NEIL YOUNG: Back on the Farm (CD)

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Back on the Farm (CD)

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Inspired by Live Aid and Bob Dylan’s appeal for aid to US farmers at that event, the first Farm Aid benefit took place at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium on the 22nd September, 1985. The concert raised over $9million for American farmers struggling to pay mortgage debt, and this success persuaded the principal organisers, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, that the benefit should become a regular event.

This set collects together two of Neil Young’s performances at Farm Aid from the 80s (including that first show in 1985) together with three from the 90s, including the 10-year anniversary at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.

The shows are a fascinating record of Neil Young’s evolution as an artist over the period, from his difficult, experimental time during the mid-80s to his renaissance as a key inspiration for the Grunge movement in the early to mid 90s. The set-lists typically included staples of the Young cannon - My My, Hey Hey; Heart of Gold; Comes a Time – and fans will listen with interest to the various interpretations of these at different points in his career.

There are also some priceless duets, most often with his chief co-conspirator, Willie Nelson, but also with the legendary Waylon Jennings as well as his old sparring partners Crosby, Stills & Nash. Back on the Farm is an essential collection for all fans of one of music’s most important figures.

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