Hitchhiker

Hitchhiker

Music CD - 2017
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5
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Reprise, [2017]
Copyright Date: ℗2017
Branch Call Number: CD POPULAR YOUNG, N.
Characteristics: 1 audio disc (33 min., 36 sec.) : CD audio, stereo ; 4 3/4 in..
4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,stereo
audio file
CD audio

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c
Calvacade
Mar 06, 2020

Few performers can pull off an unaccompanied, starkly orchestrated, all-acoustic set and leave listeners wanting more. As a litany of past releases and more recent "official bootlegs" have shown, Neil Young has more than mastered the super-intimate setting. Some of his most haunting, beautiful and unforgettable work has emerged from just himself, a guitar or a piano and nothing else. Something inexorable and ineffable lies at the heart of Young's solo performances, something that words would probably only cheapen. Needless to say, few others seem capable of pulling off such stunning solo sessions. "Hitchhiker," recorded back in 1976, between Young's "ditch" albums and the classic "Rust Never Sleeps," perfectly showcases this side of Young, complete with a self-professed drug-soaked performances and an intensity that just doesn't seem to exist anywhere else in quite the same way. Young has evolved into a kind of musical singularity that defies any imitation because of the sometimes ferociously personal elements that emerge from his work. He remains inimitable to this day, one of the final vestiges of a time when people accepted popular music as "art" beyond mere marketing hype.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Dec 19, 2018

Finally being released after over forty years from its original recording is as amazing as the fact that this was not deemed worthy of release by Neil Young’s label in 1976 (ironically released under same label today). It was certainly a step back from an electric and dark trajectory begun after 1972’s Harvest, but it’s a cohesive and moving acoustic album. Young recorded this in one evening with acoustic guitar, harmonica and piano on one track. Most of these songs have been re-recorded and released somewhere along Young’s extensive career, with the title song released less than ten years ago. What stands out is the stark difference between these takes and the later released versions, particularly on two songs. ‘Powderfinger’ - one of Young’s most powerful songs - has a totally different feel without the blistering electric guitar. This version maintains the same cinematic sense of impending personal doom and retains all of its impact. ‘Human Highway’ is heartbreaking in this context and stripped down becomes a vulnerable song of surrender - “take my eyes from what they’ve seen”. Other highlights include the Appalachian tinged ‘Captain Kennedy’ and the biographical feel of ‘Hitchhiker’ where Young describes he first “saw open water” in California, though the song is decidedly druggy. If you are a fan you will treasure this and even the casual listener should enjoy the chill vibe.

t
thegrinch
May 30, 2018

Powderfinger, Hitchhiker & Campaigner were my favorites from this cd. Not the greatest music otherwise. Some nice guitar work.

n
no_thanks
Nov 20, 2017

Rock

I understand this album was done around 1970 while Mr. Young was on the road, but never released.
After hearing it i understand why:
The songs are stupid, and the lyrics are poorly written.
I would hope that this was just a rough draft,
The one glorious thing this album DOES have going for it_ It IS Neil Young singing and playing in his voice and style from 1970

n
no_thanks
Nov 20, 2017

Rock

I understand this album was done around 1970 while Mr. Young was on the road, but never released.
After hearing it i understand why:
The songs are stupid., and the lyrics are poorly written. I would hope that this was just a rough draft,
The one glorious thing this album DOES have going for it_ it is played in the same musical style and with the same instrumentation, and sung by a twenty-something Neil Young.
It is lovely to hear that again_ even as you cringe at the bad lyrics

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