(Neil Young is not my favorite artist although I do like him very much nor did he produce the best record of the 1970’s but he did produce a number of stellar records within that decade so I’m giving him his own post)
AFTER THE GOLD RUSH (1970) Young’s best record and it’s like a textbook of what makes him great – His singing voice, perhaps music’s most honest vocal, his deceptively simple songwriting, his ability to alternate loud and soft styles for the same effect. His best collection of songs – Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Birds, When You Dance
RUST NEVER SLEEPS (1979) Young closed out the decade with his second best record. Perhaps his best expression of the loud and the soft as he very clearly tells those who wrote him off him or any aging rocker in the wake of punk rock and the death of Elvis F You. Relevance x 100.
ZUMA (1975) Young at his most solid, pretty ballads but also a barn burner like Danger Bird where he can solo away.
TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT (1975) Hailed by many as his masterpiece. His mediation on death and loss and drug abuse in the wake of the deaths of two people close to him must be listened all the way through. It is brilliant and moving but many of the songs here are too tired sounding and weird to exist separately.
HARVEST (1972) Young uses acoustic based music, some country influences, and strings to produce a quiet melodic record of very nice songs.
ON THE BEACH (1974) His most challenging record of the 70’s. It’s weird sure but also arty and the songs are very diverse.