After the Gold Rush

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This article is about the album. For the song, see After the Gold Rush (song).
After the Gold Rush
Studio album by Neil Young
Released August 31, 1970
Recorded August 1969 – June 1970
Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA
Sound City, Van Nuys, Los Angeles
Redwood Studios, Topanga, CA
Genre Rock, roots rock, country rock, folk rock
Length 35:10
Label Reprise
Producer Neil Young, David Briggs with Kendall Pacios
Neil Young chronology
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
(1969)
After the Gold Rush
(1970)
Harvest
(1972)
Singles from After the Gold Rush
  1. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
    Released: September 19, 1970, October 19, 1970 (U.S. 7" single)
  2. "When You Dance I Can Really Love"
    Released: September 19, 1970

After the Gold Rush is the third studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young. Released in August 1970 on Reprise Records, it was one of the four high-profile albums released by each member of folk rock collective Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping 1970 album Déjà Vu. Gold Rush consisted mainly of country folk music, along with the rocking "Southern Man".[1] Songs were inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Berman screenplay After the Gold Rush.

After the Gold Rush peaked at number eight on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart; the two singles taken from the album, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "When You Dance I Can Really Love", made it to number 33 and number 93 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. Critics were not initially impressed with the album, though it has since been considered a masterpiece, and appears on a number of greatest albums lists.

Production[edit]

Initial sessions were conducted with backing band Crazy Horse at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles amid a short winter 1970 tour that included a well-received engagement with Steve Miller and Miles Davis at the Fillmore East. Despite the deteriorating health of rhythm guitarist Danny Whitten, the sessions yielded a smattering of released tracks, including "I Believe In You," "Oh, Lonesome Me," "Birds" (issued as a B-side) and "When You Dance I Can Really Love". Most of the album was recorded at a makeshift basement studio in Young's Topanga Canyon home during the spring with Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young bassist Greg Reeves, drummer Ralph Molina of Crazy Horse, and burgeoning eighteen-year-old musical prodigy Nils Lofgren of the Washington, DC-based band Grin on piano. The incorporation of Lofgren was a characteristically idiosyncratic decision by Young, as he had not played keyboards on a regular basis prior to the sessions.[2] Along with fellow Young stalwart Jack Nitzsche, he would join an augmented Crazy Horse sans Young before enjoying his own group and solo cult success alternating with a 25-year membership in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. The Young biography Shakey[3] claims Young was intentionally trying to combine Crazy Horse and CSNY on this release, with members of the former band appearing alongside Stephen Stills (who contributed backing vocals to "Only Love Can Break Your Heart") and Reeves. The cover art is a solarized image of Young, walking past New York University School of Law, passing an old woman. The picture was taken by photographer Joel Bernstein and was reportedly out of focus. It was because of this he decided to mask the blurred face by solarizing the image.[4]

Songs on the album were inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Berman screenplay for the unmade film After the Gold Rush. Young had read the screenplay and asked Stockwell if he could produce the soundtrack. Tracks that Young recalls as being written specifically for the film are "After the Gold Rush" and "Cripple Creek Ferry."[5] The script has since been lost, though has been described as "sort of an end-of-the-world movie."[6] Stockwell said of it, "I was gonna write a movie that was personal, a Jungian self-discovery of the gnosis... it involved the Kabala (sic), it involved a lot of arcane stuff."[6]

According to the Neil Young Archives, After the Gold Rush was released on September 18, 1970.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (10/10)[7]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau A+[9]

Critics were not immediately impressed; the 1970 review in Rolling Stone magazine by Langdon Winner was negative, with Winner feeling that, "none of the songs here rise above the uniformly dull surface."[10] Critical reaction has improved with time; by 1975, Rolling Stone was referring to the album as a "masterpiece",[11] and Gold Rush is now considered a classic album in Young's recording career.[12]

Accolades[edit]

After the Gold Rush has appeared on a number of greatest albums lists. In 1998 Q magazine readers voted After the Gold Rush the 89th greatest album of all time. It was ranked 92nd in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time. In 2003, Rolling Stone named the album the 71st greatest album of all time, his highest ranking on this list. Pitchfork Media listed it 99th on their 2004 list of the "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s".[13] In 2006, Time Magazine listed it as one of the 'All-TIME 100 Albums'.[14] It was ranked third in Bob Mersereau's 2007 book The Top 100 Canadian Albums. Its follow-up album, Harvest, was named the greatest Canadian album of all time in that book. In 2005, Chart Magazine readers placed it fifth on a poll of the best Canadian Albums. In 2002, Blender Magazine named it the 86th greatest "American" album. New Musical Express named it the 80th greatest album of all time in 2003.[15]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
The Guardian United Kingdom 100 Best Albums Ever[16] 1997 47

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neil Young except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Tell Me Why" – 2:54
  2. "After the Gold Rush" – 3:45
  3. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" – 3:05
  4. "Southern Man" – 5:31
  5. "Till the Morning Comes" – 1:17
Side two
  1. "Oh, Lonesome Me" (Don Gibson) – 3:47
  2. "Don't Let It Bring You Down" – 2:56
  3. "Birds" – 2:34
  4. "When You Dance I Can Really Love" – 4:05
  5. "I Believe in You" – 3:24
  6. "Cripple Creek Ferry" – 1:34

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums 8

Single

Year Single Chart Position
1970 "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" Billboard Pop Singles 33
1971 "When You Dance I Can Really Love" Billboard Pop Singles 93

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA – US Gold November 2, 1970
RIAA – US Platinum October 13, 1986
RIAA – US 2× Platinum October 13, 1986
BPI – UK 2× Platinum November 12, 2004

Releases[edit]

After the Gold Rush was remastered and released on HDCD-encoded CD and digital download on July 14, 2009 as part of the Neil Young Archives Original Release Series. The remaster has been released on vinyl and a high-resolution digital version on Blu-ray disc is also planned although a release date for this format has not yet been announced.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b William, Ruhlmann. After the Gold Rush at AllMusic. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  2. ^ du Lac, J. Freedom (October 8, 2008). "Six Questions (And Then Some) For ... Nils Lofgren". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ McDonough, Jimmy. Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography. New York: Random House Inc., 2002
  4. ^ http://www.popspotsnyc.com/afterthegoldrush/
  5. ^ McDonough, Jimmy (2003). Shakey: Neil Young's Biography. Anchor Books. p. 332. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b McDonough, Jimmy (2003). Shakey: Neil Young's Biography. Anchor Books. p. 331. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  7. ^ Richardson, Mark (December 11, 2009). "Review: After the Gold Rush". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Review of After the Gold Rush". Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ Winner, Langdon (October 15, 1970). "After The Gold Rush; Album Reviews; Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ Marsh, Dave (August 28, 1975). "Neil Young: Tonight's the Night". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ Mar, Alex (April 4, 2005). "Young suffers aneurysm". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2008. 
  13. ^ Pitchfork Staff (June 23, 2004). "Pitchfork Feature: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ "The All-TIME 100 Albums: After the Gold Rush by Neil Young – TIME Magazine – ALL-TIME 100 Albums". Time. November 2, 2006. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  15. ^ Acclaimed Music
  16. ^ "The Guardian 100 Best Albums Ever List, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]