Neil Young + Crazy Horse took a chance on love to overcome hate with the healing light of a psychedelic grunge resurgence. Young had endured numerous stylistic changes with twenty-three albums (Neil Young in 1968, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere in 1969, After the Gold Rush in 1970, Harvest in 1972, Time Fades Away in 1973, On the Beach in 1974, Tonight's the Night and Zuma in 1975, Long May You Run in 1976, American Stars 'n Bars in 1977, Comes a Time in 1978, Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust in 1979, Hawks & Doves in 1980, Re-ac-tor in 1981, Trans in 1982, Everybody's Rockin' in 1983, Old Ways in 1985, Landing on Water in 1986, Life in 1987, This Note's for You in 1988, and Eldorado and Freedom in 1989) released over twenty-one years; but his work over the past decade had not been well received by critics or fans. With the political fire of the hit single "Rocking in the Free World" from Freedom, he had found renewed respect and a renewed sense of direction.
His next album 'Ragged Glory' was recorded during April of 1990 at Plywood Digital in Woodside, California (except "Mother Earth" which was recorded live at The Hoosier Dome). The sessions were produced by Young and David Briggs and featured Neil Young on guitar and vocals, Frank Sampedro on guitar and vocals, Billy Talbot on bass guitar and vocals, and Ralph Molina on drums and vocals.
The sound harkens back to the aggressive guitar rock of albums like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Young would express: "Things just keep cycling around. I really don't know what brought me back to it. I woke up one morning and all I could hear was the loudest . . . drum I ever heard in my life in my head -- so I knew that wasn't country!...We did the whole thing in three months, from before the songs were written until the album was mastered and turned in, It happened kind of fast. It was like something comes along and you have to jump on and do it. You can't stop until it's done because obviously we knew we were onto it. And we've learned over the years that when the wave comes along, you'd better grab it. So that's what we did, and we just stayed on it until it was up on the beach. It wore me out, but in a real good way. I feel real lucky to have caught that one...With Crazy Horse, it's all one big, growing, smoldering sound, and I'm part of it. It's like gliding, or some sort of natural surfing, or something. . . . It's like a long ride...They've been around a long time. In some ways, they're related to roots of other families of my music in my past and even other music in my past that I didn't make myself. I don't go through this album without hearing Hendrix, Cream and the Doors as well as my own roots...I don't know. I just do what I do. I like to make music, and I feel real lucky to have made this one here, which has really attained a height of some sort. There's definitely some kind of height to this I haven't felt in some time."
'Ragged Glory' went to number thirty-one in the US, twenty-five in Sweden, twenty-two in New Zealand, twenty in Canada, and fifteen in the UK.
"Mansion on the Hill"
"Love to Burn"
"Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)"
All songs written by Neil Young except as noted.
1. "Country Home" 7:05
2. "White Line" 2:57
3. "F*!#in' Up" 5:54
4. "Over and Over" 8:28
5. "Love to Burn" 10:00
6. "Farmer John" (Don Harris, Dewey Terry) 4:14
7. "Mansion on the Hill" 4:48
8. "Days That Used to Be" 3:42
9. "Love and Only Love" 10:18
10. "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" 5:11
"Don't Spook the Horse" 7:36