Neil Young and Crazy Horse- Ragged Glory 30th Anniversary

Last Fall 2019 when I made what felt like a pilgrimmage to a suburban Dallas movie theater with very dear friends to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse‘s film of making their latest album,  Colorado , I could not resist the comparisons to Ragged Glory  three decades earlier. So very many things in Neil Young’s world, and in our world, were drastically different now. And yet the music, the process, the  intensity, the need to get it right and get it out…was even more urgent.   

Released in September 1990, it was the Village Voice Album of the Year 1990. Rolling Stone Album Guide gives Neil Young‘s sixth album with Crazy Horse, Ragged Glory,  a max five stars. Their Kurt Loder deemed it “a monument to the spirit of the garage- to the pursuit of passion over precision”. And in ranking Ragged Glory  as the #77 album of that entire decade, Rolling Stone wrote, “To kick-start the Nineties, Neil Young reunited with Crazy Horse, cranked the amps and, as a songwriter, took a look back to see if anything was still standing…The long guitar solos are this album’s real story, however, and they turn this look back into a look ahead: The guitar barrage of grunge is right around the corner.”The very first portion of this 1990 interview reveals how many long time collaborators have passed on and out  of Neil’s tight knit inner circle: pedal steel guitar player (and Neil’s son’s namesake ) Ben Keith, bass player Rick Rosas, and veteran Crazy Horse producer David Briggs are all dead now, sadly. And Young’s faithful manager/ mentor of fifty years, Elliot Roberts, has died as well. Neil Young frankly addresses multiple topics head on, such as censorship and corporate compromise of rock, and is uncannily prescient with his prediction that the “green” environmental movement would re-emerge after the Earth Day false start twenty years earlier. Hear a delightfully candid Neil Young with the voices of Crazy Horse-men Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, & Frank Sampedro from “The Days That Used to Be”. – Redbeard