Neil Young and the elusive Ragged Glory vinyl
If you read this blog and my inane dribbles it is no secret that I am a Neil Young and vinyl fan. If you combine those two obsessions you can understand my search for an album that has eluded me for some time, the Ragged Glory album by Neil and Crazy Horse.
Ragged Glory was the first Neil Young album I bought on CD, never owned the vinyl. Vinyl records were old hat. Big heavy dinosaurs of the time before compact discs. They were space wasting, easy to scratch, always noisy no matter how much care you gave them, I viewed them as relics from an old age. CDs were small (hence the word ‘compact’), no ‘pops and clicks’, easy to take on a trip and you could ‘program’ out songs you didn’t want to hear…a monster was born.
I sold or gave away my record collection, something I still feel shame and deep regret about…I drank the grape Kool-Aid.
After many years of having all the music I wanted, getting any song or album with a couple of clicks of the mouse, I noticed a change in the way I viewed music. Music was this ‘thing’ that I stored on my computer…this thing that was easy to get…and if I didn’t like the sound of it within 40 seconds I ‘clicked’ on something else. It took very little effort to listen to music and music just became background noise to fill up my silence. Then, almost by accident, I rekindled my love affair with the old fashion vinyl record.
I had forgotten the joy of the hunt. Going into a record store and just digging. Looking for something to listen to. I started hitting up local record stores and going to yard sales. You know what happened? I started meeting a new group of like minded people, I got to know my local store owners and I made a couple of new friends. They gave me some suggestions on what they thought I might like. I discovered more music that appealed to me.
I rediscovered listening to music. Really listening to music…reading the liner notes, studying the album artwork, following along with the lyric sheet, listening to an album in one sitting and in the order the artist intended.
And folks it just sounds better.
That was one I always scoffed at…but even with my old ears I can tell the difference. Vinyl has a fuller, richer and more vivid range. Which brings me back to our topic.
The album Ragged Glory is one of my favorite Neil Young and Crazy Horse albums. It is always in rotation on my iPod. Great songs, great guitars, great sound…I would turn to this album and turn it up when I needed a pick-me-up or if I was already in a good mood this would just enhance the exhilaration. There is just something special about that set of songs to me.
It was released in September of 1990. It was a time that they just didn’t make that many vinyl records, everything was compact discs and vinyl was being phased out. So when I started building up my Neil Young vinyl collection it was hard for me to track down…at a reasonable price. I had record guys looking for me. I got told stories of having seen a copy at the local Goodwill or that so-and-so has two copies just ask him to sell you one. Even on-line they were never in my price range.
Until two weeks ago. It showed up on eBay…an auction…starting bid of one dollar. I watched it all week long. After a couple of days it went up to sixteen dollars and just sat there. I watched and waited. I waited until ten seconds left on the auction and I bid twenty-six dollars and one cent. I got the record for twenty-two bucks.
My mailman brought it to me yesterday and it is a glorious thing. Buying records, especially used, on-line can be a little iffy, but the record is in great condition with very little surface noise. I played it this afternoon and even though they crammed so much music on this single disc (64 minutes) the sound is so warm, it was as if the Horse was playing in my bedroom.
I can now cross it off my list….now to find Mirror Ball.