Celebrating Neil Young’s Birthday In The Glow Of His ‘Harvest Moon’
Neil Young's birthday is today. His many die-hard fans around the world will no doubt be listening to their favorite Neil Young album to celebrate. Question is, which album to choose?
We're talking about a guy who, in his 45-plus years in the business, has released over 35 studio albums and that's not including his work with Buffalo Springfield and CSNY. He no doubt has had one of the most prolific careers in the business. For me it's an easy choice when it comes to my favorite Neil Young album and it's an album he released right around this time 24 years ago, 1992's 'Harvest Moon'.
I still remember the first time I heard the first single from the album. It was an early autumn evening, I had the radio on in the car. Instead of the thick, heavy guitar rock of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana I heard this beautifully-dark acoustic intro followed by that unmistakable voice of Neil Young. It turned out what I was hearing was his brand new single "War Of Man" from his latest album 'Harvest Moon', a sequel to his 1972 classic 'Harvest'. It was the perfect time of year for a song like this. That time of year when the autumn sky lights up with an orange glow and there's a chill in the air. It felt like a scene straight out of a movie. It really was one of those magical moments.
As it turned out "War Of Man" was just a taste of what the rest of the album 'Harvest Moon' had to offer. The opening track "Unknown Legend" features one of the best opening lines of any album - "She used to work in a diner, never saw a woman look finer. I used to order just to watch her float across the floor". The epic closing track "Natural Beauty" is Neil Young at his best as he expresses his love for maybe the most precious woman of them all - Mother Nature.
I listen to 'Harvest Moon' regularly to this day, especially around this time of year. If you've never heard this album before just give it a listen and chances are you may experience the same magic I felt on that autumn afternoon back in 1992.
Happy Birthday Neil Young, thank you for all the great music, especially 'Harvest Moon'.