A quadruple Platinum No. 1 smash and the best-selling album of 1972, Harvest was Neil Young's fourth solo effort. With the Gold No. 1 "Heart Of Gold," Top 40 "Old Man," powerful "The Needle And The Damage Done," controversial "A Man Needs A Maid" and "Southern Man" companion "Alabama," Harvest won inclusion in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Albums Of All Time."
Deceptively laid-back-sounding country-rock plaints like "Out On The Weekend" and the title cut caress the ear unassumingly, pulling you into the more ominous subtext that is present in the rollicking "Are You Ready For The Country." As always, Young has an ear for contrasts, laying down heavy rock ("Alabama") besides his balladry, and even employing the London Symphony Orchestra on the excellent confessional "A Man Needs A Maid." Due to back troubles, Young recorded much of this material while wearing a brace, a fact that seems audible in the tension and unease that underlies the friendly, acoustic surface of this superb release.