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5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young Early Career Retrospective
"Decade" is a great compilation album, put together by Neil Young of his early career in 1977. It was originally a three album compilation, but this release is on two CDs. The retrospective is mostly chronological; though there are some exceptions, and it does cover all aspects of his career, whether it is with Buffalo Springfield, Solo, with Crazy Horse, or as part of...
Published on Dec 18 2008 by Dave_42

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty damn great, but needs an upgrade.
As far as the musical content goes, let me just reiterate what everyone else has said: this is one of the most intelligent compilation albums ever done, and a perfect introduction to (and summation of) Young's earliest and best work. And so, for musical content, I'd give Decade five stars.
From a CD reissue standpoint, however, this set--like the rest of Young's...
Published on Jan. 31 2000


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5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young Early Career Retrospective, Dec 18 2008
By 
Dave_42 "Dave_42" (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
"Decade" is a great compilation album, put together by Neil Young of his early career in 1977. It was originally a three album compilation, but this release is on two CDs. The retrospective is mostly chronological; though there are some exceptions, and it does cover all aspects of his career, whether it is with Buffalo Springfield, Solo, with Crazy Horse, or as part of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

Six of the first seven tracks are from his days in Buffalo Springfield, including songs like "Down to the Wire" also with Dr. John, a live version in the studio of "Mr. Soul", and "Broken Arrow". The other track is "Sugar Mountain" a live track from a solo performance in Ann Arbor days before he released his first solo album. It also includes "The Loner" and "The Old Laughing Lady" from that album. It then moves into my personal favorite period, which is his first album with Crazy Horse and his second solo album "After the Gold Rush". This includes wonderful tracks such as "Cinnamon Girl", "Down by the River", "Cowgirl in the Sand", "I Believe in You", "After the Gold Rush", and "Southern Man", and the first CD closes with the first of two tracks from the "Déjà" Vu album from Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, "Helpless".

The second CD picks up where the first CD leaves off (and where the 4th side of the three album set began) with "Ohio" from Crosby Stills, Nash & Young's "Déjà Vu" album. This is followed by "Soldier" from the soundtrack "Journey through the Past", which is followed by five tracks from Neil's "Harvest" album, including classics like "Old Man", the somewhat unusual selection "A Man Needs A Maid", "Harvest", and "Heart of Gold", and a live recording of "The Needle and the Damage Done", though Neil also mixes in "The Star of Bethlehem" from the "American Stars `N Bars" album before the last one. Next up is two tracks from "Tonight's the Night" starting with the title track, and then including "Tired Eyes". Next are a couple of tracks from the "On the Beach" album, including "Walk On" and "For the Turnstiles".

Neil then makes an unusual choice to include some previously unreleased tracks. These days it has become a common practice, but back then it was unusual. These tracks include "Winterlong" and "Deep Forbidden Lake", and later in the disk "Love is a Rose". He also includes a version of "Like a Hurricane" from a rehearsal sessions for his Northern California Coastal Bar Tour in 1975. The other tracks which finish up this album include "Cortez the Killer" from the "Zuma" album, and two more previously unreleased tracks, the first being "Campaigner" from The Stills-Young Band, and finishing with a version of "Long May You Run" performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Not every track on this album is great, at least not to me, but the collection as a whole is outstanding, because it is more than a collection of hits, and instead is made up of interesting and thoughtful choices by Neil Young. Some of the unreleased tracks are among the best tracks on the album, though I am not particularly fond of "Campaigner", and that makes this collection a treat for fans which already have his other albums. If you like Neil Young, this is a great collection to pick up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What a Decade!, May 7 2004
By 
Morten Vindberg (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
Decade was originally a 3 LP retrospective album, compiled by Neil Young himself. It covers his first 10 recording years, offering tracks from 1966 Buffalo Springfield till previously unreleased recordings from 1976.
The long playing time leaves good space for long recordings like "Cowgirl in the Sand", "Down By the River" and "Like a Hurricane" and so a good insight in Young's very personal guitar-playing style.
