10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Neil Young’s first solo album following his exit from Buffalo Springfield had him continuing to collaborate with Jack Nitzsche, who put the magic touch on “Expecting to Fly.” The opening instrumental “The Emperor of Wyoming” wasn’t much of a departure from Buffalo Springfield’s implementation of country and western, but Nitzsche’s penchant for string saturation can be heard immediately on the following “The Loner,” where the lush, sweeping accompaniments rub against the gritty grain of Young’s distorted guitar fuzz. Both Young and Nitzsche exercised some restraint on “The Old Laughing Lady,” a tastefully orchestral folk-rock tune where the more ornate arrangements are peripheral before a swell of backing gospel singers take over the song’s bridge. At just over a minute long, “String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill” gives Nitzsche free rein to set the tone for the romantic and pastoral “Here We Are In the Years.” The album’s standout “I’ve Loved Her So Long” best recalls “Expecting to Fly” in pace, structure and tone, though the nearly ten-minute-long “The Last Trip to Tulsa” proves to be the album’s epic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Neil Young’s first solo album following his exit from Buffalo Springfield had him continuing to collaborate with Jack Nitzsche, who put the magic touch on “Expecting to Fly.” The opening instrumental “The Emperor of Wyoming” wasn’t much of a departure from Buffalo Springfield’s implementation of country and western, but Nitzsche’s penchant for string saturation can be heard immediately on the following “The Loner,” where the lush, sweeping accompaniments rub against the gritty grain of Young’s distorted guitar fuzz. Both Young and Nitzsche exercised some restraint on “The Old Laughing Lady,” a tastefully orchestral folk-rock tune where the more ornate arrangements are peripheral before a swell of backing gospel singers take over the song’s bridge. At just over a minute long, “String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill” gives Nitzsche free rein to set the tone for the romantic and pastoral “Here We Are In the Years.” The album’s standout “I’ve Loved Her So Long” best recalls “Expecting to Fly” in pace, structure and tone, though the nearly ten-minute-long “The Last Trip to Tulsa” proves to be the album’s epic.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Joseph Ward ,

What would it be like...

I'm too young so I can only imagine what it would be like to pick up this record in 1968/69. This may not be Neil Young's best effort, but many of his hallmark songwriting styles are there and his voice is very strong and distinct. I imagine that this was a grand departure from the music of the day. It's very different from Buffalo Springfield's hits and even somewhat different from some of their other more Neil inspired songs. It is a good first effort and I would echo the other reviewers single song recommendations. If you're a Neil Young fan, don't hesitate... this is exactly what you want!

Browning21 ,

browning21 C'mon great ghosts

How can u explain visionaries early productions that shake your inner foundations right down to the core whether it be Young, Cobain, Barrett, Shields, or Wilson. Take a guess. How does Young continue to release gems when the others lose their mojo? Any who this album certainly brings to mind the 50's great soul and country artists that certainly influenced Neil and his contemps. Is the loner for real or should it be ignored? His lyrics are Supernatural and the guitar is Divine. Thanks Neil. It seems to rank up there with other first efforts aforementioned as well as Bob's,

Che Joubert ,

Neil Young

I bought this when it came out - I guess it was '68 - it pretty much formed my musical taste for ever after. I consider Neil's first three albums by far his best. Songs like Old Man and Heart of Gold were pretty, no doubt, but not so amazingly divine, and I mean that in the highest sense, as albums like this. No one ever did music like his first few albums before or since.

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