Young wouldn’t have seen a lot of bright spots in the world of 1974 and it doesn’t sound like he was in a great place personally either.
The results are some fairly straight forward Rock, Folk and Blues songs that are what I would expect from Young and make a really complete album from back to front, with side two being the more subdued. Highlights for me are “Walk On” and “Revolution Blues”, but there really isn’t a bad track here.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I knew this album by reputation as a sort of difficult album. It’s a great piece though and I’m glad it’s here.
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
On the Beach Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (257/329)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%