Still, first of all, Young is a songwriter and of course a great singer. This extensive compilation offers a lot of the best songs from his early records, as well as many previously unreleased songs, some of which are really great. "Deep Fobidden Lake, "Helpless" and "Long May You Run" are all-time favourites of mine. A special treat is the great unreleased Buffalo Springfield recording "Down to the Wire"; it was recorded for their "great lost" 2nd album "Stampede"
Well known classics like "Cinnamon Girl", "After The Gold Rush", "Harvest", "Heart of Gold" and "Walk On" are there as well. I wonder why Young left out "See The Sky About to Rain" from "On the Beach"! Go the for the original album for that one!
A minor complaint : I find it very hard to read Youngs handwitten notes !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Rocks, April 10 2004
By 
"dornok" (Lancaster, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
I remember the Woodstock hippie days like they were yesterday and nothing brings back that feeling quite like Neil Young. Who from that time period can forget Kent State?
I found the entire two CD set to be a most worthy collection of Neil's work. Quite a few classics from "Ohio" to "Sugar Mountain," "The Loner," "Heart of Gold," "Southern Man," "Mr Soul," and "Long May You Run."
This set also contains one of the best songs I believe Neil ever did, that simple but hearfelt classic, "The Needle and the Damage Done" and a couple I haven't heard before such as the mellow "Deep Forbidden Lake" and "Winterlong," both of which are pure Neil Young.
Listening to this set had me take a journey back in time as volitile and passionate as it was when I thought I would be heading out for Vietnam (missed being deployed there by two weeks). I can only hope that whatever music you listen to does for you what this set does for me. Neil Young's "Decade" is a valuable addition for those who lived that time and those who want to know what that time was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars for the curious and the completist, March 6 2004
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
Neil Young is not only a craftsman with his pen, guitar, harmonica, and voice, he is also an accomplished record producer. For all his railing against "record company clowns", Young is one of the most astute businessmen among recording artists. This compilation, put together by Young and cronies Tim Mulligan and David Briggs, is a case in point.
While many would view this collection as a greatest hits compilation, and while virtually all of Young's true hits are here, this 3-album, 2 CD amalgam, drawn from the artists first decade of recorded music, was designed to appeal first of all to the novice Neil fan, and secondly to the completist. For the novice, most of Young's best work is featured, dating from his early collaborations with Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield, and coincidentally ending with his 1976 collaboration with Stills and the Stills-Young Band. It is hard to argue with many of the selections here: surely 'Mr. Soul', 'The Loner', 'Cinnamon Girl', 'Helpless', 'Old Man', 'Heart of Gold', and 'Like a Hurricane' had to be easy choices for inclusion. Others are less obvious. 'Broken Arrow' could have easily been left out of the quiver rather than 'On the Way Home' (as long as Neil would tolerate Richie Furay scoring the lead vocal), 'Star of Bethlehem' could have bit the bullet instead of 'Bite the Bullet', and it would have been nice had Neil made room for 'Words', but such choices may as well have been made with a flip of the coin.
For the completist, Young offers at least five songs and over twenty minutes of mostly acoustic rarities, all of which are hard to pass up. The fine opening number, 'Down To the Wire' is a pre-Buffalo Springfield composition put together by Young and Stills in 1966 for the abandoned 'Stampede' LP. There are four other songs appearing only on the 'Decade' discs: 'Winterlong', recorded in 1969 (a live version from the 2000 Red Rocks concerts is now available also), and 'Deep Forbidden Lake' both of which feature wonderful slide guitar accompaniment; 'Love Is a Rose' is a jaunty acoustic work familiar due to Linda Ronstadt's rendition, and 'Campaigner' sets Neil apart as the only artist to work Richard Nixon into not just one, but two songs ("even Richard Nixon has got soul"). The other song featuring a Tricky Dick lyric is of course 'Ohio' ("tin soldiers and Nixon's coming"), which is included here, and is only available as a single, on other compilations ('So Far' or the CSN box set), or on the rare 'Journey Through the Past' soundtrack. Another rarity from the 'Journey...' soundtrack is the haunting 'Soldier'. Recorded in a Northern California sawmill with Neil on a piano, the song boasts a lot of natural echo and a sawdust burner crackling away in the background. That's gotta be unique. So there is a lot to be had here even for those with an extensive Neil Young collection.
