Essentials by the Dozen — Neil Young in 12 Tracks

[NOTE: This list is not a definite top 12 of Neil Young’s all-time greatest songs. Rather, it should be viewed as a strong collection in his catalogue that would essentially allow to have an efficient overview of his entire career. As a Neil Young fan myself, I also firmly believe that you should at the very least know every single one of these songs if you ever wish to debate the brilliance of his music. If at the moment you do not, RELAX, SIT BACK & ENJOY THE MAGIC OF ROCK.]

“Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons

You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon

You’re leaving there too soon”

“A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night

You see us together chasing the moonlight

My cinnamon girl”

“Well, I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships lying

In the yellow haze of the sun

There were children crying and colors flying

All around the chosen ones”

“Old man lying by the side of the road

With the lorries rolling by

Blue moon sinking from the weight of the load

And the buildings scrape the sky

[…]

Don’t let it bring you down

It’s only castles burning

Find someone who’s turning

And you will come around”

“Lullabies, look in your eyes

Run around the same old town

Doesn’t mean that much to me

To mean that much to you

[…]

Old man, take a look at my life

I’m a lot like you

I need someone to love me

The whole day through”

“I sing the song because I love the man

I know that some of you don’t understand

Milk blood to keep from running out

I’ve seen the needle and the damage done

A little part of it in everyone

But every junkie’s like a setting sun”

“I need a crowd of people

But I can’t face them day to day

Though my problems are meaningless

That don’t make them go away”

“I’ve been flyin’ down the road

And I’ve been starvin’ to be alone

And independent from the scene that I’ve known

Albuquerque”

“Well tell me more, tell me more, tell me more

I mean was he a heavy doper or was he just a loser?

He was a friend of yours.

What do you mean he had bullet holes in his mirrors?

He tried to do his best, but he could not.

Please take my advice. Please take my advice.”

“He came dancing across the water

With his galleons and guns

Looking for the new world

And the palace in the sun”

“But me, I’m not stopping there

Got my own row left to hoe

Just another line in the field of time

When the thrasher comes, I’ll be stuck in the sun

Like the dinosaurs in shrines

But I’ll know the time has come

To give what’s mine”

“Hey, Hey, My, My

Rock and roll will never die

It’s better to burn out

Than meets the eye

Hey, Hey, My, My”

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