Neil Young

Hitch­hiker

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Albums - everett True

Young’s 38th stu­dio al­bum. Thirty-eighth!

You might think this al­bum might not be worth both­er­ing with. You’d be wrong. Orig­i­nally recorded as part of a series of ses­sions (’7577) with pro­ducer David Briggs at Indigo Ranch in Mal­ibu, CA (recorded on nights with a full moon), this al­bum was writ­ten and recorded on the night of Au­gust 11, 1976. Why it didn’t get re­leased at the time is any­one’s guess. It’s in­cred­i­ble. Indelible. Poc­a­hon­tas (later to show up on Rust Never Sleeps) sounds, to coin Rolling Stone’s phrase, “ag­o­nis­ingly lonely”. Pow­derfin­ger (also on Rust) is not only one of the great­est songs ever writ­ten, but also ben­e­fits con­sid­er­ably from sound­ing so stark, stoned and in­ti­mate. Cap­tain Kennedy (Hawks And Doves) like­wise.

As critic Dave Marsh stated: “Young wrote as bril­liant a state­ment of Amer­i­can ni­hilism and de­spair as any rock writer.”

Orig­i­nally re­jected by Reprise Records ex­ec­u­tives as be­ing noth­ing more than a bunch of demos, the en­tire set is spun with some strange, sur­real and beau­ti­ful magic. Just one night from Young’s fer­tile, febrile mid70s pe­riod.

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