I was first introduced to Neil Young, when he teamed up with Pearl Jam, to perform Rockin’ in the Free World in 1993. But it would be another two years before my admiration and exposure to Neil Young truly took off, when he teamed up again with Pearl Jam, but this time to record together on Young’s Mirror Ball album. Interestingly, at the tail end of that collaboration, Young and PJ would lay down tracks for Merkin Ball (not to be confused with Young’s Mirror Ball), a two-song single (The Long Road & I Got ID) that would be released under PJ’s Epic label, which today I believe stand as two of PJ’s finest songs ever.
It’s safe to say after buying both releases, I became obsessed with Neil Young, to the point where I completely immerse myself with his entire back catalogue. I was blown away by his array of deeply heartfelt lyrics and even more so by his ever changing musical style. In short, I just love how comfortable he seemed, whether he was playing an acoustic set, or cranking it up with his signature distorted electric guitar.
When it comes to ‘maximum fuzz’, there is arguably no better album for me than Young’s Le Noise. One of my favourite songs on it is called Hitchhiker, which interestingly was an unreleased song recorded way back in 1976, and which last year resurfaced on his intimate acoustic archival album called Hitchhiker (2017). You can hear the song HERE. That said, there is a lot to like about both versions of this song but it is the gutsy messy distorted reverb-heavy version from his Le Noise album that when push comes to shove that I really love the most. Enjoy!
Photo credit: The header image of Neil Young is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 license. I am not the uploader of You Tube clip embedded here.
Nice write-up Robert. I really have come to appreciate him over the years when early on, I didn’t get the hype. I get it now.