Best Neil Young Album?

This may belong on one of the Neil Young's fan web sites but with the critical success of Greendale (his best effort in the last 20 years IMO) what is your favorite Neil Young album? Mine is probably Hawks and Doves with Zuma a close second.
Live Rust would by my favorite.

One of the best live albums ever.

(I lucked out and got a japanese Import vinyl copy many years ago. It sounds incredible.)

My two cents worth, anyway.
Tie between 'After The Goldrush' & 'Rust Never Sleeps'.
Followed by 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere', 'Tonight's The Night', 'Comes A Time', 'Ragged Glory', 'On The Beach','Zuma', 'Freedom', 'Sleeps With Angels' & 'Harvest'.

At least that's my pecking order.
Harvest, Unplugged, Live Rust. I recently bought Greendale and I'm just starting to get a feel for the concept. I know others tout it as being his best in many a moon, but for me, the jury's still out!
alot like asking for your favorite beatle album, guess if I could pick just one Id have to go with Everbody Knows This Is Nowhere
After the Gold Rush - or maybe it's the memories this album conjures up. Live Rust comes in number two even without the memories.
Another vote for Live Rust
After the Gold Rush ... and probably because it coincides with the time Neil was first with CSN&Y.

An interesting follow-up question would be ... "what are Neil Young's best performances on record?" My votes would go with ... Buffalo Springfield "Retrospective;" CSNY "Four Way Street;" and CSNY "Deja Vu" and while we are at it, the best cover of a Neil Young song is Roxy Music's "Like A Hurricane."

Regards, Rich
I was at the Live Rust concert at the Cow palace. In fact, my buddy and I were sitting just below where the photograph was taken from (the mixing board). My favorites are American Stars & Bars,Comes aTime, Zuma( Cortez the Killer is a "killer"), Harvest...You know I really can't think of a bad one, they're all so different.
Hawks and Doves
After the Gold rush
Tonight's The Night
One The Beach
Neil Young self titled (first album)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Zuma (classic...esp the CSNY cut)
Comes A Time
And.....Old Ways.... these are all classics
1. Harvest
2. Decade (i know picking a "best of" Album is cheating)
3. Live Rust
I love Neil Youngs concerts... I know of no other performer who can perform the most organic delicate songs and then crank it up with a scorcher. I think of all the 60's/70s' artist he still has something to say. For some reason his albums always take some time to grow on me.
I simply can't pick one, depending on my mood almost all can be his best. I second the live concerts, I've lost count of the number I've been to, wish I could have live recordings of all of them.
Harvest, then After the Gold Rush are my favorites.
The best damn Neil Young album is the one I don't ever have to listen to!

Though I like Zuma a lot, I think the most brilliant tracks Neil ever recorded are on the B-side of On The Beach.....
ambulance blues and for the turnstiles....they shine
"EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE" is the one I would pick with "AFTER THE GOLDRUSH" very close behind and several others finishing a close third.
Just one??!? OK, Zuma. No, Harvest. Or Weld. Or American Stars and Bars. OR ...
Marco, Marco, Marco....
He's not on my playlist too often these days,but he was my favorite back in the day.Live Rust would have to be the 1 for me.Saw it live at William & Mary College in Va.But Zuma,Decade,Everybody knows..,After the Goldrush etc,etc.He really was the best.Ya know one that probably won't get mentioned is NY,overdub city but 4 or 5 great songs,Excellent question,thanks for the trip down memory lane!
Just all of them except "The shocking pink" kinda well un-Neil like. Trans was interesting but no my favorite either.

Everbody Knows This Is Nowhere. It's got Cowgirl in the Sand AND Down by the River.
Marco, I won't hold your post against you. Otherwise it's nice to know I'm not the only Neil Young fan here. It's very hard for me to pick a favorite but I'd have to go with either Harvest or Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. My favorite song is "Cortez The Killer" on the Zuma album. Although he's a goofball in many ways like other musical geniuses Neil Young is a a great family man and I admire that a lot. "Shakey" is a must read. What other artists have to say about him sums up my feelings.
ya after the gold rush does envoke those first girlfeind heart aches,everybody knows is right up there too!wow man.freakbrothers comics,jimihendricks black light posters,know what imsaying.
Everybody knows this is nowhere
After the Gold Rush

