Neil Young – Opher’s World pays tribute to Neil Young

Neil youngTo have been the major contributor to a band of the stature of Buffalo Springfield was sufficient to be credited with being a leading force in Rock Music. But Neil’s stature is much greater than that. He was also a huge part of Crosby Stills, Nash and Young, the leader of Neil Young and Crazy Horse and a singer/songwriter who is just as happy acoustically.
As a songwriter his magnitude can only be measured by comparison with the great Bob Dylan. He doesn’t come close but at least he is right up there at the front of the leading pack. Whether electric or acoustic he delivers the goods. Whether writing or performing in the idiom of Folk, Country, Grunge or Hard Rock he gets it spot on.
Neil can move from delicate, melodic, sentimental songs, through atmospheric epics to thunderously chorded riffs that compare with the greatest monsters of Rock.
His lyrics usually bite and the music is distinctive and vital. Neil’s voice is instantly recognisable with its distinctive nasal twang and gentle timbre. That electric guitar sound is a trademark. He says he was inspired as a boy by Hank B Marvin but his style is much more aggressive and raw.
I’ve lost count of the essential tracks he has laid down. His best of must extend to a ten CD box set. Rarely has he produced a dud album despite the huge range of styles he has invested in. His versatility is astounding.
The expectations are so high that when he does come out with a duff album like ‘Hawks and Doves’ or ‘Trans’ it throws you. You wonder where his head was. It seems at times as if every now and then it goes politically off kilter. But then he gets it back together and the radical force that created ‘Ohio’ is back castigating the establishment and offending the rednecks for their belligerence.
My only criticism of Neil is that I personally would have liked to have seen more of Neil’s song-writing genius used to produce songs of real substance with that liberal social political side. The content of so many of his songs has been concerned with love. I like to get my teeth into the issues. Even so, you cannot deny the elemental force that is Neil Young. He’s a monster.

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