The finishing touch is a booklet with handwritten notes by Young offering his immediate recollections on each song, and lots of thumbnail photos. As Neil would say... "inneresting". Inneresting enough for you?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Decade, Jan. 20 2004
By 
Rocco Dormarunno (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
This 2-cd set captures the first ten years of the almost 40-year career of America's most risk-taking and innovative singer/songwriters. It captures his music-making from his days with Buffalo Springfield through his early solo years through his CSN&Y days and his 70s solo years. While many will disagree, I feel that this was Young's most consistently creative and experimental years. With the exception of RUST NEVER SLEEPS and, possibly, TRANS, his second decade was decidedly uneven; and his third decade, which although it includes FREEDOM and HARVEST MOON just didn't rock (except for "Rocking in the Free World) as did the 1966-1976 period. This doesn't imply that Young's talents deteriorated. It's simply a matter of a brash young rocker developing into a mature musician and songwriter.
This set contains anything and everything a Neil Young fan or any fan of rock and roll could possibly desire. The long, intense, machine gun guitar work on "Down by the River", "Cowgirl in the Sand", and "Like a Hurricane", to the sweet ballads like "I Believe in You", "Long May You Run", and "I Am a Child", to all the electic stuff in between, such as "Campaigner", "For the Turnstiles", and "Tired Eyes". This collection is an all-inclusive, well-organized journey through Neil Young's most important decade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful overview of one of the greats!, Dec 16 2003
By 
Patrick Beaudry (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
This album is a great overview of what is now Neil Young's "early" works, covering the years 1967-1977. Although Neil has released much more music since this album has been released, Neil will always be associated with this era, which covers his years with Buffalo Springfield (Highly Under-rated band, by the way), and his on-again/off-again collaborations with Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
This album is much more than a simple greatest hits, including songs that were never released as singles, and some that were released without fanfare. This album is also a strong testament to Neil's songwriting abilities, and very few songwriters can convey the imagery and emotions that Neil can. Neil's songs convey an adult array of emotions, ranging from childlike innocence (I am a Child) to despair and sorrow (Needle & the damage done, After the Gold Rush).
However, as with any collection, there are some gaps and favorites that long-time fans of Neil would have liked to see on the album, this is a great first step into exploring Neil Young's earlier works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE NEIL YOUNG BOX SET, Dec 7 2003
By 
Luke H. (Hermitage, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
I borrowed this CD off of one of my friends after listening to it I could not refuse to not buy it. I had to buy this BOX SET so I did. The music on these two CDs are prob. the best neil young anyone will every get. I know there are alot of die hard neil young fans out there which I would say I am not a neil young fanatic but I like his music. I am a guitarist who is more into Hendrix and SRV but neil young will always be placed as a great guitarist in my book atleast. Neil was a great writer in his music but what really rocked this folk singer was his electric playing which is an prime example of the time and era. One of my favorites of this CD is Ohio its lyrics are so powerful the lyrics are like a story following up the story behind this song. Some other favorites of mine are Cinnamon Gril, After The Gold Rush, Ohio, Heart Of Gold, Winterlong, and Walk On. This is a must have for anybody regardless if your a Neil Young fanatic or just a begginer in rock music. This CD is one of my top 100 favorites its a must have for anybody. So enjoy!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A greatest hits album that's actually worth buying., Sept. 14 2003
By 
Shotgun Method (NY... No, not *that* NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
Neil Young is perhaps the most versatile and prolific singer-songwriter in existence. Country (Neil Young and the Stray Gators), psychedelia (Buffalo Springfield), proto-grunge (Neil Young and Crazy Horse), and folk rock (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) are just some of the styles he's dabbled with. And inexplicably, a lot of his best stuff almost never sees radio airplay.
Which is what makes Decade remarkable. Unlike most compilations, Decade's tracks were selected by the artist himself, not by corporations who want only the radio hits on there. So along with heavily played classics (Cinnamon Girl, Southern Man, Ohio, Old Man, Long May You Run, Heart Of Gold), you get plenty of rarities and underrated cuts (Down To The Wire, Mr. Soul, Sugar Mountain, The Loner, Winterlong, Tonight's The Night, For The Turnstiles and so on) all on one album. Pretty impressive. Especially so when one realizes that this was all recorded from 1966-76.
