Prairie Wind

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Prairie Wind
NeilYoungPrairieWind.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2005
RecordedMarch 2005
StudioMaster-Link Nashville, Tennessee
GenreCountry rock, folk rock, Americana
Length52:05
LabelReprise
ProducerNeil Young, Ben Keith
Neil Young chronology
Greendale
(2003)
Prairie Wind
(2005)
Living with War
(2006)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Music Box4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauA−[3]
Music OMH3.5/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media(5.8/10)[5]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[6]
Q4/5 stars[7]

Prairie Wind is the 26th studio album by Canadian / American musician Neil Young, released on September 27, 2005. After dalliances with 1960s soul music (Are You Passionate?) and rock opera (Greendale, which spawned a Young-directed film of the same name), Prairie Wind featured an acoustic-based sound reminiscent of his earlier commercially successful albums Harvest and Harvest Moon. The album was in part inspired by the illness and recent death of his father, Canadian sportswriter and novelist Scott Young, and the album is dedicated in part to the elder Young.

Young recorded the album in Nashville before undergoing minimally invasive surgery for an aneurysm in the spring of 2005, and some of the songs on the album appear to be informed by Young confronting his own mortality.

A premiere live performance of Prairie Wind was held in 18–19 August 2005 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Here, Young held a two-night concert where songs from the album were performed. These concerts became the subject of a film directed by Jonathan Demme entitled Heart of Gold.

Young debuted the album's closing track, "When God Made Me", at the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at number 11, on October 15, 2005, with sales of approximately 72,000 copies. It remained on the chart for 26 weeks. It was awarded a certified gold record by the RIAA on January 23, 2006. Prairie Wind received two Grammy Award nominations at the 2006 Grammy Awards - Best Rock Album of the Year and Best Rock Solo Performance for "The Painter".[8]

Critical reception[edit]

The record was regarded by Robert Christgau as "one of those nearness-of-death albums", along with Mississippi John Hurt's Last Sessions (1972), Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind (1997), Warren Zevon's The Wind (2003), and Johnny Cash's American VI: Ain't No Grave (2010).[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neil Young

No.TitleLength
1."The Painter"4:36
2."No Wonder"5:45
3."Falling Off the Face of the Earth"3:35
4."Far From Home"3:47
5."It's a Dream"6:31
6."Prairie Wind"7:34
7."Here for You"4:32
8."This Old Guitar"5:32
9."He Was the King"6:08
10."When God Made Me"4:05
11."An Interview with Neil Young" (LP only)19:06

Personnel[edit]

  • Neil Young - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals
  • Ben Keith - Dobro, pedal steel, slide guitar
  • Spooner Oldham - piano, Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer electric piano
  • Rick Rosas - bass
  • Karl Himmel - drums, percussion
  • Chad Cromwell - drums, percussion
  • Grant Boatwright - acoustic guitar, backing vocals
  • Clinton Gregory - fiddle on "No Wonder"
  • Wayne Jackson - horns
  • Thomas McGinley - horns
  • Emmylou Harris - special guest vocalist
  • Pegi Young - backing vocals
  • Diana Dewitt - backing vocals
  • Anthony Crawford - backing vocals
  • Gary Pigg - backing vocals
  • Curtis Wright - backing vocals
  • Chuck Cochran - string arranger
  • Fisk University Jubilee Choir, directed by Paul Kwami

Production[edit]

  • A Nashville Renaissance Production
  • Produced by Ben Keith and Neil Young
  • Analog recording and mixing by Chad Hailey and Rob Clark (2nd engineer)
  • Recorded at Master-Link Nashville, TN
  • Analog to Digital Transfers by John Nowland at His Master's Wheels, Woodside, CA
  • Mastering by Tim Mulligan at Redwood Digital, Redwood City CA

DVD Production[edit]

  • Director of photography: L.A. Johnson
  • Executive Producer: Elliot Rabinowitz
  • Editor: Toshi Onuki
  • Post Production at Total Media Group, South San Francisco, CA
  • DVD menu sound design by Hands on Sound
  • DVD authoring by: Rich Winter
  • Art Direction & Design: Gary Burden & Jenice Heo for R. Twerk & Co
  • Photos of band on CD sleeve and Neil on CD label by L.A Johnson
  • Photo of "Hank" guitar by Will Mitchell

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Ireland (IRMA)[10] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[12] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2005-09-27). "Prairie Wind - Neil Young | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  2. ^ John Metzger. "Neil Young - Prairie Wind (Album Review)". Musicbox-online.com. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  3. ^ "CG: neil young". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  4. ^ "Neil Young - Prairie Wind". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on November 23, 2005. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  5. ^ "Neil Young: Prairie Wind | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchforkmedia.com. 2005-09-28. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  6. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2005-10-06). "Neil Young Prairie Wind Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  7. ^ Doyle, Tom (November 2005). "Neil Young – Prairie Wind". Q (232): 120.
  8. ^ "Neil Young News: 2 Grammy Nominations for Neil Young". Thrasherswheat.org. 2005-12-09. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (May 2010). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved February 27, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  10. ^ "Irish album certifications – Neil Young – Prairie Wind". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "British album certifications – Neil Young – Prairie Wind". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 16, 2020. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Prairie Wind in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  12. ^ "American album certifications – Neil Young – Prairie Wind". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 16, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.