I'm no connoisseur of grunge so I can't really comment on what specifically that movement gleaned from Neil's music, but listening to this album it's not hard at all to understand why the grunge pioneers were excited about it--it's fuckin' awesome! Strong songs musically and lyrically, perfect balance of dark and hopeful themes, Crazy Horse sounds great, and most of the songs are platforms for ridiculous extended soloing from Neil and ol' black. His guitar tone is typically juicy on this album, and there are some of the most righteous licks I've ever heard the man play--something about his style, though it's simple and often melodic, just carries an energy that nobody else can pull off. Great driving music, and it sounds better the more you crank the volume up. My one complaint is "Mother Earth," which tries to cop Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" vibe and comes off corny because of some heavy-handed and cliché lyrics. That still leaves you with about 57 minutes of pure gold, though.
That that's not really the story with Neil Young & Crazy Horse is part of their genius. It's definitely something that Young intentionally shoots for. Heck, on Crazy Horse's 1986 tour, he billed the band as "the third-best garage band in the world" (although supposedly Bill Graham came up with that moniker for them first). It's not easy to do--it's not easy to write songs this music-theoretically simple that have this kind of impact. It's not easy to be a career professional yet so convincingly give that "hobby band" tint to your music.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse's hardest rocking album by far. Ragged Glory is all electric all the time. It's a glorious mix of very loud chords and feedback, great songwriting and wonderfully primitive yet driving Bass and Drums that is noting less that an aural feast. Some of these amazing saurian stompers absolutely demand that the knob be ripped off. Fuckin Up is appallingly amazing. Over And Over is a scorching love song writ large. Mansion On The Hill is simply incredible. And Farmer John, just wow, what a song. If You love hard electric Guitar music, you need Ragged Glory in your collection.
ReleasedSeptember 9, 1990