4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – ‘Psychedelic Pill’
Young’s reunion with the clattering juggernaut that is Crazy Horse yielded some interesting results. June saw the release of covers LP Americana. With its sense of distorted nostalgia, it didn’t purport to offer any idea as to where a rejuvenated Young wanted to go. The trad folk songs given a typically raucous and occasionally abrasive touch up by some of rock’s great survivors were enough to tide people over. Although it was a nice little curio, many saw it as a play for time before Young made with the original sounds.
Without resting on their laurels, Psychedelic Pill appears a short four months after. Opening with the 27-minute ‘Driftin’ Back’, the album’s ambition and vitality didn’t stop there. Spread over two discs, the album is in possession of two more sprawling missives: “Ramada Inn” and “Walk Like A Giant” both clock in at 16 minutes. The former lacks the bite of the record’s opening track, eschewing the bitter modern commentary for a faintly morose retelling of past days that could have been better, but then again, they could have been worse. The latter does exactly what its title suggests; stomping around with reckless abandon and enveloped in those classic Crazy Horse vocal harmonies. The last five minutes of the track crash and burn into a doom-laden noise-fest that takes its time getting to where it wants to go.
Psychedelic Pill is an album of many moods. It veers from cautious optimism, to sadness and to those odd moments where you feel anything’s possible. Young and Crazy Horse continue to run free. Long may it continue.
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