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Who: Neil Young
Author: Ian Kirkwood

BETWEEN the first BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD record in 1966 and Rust Never Sleeps in 1979, NEIL YOUNG made more than a dozen albums of the greatest pop music ever made.

Every one is a classic, as alive today as they were on the day of their release.

Since then, Young has been equally prol ic but increasingly patchy, to the point where I was beginning to resent the money I'd wasted on chasing lost dreams.

On the strength of the advance publicity I bought the new one, Greendale , and for once the PR spin was right.

It is true genius.

For Young fans it's CRAZY HORSE electric, sounding for all the world like Zuma (1974) even looking like it with a black pen-line cover and those crazy big birds that Young loves so much.

Subject-wise, Greendale is a concept album, the story of little town Greendale and its Green family, after one of them shoots a cop in post- September 11 America.

Hey, no-one ever said Neil Young was happy.

This great survivor from the Woodstock generation turned 60 earlier this month.

He still sounds the same, and his songs are still written in the same easy three or four chords, for anyone maudlin enough.

Greendale comes with a bonus DVD, a live workout of most of the album's songs, done as wooden music in a solo show in Dublin.

Both records are beaut ul.

And who says he's got no sense of humour? From the song Grandpa's Interview : ``This guy keeps on singing, why doesn't he shut up.

I don't know where he keeps coming up with this stuff.

'' And this from the man who said it was better to burn out than to fade away.

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