On The Beach review by Neil Young

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1974
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.6 (14 votes)
Neil Young: On The Beach

Sound — 10
This album was released in 1974, as the follow up to Neil's immensely successful Harvest album. However, this was not the album that was intended to be released. Between these albums, Neil's guitarist Danny Whitten died of a drug overdose. This was a very dark time and Neil put the album Tonight's the Night out to be released, but his label said it was too dark to put out and told him to make another one. So he came up with this one. This is a very "chill" album. Very mellow and it takes it's time getting to where it needs to go.

Lyrics — 10
The first song Walk On, was a response song to Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama, which in turn was a response to Neil's Southern Man. And Ambulance Blues is, in my opinion, his best written song ever. It goes on forever and each stanza gets better than the last. His best line is "You're all just pissin' in the wind; you don't know it, but you are. And there ain't nothin like a friend; who can tell you you're just pissin' in the wind." This is Neil at his best on this album.

Overall Impression — 10
It's his best album, more fluid and mature than After The Goldrush and more diverse and introspective than Harvest. I love everything about it. The best songs are On the Beach, Ambulance Blues, amd Motion Pictures, oh and Revolution Blues, and Vampire Blues. Or The Blues Trilogy as it is known. Go buy it!

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is Neil's best album, I love the whole mellow and dark feel it has to it. All the songs are great and they really show how deep Neil can be. Too bad this album wasn't very widely received by the public and critics, but what do they know?
    Best track on there is probably For the Turnstiles, excellent vocals intertwined with that dominant banjo playing, a beautiful song that burns through your soul.
    one of my favorite Neil albums. I will probably never get tired of songs like On the Beach and Ambulance Blues. 9/10