Neil Young Vinyl, CD & tapes by Neil Young at Norman Records
Aside from the PONO, name one time when Neil Young steered you wrong. Never, that's when: his handful of folk records, his Crazy Horse antics, even his gosh darn synth and vocoder experiments... they're all gems, no matter how ridiculous and out there, no matter how many psychedelic drugs or Honey Slides were imbibed. Few musicians have such a legacy and practically nobody else of the old rock canon just kept on plugging away, idea after idea, time after time.
Canadian music's biggest legend is best known for a very good trilogy of records: Everybody Knows this is Nowhere was the first, offering a smattering of both his delicate acoustic mumblings and his jammy murder ballads. Neil ditched the hints of outlaw he was hiding and went full folkie on After the Gold Rush, the greatest folk rock opus, which saw him play twinkling melodies on piano and guitar under the guise of twilight. Then he made Harvest and, well, you know how that goes: country music seldom got better.
The remarkable thing about Young is how many poignant records hide around the edges: On the Beach is a low-key fan favourite, full of long, meandering permutations on his early folk stylings. Zuma is an immense collection of weird, Western lore with Crazy Horse shredding atop. Living With War is an overt act of activism in the face of Iraq. Psychedelic Pill is nuts. Even in 2018, there's so, so much to Neil Young, an artist who can be a genius at his best and a convoluted creative at his worst. Unlike the artists we'd place him with back in his day, there's always something to talk about with odd old Neil.