While all the material is well-chosen and great, I have to say that my favorite Neil is the proto-grunge guitarist with Crazy Horse as his backing band. Down By The River, Cowgirl In The Sand, Like A Hurricane, and Cortez The Killer are in my eyes the best cuts, full of edgy and sharp guitar jams. Neil's lyrics are always introspective, emotional, intelligent, and occasionally controversial (Southern Man with its condemnation of the Deep South comes to mind). While his voice is a little thin and somewhat of an acquired taste, it is unique and imitated today by many vocalists.
If you're looking for a great intro to Neil Young, you can't go wrong with Decade. Once you find your favorite Neil style, go into the individual albums of your choosing--On The Beach, Harvest, Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere, etc. If you want a GREAT live release, go buy Rust Never Sleeps as well.
Note: The only problem with this album that keeps me from giving it a five-star rating is an apparent quality control problem on part of Reprise. Two brand-new copies of Decade I purchased had flaws that keep me from playing certain tracks using either Musicmatch or Media Player. Now, while it is not uncommon to run into one badly printed copy, finding TWO of them (at different stores no less) suggests that there is something amiss. It's extremely frustrating to have to drop a lot of money on a 2-disc set only to find flaws.
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5.0 out of 5 stars rock best box set, June 29 2003
By 
Bomber "bombah" (winthrop, ma United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
35 tracks ranging from major hits to rare recordings that span ten years in the life of modern musics most creative and challening singer/songwriters.decade was assembled by young himself and chronicles the years 1966- 1976 rare tracks are included along with better known material "cinnamon girl" "heart of gold" "old man" "ohio".along with the extended jams "down by the river" "cowgirl in the sand" "southern man" "cortez the killer" and my all time favorite "like a hurricane".rarities include "down to the wire" unreleased buffalo springfield neils most famous b -side"sugar mountain" "winterlong meant for after the goldrush."deep forbidden lake after neils dark period."love is a rose" also recorded by linda rondstadt and a real hidden gem "campaigner the story goes young had watched tv footage of president nixon visiting his wife in the hospital after she suffered a stroke it moved him to write this song which contains the famous line even richard nixon has got soul.this coming from the same man who wrote "ohio" about the kent state killings i think this is the best box set out there i purchased the original three album set back in 1976 my original review didn't do this collection justice.side note on the beach is finally being released on cd another essential recording it is depressing and brilliant at the same time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything in its right place, Sept. 30 2002
By 
Clare Quilty (a little pad in hawaii) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Decade (Audio CD)
Ordinarily, I'm not much of a believer in greatest hits packages. Yeah, they're good for the car or for slapping on the stereo at parties. But I tend to feel they're bad mojo, particularly when you're talking about an artist as talented and multi-faceted as Neil Young. In a world where, say, The Rolling Stones have created perfect, self-contained units like "Beggar's Banquet," "Let it Bleed," "Sticky Fingers," "Between the Buttons" and others, why would anyone want to mainline their music with something like "Hot Rocks." It's like watching ONLY the shoot 'em up scenes in "The Wild Bunch" without the color and exposition of the less-well-known but equally satisfying scenes.
Neil Young's "Decade," however, is one place where I make a serious exception to my music-geek inflexibility. And I think it's because Young has covered so much ground and gone in so many directions that this collection kind of gives the new listener a good road map.
Since all of the various aspects of Young's career are fairly complicated and completely engrossing in their own right, "Decade" allows you to focus on just the touchstones. With "Decade" you get a sampling of Buffalo Springfield, solo work, CSN&Y tunes, his forays into symphonic walls of sound as well those made from guitar workouts with Crazy Horse.
And, also, I just simply can't begrudge a collection of music with 34 great frickin' songs on it (yes, I know this has 35 songs -- I've never, ever been able to stomach "A Man Needs A Maid" but that's my problem and I can handle it).
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Decade by Neil Young (Audio CD - 1988)
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