Happy birthday to me! I am really glad I put this on my wish list and someone was kind enough to answer that wish! First, you don't have to be a Neil Young fan in order to enjoy this album. If you like talented musicians, solid production values and great renditions of heart felt lyrics, then you're a music fan. And that's more than good enough.
I'm pretty familiar with Mr. Young's work over the years and I think a really stellar job was done in compiling this collection. From 1967 through 1991, some of his most endearing work is well represented. Collaborations with Crazy Horse, CSN, live concert cuts, all acoustic numbers, all electric numbers. . . it's all here. Well, not ALL. Anyone could nitpick and argue about specific inclusions or exclusions, but that's beside the point.
So, the big question is, "How does it sound?" I'm thinking 'awesome' might be adequate. But maybe I'm selling it a little bit short. 'Down By the River', the opening cut on side 1 is nothing short of nine minutes and sixteen seconds of aural bliss. Songs that I never really liked that much ('Like a Hurricane' for example) because they just sounded like noise on CD are actually quite intricate and compelling when listening on this vinyl edition. And I'm not listening to it on high end, esoteric audiophile grade equipment. My setup could best be described as 'vintage'. Adcom amp and pre-amp, Denon turntable and Kef 105 speakers with Audioquest interconnects. Nothing extra-special, just good solid stuff. Suffice it to say it puts a CD to shame. Vocal harmonies are distinct, each guitar has its own presence, in a couple of cases it was almost like hearing a song I thought I was familiar with for the first time.
It ain't cheap, so do what I did. Have someone else buy it for you. Or skip Starbuck's for a couple of weeks and save up. Yeah, it's worth it.