Neil Young famously wrote that "Heart of Gold," Harvest's monster country-rock smash, "put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch." A smoother album than most of what Young doled out for the rest of the '70s, Harvest nonetheless has its own charms. "Out on the Weekend," and "Heart of Gold" itself are lonely country ballads; so is the orchestrated "A Man Needs a Maid," in spirit. The album also warily peered at a world beyond Young's ranch: "Alabama" might have been an even better take on "Southern Man," and "The Needle and the Damage Done" was a no less aching precursor of "Tonight's the Night." Harvest was one of the things that won him the freedom to drive in the gullies, but it's also a good trip in itself.