For the longest time, I did not add Neil Young's "American Stars 'N Bars" to my CD collection, because I had read and heard so much intense critcism of this album. But, I found a copy at my local 'used CD' store around the corner and decided to take a chance on this so called "oddities" album. Instantly, I fell in love with this crazy-quilt of both acoustic and electric music. I seem to love this CD for the very reasons that others disparage it. Yes, I know it's disparate, hodge-podge of songs. But, it's also raw and alive and seems to have a goofy, not-to-serious charm of it's own. On this album, Neil is no longer in the "middle of the road" ("Harvest"), but he isn't in the now infamously quoted "ditch" either ("Tonight's the Night", "On the Beach"). Young is sort of doing a balancing act in the middle, creating an album thats' sort of a warped, Frankenstein-like version of his classic, "Harvest". But it's a Frankenstein, that can tap it's toes and sort of dance. I love songs like the rustic "The Old Country Waltz" or the pulp Western tale, "Saddle Up the Palimono". I in particular, like the contributions of singers Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris & Nicolette larson. They really work well with Young giving, that perfect '70s era country-rock feeling (especially Harris, who shines on "Star of Bethlehem"). According to one tale I've heard, the ladies thought they were just doing some 'practice, run throughs' of the songs. Much to their chagrin, they later learned that Neil was using these sessions as the final takes, hence the raw feeling of the songs.The electric portions of the CD are wonderful as well. "Like a Hurricane" is of course a classic and Young has played this long & Winding song for many years in his concert repertoire. I love the song's lyrical imagery and to be blunt, the guitar soloing just kicks some rock n' roll (...)! One of my favorites on this CD is the final track, "Homegrown", a funny little ode to small farms or the joys of harvesting 'weed' (you can take your choice). It's a bouncy tune that totally gives me a case of the giggles. No, "American Stars 'N Bars" is never going to be in the cannon of the "Great, Neil Young Albums". All I can say is I don't think it deserves it's bad rep. I liked it and highly recommend it!