Neil Young News
Subject: Re: Harvest Cartoon? (long)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 23:00:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Zain Patel <email@example.com>
To: Jon & Michell Berkey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Rust <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Harvest Cartoon? (long)
> ..could one (or did one) argue that Neil "sold out" by evoking the Harvest
> name for his 1992 album? Am I the only one who feels I'd like the album a
> lot better if it was called something else that had nothing to do with
> Harvest? Did Neil intend for comparison or is that some bright marketing
> ploy by the folks at Reprise?
The funny thing is that Neil has contradicted himself on this one. When
he was interviewed on a Canada-wide radio programme almost a year before
Harvest Moon came out, he openly admitted he was working on a 'sequel' to 'Harvest',
and spoke at length about it. A year later, just after Harvest Moon was released,
on another Canadian radio interview he vehemently denied that Harvest Moon was a
sequel to 'Harvest':
"The whole idea of following up the 'Harvest' album is
something that's contrived more from the standpoint of
record companies, and mostly questions. You know, people
see the correlation between the two, and it's kind of a
plus to be able to refer back 20 years and see the same
people and do that. But the thrust of the albums is
different, even though the subject matter is similar, so
I tend to shy away more from comparisons between them -
they're reference points for one another. I mean, people
who have never heard of 'Harvest' may really like Harvest Moon and
may end up referring back to 'Harvest' because of all this
conversation about how the two of them go together..."
He then goes on to say:
"...I don't like the idea of belittling this record into
being a sequel to 'Harvest', or a remake of 'Harvest', or
anything like this. This record doesn't need 'Harvest'.
This record stands on its own, and that's *my* feeling.
This is a new record - 'Harvest' is ancient history. And
this record is the one that I'm focused on as far as...
of course, now I'm finished with it and I'm waiting to get
focused on something else, but that's how I feel about it."
It seems to me that he originally intended it to be a 'sequel' to
'Harvest' - whatever that means - (I know because I've got him on tape
explicitly saying it was to be a 'sequel'), but then perhaps he realized
that by doing so he'd prevent it from being appreciated in its own right,
so he denied that it was intended as a sequel.
As for the title, when he was asked if calling it Harvest Moon would burden it, he
"Oh, no, it *is*, there's no doubt. And I don't mind
that. I mean, I don't think that's a bad thing. I
think it's nice to be able to relate back and forth. The
thing is...and I knew when I did that that it would create
that impression. It's obvious, you know, it's like I
can't have my cake and eat it too, you know, but the thing
is that Harvest Moon is the appropriate title for this record.
There isn't a better title. If you look at all of the
titles of the songs, and if you go by the rule of...on all
of my acoustic albums it seems - not so much my electric
ones, but on the acoustic albums - I always use a song
title. It's usually a song title from that album that I
use to describe it, like, you know, the great majority of
them are like that. So, of all of the titles on Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon is
the best title for the collection of songs. I mean, I've
tried every one of them, you know....You see, the title of
the song pays some homage to the fact that it's the same
people, but it draws it in, I think, a more beautiful and
subtle way than, for instance, my record company has
presented this thing in this bio that I asked you about.
I read this piece of shit just a few minutes ago. Somebody
knocked it off in five minutes, you know, the most uncreative
person doing the most obvious job, you know, and this is
supposed to be a guideline for people to ask questions from.
I mean, it's totally embarrassing."
To my own ears, 'Harvest' and 'Harvest Moon don't sound at all alike. 'Harvest Moon' reminds me
more of 'Comes A Time' or 'Old Ways' than 'Harvest', but as Neil says, maybe some of the
subject matter is the same. I love the solo renditions he did of Harvest Moon,
"From Hank To Hendrix", and "Unknown Legend" on 'Saturday Night Live' and the 'Tonight' show, and my only complaint is that
I wished he had done solo versions of those songs on 'Unplugged'. That
way, we'd be able to appreciate both the Stray Gators' version and the
solo version of each song. I'm not sure why Neil chose to include 3 songs
on 'Unplugged' that weren't even a year old and weren't markedly different
from their original versions.
Love In Mind
Album Reviews of Neil Young