A landmark moment happened today as I wandered the thrift store aisles searching for that special brand of black gold that is vinyl. I found a copy of Freedom by Neil Young. This was the first Neil Young album I bought on CD when it was released, it is now the most recent Neil Young I have bought on vinyl.
This may be one of my favorite Neil albums. It still has the horns from This Notes For You and that weeping pedal steel from Ben Keith, some heartfelt lovelorn songs, social commentary and the apocalyptic guitar solo on Don’t Cry. I have loved this album since the day I sat next to the speakers in my flat in Brighton intently absorbing it all as I was afraid of playing it too loud in fear of waking the neighbors.
I also have an indelible image of a beautiful woman swaying along to Eldorado one evening as I tried to explain my somewhat obsessive devotion to Neil Young, and she still married me after all that and still sways along to Eldorado. She has also braved many a Neil Young show and been very patient as I recreated a collection of albums she remembers me tearfully handing to Dave as we packed for the USA.
So here I am full circle and 27 years later with a pristine vinyl copy of Freedom in the dim evening light, trying to remember why I got up at 4am and considering going to bed but realizing that I may have to play this again.