His Harvest album was the biggest-seller of 1972, but Neil wasn’t happy. “‘Heart of Gold’ put me in the middle of the road,” he later wrote. “Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch.” The ditch meant a trio of darker, abrasive albums that left some fans craving for more acoustic songs. This 10-song collection, recorded in 1976 but left in Neil’s vaults until now, sounds a lot like a companion to Harvest. It features stripped-down versions of “Pocahontas” and “Powderfinger” that he later recorded with Crazy Horse. “Campaigner” and “Human Highway” sound relevant all over again with their messages about political deception and mean spiritedness. The former cites Richard Nixon but could just as easily be about Donald Trump, while the latter asks the question “how could people get so unkind?” Two previously unreleased tracks, the falsetto-laced “Hawaii” and the heartbroken “Give Me Strengths,” are worthy new additions to the Flannel-Shirted One’s vast canon.
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