Three way tie- all essential albums!!!
My son is a big Young fan. He shares Lugnut's favorite song of Cortez. For some reason, it took me a long, long time to find a mint copy of Zuma without paying through the teeth. My sentimental favorite is still Harvest with respect to the full LP, though.
"Rocking in the Free world "
dunta dunta dunata dunata da da...
Second on Freedom but a toss up with Harvest Gold
"Zuma" is my favorite. "On The Beach is" a close second.
I agree, Hawks and Doves, after that, hmmm, probably Ambulance Blues .
The solo versions of "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Dont Let it Bring You Down" on 4 Way Street, the live CSN&Y album are still special and should be included in any Neil Young collection. Hows that for skirting the question?
he has so many great ones,,just got Greendale,,first listen didnt do much for me,,now one of my fav. CDs
I'm also in the Zuma camp. With On the Beach, Tonight's the Night and Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, nipping at the heels. As for Greendale, I don't think it's much, unless you are comparing it to: Everybody's Rocking, Life, or Trans. And if you are, then Greendale is brilliant.

Kind of suprised by the popularity of 'Hawks & Doves'. I enjoy the side of old songs that never made it on previous ablums (except maybe the silly voices on 'Lost in Space') but the side with 'Union Man' was the beginning of his '80s slide for me. 'Trans' is worth owning just for 'Like an Inca', probably his best song between 'Rust Never Sleeps' & 'Freedom'.
After the Gold Rush/Harvest...sometimes on 8track cruisin with a six.
On The Beach----Finally released last year on CD.
American Stars and Bars - my only Neil Young album.
It's a very tough call, but I guess I'd give the nod to Everybody Knows.

BLd63, I'm also surprised at the popularity of Hawks & Doves. Go figure.

And I will vigorously defend Everybody's Rockin' as the best of his albums for Geffen (although that may not be saying much). It's artistically insubstantial, but it is kinda fun. There's nothing fun about having to sit through Life or Landing On Water. . .
Curbach: Come on dude. Anyone that doesn't think the lyrical content of 'mideast vacation' on Life isn't at least amusing should get a L...
One line in Greendale makes it worth the price of admission. "I won't retire but I might retread".....
Russellrcncom, you need to stop sniffin' that smoking gun :-)

Ok, partial credit for "Mideast Vacation" (and "Prisoners of Rock'n'Roll"), but Life is still a disaster. Actually, Life could have been decent if it had been arranged/recorded/produced properly.
I think the best Neil Young album was Jim Croce's 'You Don't Mess Around with Jim'

Jim is doing what Young could never quite do- SING!


The old, he can't sing tag eh? Beauty is in the eyes and in this case in the ears of the beholder. I'm sure a Jim Croce thread would light up with comments on their fave records also.

Hitting all the right notes can make for enjoyable listening but too often the perfect singers are boring and lifeless. I'll take the frog in the throat of Neil, Dylan or Lou Reed over most 5 octave masters.

That being said. I'm also surprised that people find anything of worth on most of his 80's Lp's, and that includes "Life". Would anyone listen to that record if it wasn't be Neil. And what is it with Hawks and Doves? The songs are ok but they don't stand up to his early to mid 70's records

Oh well too each their own, I'm just glad to hear that Neil is recovering from surgery and may finally get around to releasing his long awaited box set.

Tonight's The Night. No contest!
no one mentioned Harvest Moon - best acoustic album he's done
My sister has been trying to send me a video clip of Neil Young singing Down By The River backed up with Crosby, Stills and Nash on Hullabaloo, or some such show. It's absolutely the most wonderful example of those guys at their best. It is priceless. Okay, here's the deal. It's a bitch to do. Please, one very determined guy contact me. I will provide you with a link to retrieve it. I can tell you how to be able to view it but I'm unable to determine where the file resides so sharing it is impossible. It auto opens in WMP and a search says it's on the desktop but it's not. Whoever contacts me will be rewarded if you are a Neil Young fan. You do need to be a pc techie and I'd like you to share this with Neil Young fans if you can figure it out. I'm too busy to provide a link and instructions to everyone that might contact me so I'm asking one person to carry the torch. You will be amazed. It's priceless.
Maybe not his best - but you can listen to the entire new album online, here:

It's pretty good.

And I just noticed Lugnut's post on 5/18/05, hope someone was able to get him set up with the video clip.
That's hard but my favorite song is off of Landing on Water. It's "Hippie Dream" which Neil wrote about David Crosby telling him to get help.
Listened a little to the new "live with War" thanks for posting the link.
What a switch from his last Release !
I am not sure I agree with the lyrics politically, but I like his angry, rough side with his old Electric Guitar and all.
"Keep on Rockin' in the Free World"
Rock on Neil !
I reach for "Harvest Moon" more often than any other. However, I recently rediscovered "Freedom", which is excellent although not as strong from start to finish as "Harvest Moon".