20 Years Ago: Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ Released
âHarvest Moonâ was heralded as the sequel to âHarvest,â Neil Youngâs 1972 classic that remains his only No. 1 album. But we heard that before: Everything from the unreleased (but heavily bootlegged) 1977 LP âChrome Dreamsâ to various songs that have appeared on albums throughout the â70s and â80s have claimed that honor.
But âHarvest Moonâ seemed like the real thing when it was released 20 years ago today, especially since many of the musicians who appear on the albumâs 10 songs also played on âHarvest.â Plus, thereâs the tone of the record: stripped-down country-folk songs about love and life, fidelity and death.
Itâs a more somber and reflective work than the album that came right before it, 1990âs blazing âRagged Glory,â which Young made with Crazy Horse. âRagged Gloryâ reignited his career, which took a huge hit in the â80s until 1989âs âFreedomâ began resurrecting it. Coming after that amp-burninâ masterpiece, âHarvest Moonâ often played like the first morning after a long, lost weekend.
Still, âHarvest Moonâ became Youngâs highest-charting album since 1979âs âRust Never Sleeps,â reaching No. 16, and one of his best-sellers (only the original âHarvestâ has sold more copies). And tracks like âWar of Man,â âUnknown Legendâ and the title tune are among his most durable songs of the past couple of decades.
Watch Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ Video