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Fourth album by Neil Young (Reprise, Feb. 1972)

Harvest features Neil Young, with guitar and vocals. His backup band on the album was The Stray Gators, composed of Tim Drummond on bass,Kenny Buttrey on drums, and Ben Keith on steel guitar. James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and David Crosby provide background vocals and harmony throughout Harvest. The album remains the most popular of Young's career, though many critics intially dismissed it as a sell-out.

  1. Out on the Weekend with Young and The Stray Gators
    • This track features a beautiful harmonica intro by Young (which is repeated before each verse). Young's characteristic vocals are notable here, for their sublime feel and heartfelt delivery:
      Think I'll pack it in and buy a pick-up
      Take it down to L.A.
      Find a place to call my own and try to fix up
      Start a brand new day
      However, on a whole, the song is driven by the strong rhythm of Drummond's bass playing and the offsetting moans of Keith's steel guitar lines.
  2. Harvest with Young and The Stray Gators
    • This is easily my favorite track on the album, it is also the title track. What it is, that distinguishes this song from all the others, is difficult for me to nail down. There is a reserved optimism in Young's lyrics that strikes a chord with me:
      Will I see you give more than I can take?
      Will I only harvest some?
      As the days fly past will we lose our grasp
      Or fuse it in the sun?
      That said, the guitar work is simple and effective. The same few chords are repeated throughout the entire song, verses and choruses alike. Harvest (the song) is tight, not in the 90's slang sense of the word (meaning cool), but in the sense that nothing needless has been thrown into the track.
  3. A Man Needs a Maid with Young and The London Symphony Orchestra
    • This song is to me, one of the lower points of the album. Much of Harvest is country influenced, and A Man Needs A Maid doesn't flow well with the feeling that Young generates in the first two tracks. Neil Young and The London Symphony Orchestra just do not go together well in my mind, particularly on this album.
  4. Heart of Gold with Young and The Stray Gators
    • This song is Young's only number one single, and is probably to this day his most popular song. Heart of Gold is a raw and unabashed ode to one man's quest for a kindred soul. It features a powerful harmonica part, and though the lyrics are simple, this lack of complexity is poetic. The lyrics fit the music and Young's delivery is superb:
      It's these expressions
      I never give
      That keep me searching
      for a heart of gold
  5. Are You Ready for the Country? with Young and The Stray Gators
    • Are you ready for the cool session feel that this track has? The intro of the song is a piano line starting, stopping, starting a little funkier, stopping and then finally starting again as the rest of the band joins along. This is something I have recognized in other songs by other artists (I'm sure you have all heard songs were the artist screws up the beginning and starts over, often on live albums, think Nirvana Unplugged), and it feels genuine, like the track has not been so hashed out and over-produced that it loses the passion of the musicians involved. That said, my favorite part of this song is the terrific steel guitar playing of Ben Keith. This song would not be the same without it.
  6. Old Man with Young and The Stray Gators
    • Old Man is another one of Harvest's highlights. In particular, I love the banjo work. Though if you knew me, you might not guess it, I am a sucker for bluegrass. This song is country driven and again features solid steel guitar lines from Keith. Young's lyrics are passionate and earnest:
      Lullabies, look in your eyes,
      Run around the same old town.
      Doesn't mean that much to me
      To mean that much to you.
  7. There's a World with Young and The London Symphony Orchestra
    • Though this effort fares better than A Man Needs A Maid, I am still not a fan of the Young/Symphony combo. It feels awkward and stands apart from everything else on the album. It breaks the continuity. However, the lyrics of There's a World are rather well written:
      There's a world you're living in
      No one else has your part
      All God's children in the wind
      Take it in and blow hard
  8. Alabama with Young and The Stray Gators
    • Alabama is an anti-racism credo much in vein of Southern Man (found on an earlier album, After the Goldrush). I personally like Southern Man, but that is beside the point. Albama is a good song, but it is not one my favorites. I suppose the song fits the time in which it was released (1972) better than the present. A petition to the state of Albama, even if in song form, feels like a drawn out generalization to me. Not everyone from Albama is a racist, and racism is present everywhere (not just in the South and in Alabama). While I am not from Alabama, I feel this is a valid point. As for the music on the track, only the guitar intro really stands out as memorable. Here, Young relies on a grungy guitar tone and it works well.
  9. The Needle and the Damage Done (live) solo
    • I remember the first time I heard this powerful anti-drug solo ballad. I don't recall my exact age, but I do know that I was sitting in my living room watching television. Neil Young performed The Needle and the Damage Done live from the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio. It was a powerful performance and it got me hooked on Young's music (much to the pleasure of my father who has been a Neil Young fan since his days as a college radio DJ). What I like about this song more than anything else is this, it features Young and his acoustic guitar, no one else, no big studio production, no flashy lights. This is music without a stitch. The way it should be.
  10. Words(Between the Lines Age) with Young and The Stray Gators
    • The longest song on the album. Notable mainly for its long guitar solo midway through. The song itself is repetitive and not one of my favorites. There are only so many times you can hear "Words... Words... Between the lines of age..." before it gets worn out on you.
All tracks composed by Young.
Sources include:, and the album itself.

Har"vest (?), n. [OE. harvest, hervest, AS. haerfest autumn; akin to LG. harfst, D. herfst, OHG. herbist, G. herbst, and prob. to L. carpere to pluck, Gr. fruit. Cf. Carpet.]


The gathering of a crop of any kind; the ingathering of the crops; also, the season of gathering grain and fruits, late summer or early autumn.

Seedtime and harvest . . . shall not cease. Gen viii. 22.

At harvest, when corn is ripe. Tyndale.


That which is reaped or ready to be reaped or gathed; a crop, as of grain (wheat, maize, etc.), or fruit.

Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Joel iii. 13.

To glean the broken ears after the man That the main harvest reaps. Shak.


The product or result of any exertion or labor; gain; reward.

The pope's principal harvest was in the jubilee. Fuller.

The harvest of a quiet eye. Wordsworth.

Harvest fish Zool., a marine fish of the Southern United States (Stromateus alepidotus); -- called whiting in Virginia. Also applied to the dollar fish. -- Harvest fly Zool., an hemipterous insect of the genus Cicada, often called locust. See Cicada. -- Harvest lord, the head reaper at a harvest. [Obs.] Tusser. -- Harvest mite Zool., a minute European mite (Leptus autumnalis), of a bright crimson color, which is troublesome by penetrating the skin of man and domestic animals; -- called also harvest louse, and harvest bug. -- Harvest moon, the moon near the full at the time of harvest in England, or about the autumnal equinox, when, by reason of the small angle that is made by the moon's orbit with the horizon, it rises nearly at the same hour for several days. -- Harvest mouse Zool., a very small European field mouse (Mus minutus). It builds a globular nest on the stems of wheat and other plants. -- Harvest queen, an image pepresenting Ceres, formerly carried about on the last day of harvest. Milton. -- Harvest spider. Zool. See Daddy longlegs.


© Webster 1913.

Har"vest, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Harvested; p. pr. & vb. n. Harvesting.]

To reap or gather, as any crop.


© Webster 1913.

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