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One of the greats comes to DVD-Audio. Neil Young’s Harvest from the ripe old year of 1972 rises from Warner’s music back catalogue. It is an old title so probably not worth bothering with, is it? Actually it’s a great album, hailed as one of the greats of all time and so if you are a fan of real music, it should be in your collection. Especially so, on DVD-Audio.

The menus keep in theme with the original artwork nicely
Album
Firstly, what hit me about this album is the clarity of the music. Every instrument sounds incredible, deep and lush. Remember this was originally recorded over thirty years ago and only last year did it receive its re-mix into 5.1 by the original producer Elliot Mazer. The track Heart of Gold was one (if not the only) of the albums main successes and therefore it may ring a bell when you hear it. A consistent drum beat with a great acoustic guitar chorus and some inspired emotional harmonica playing will help you detract from the fairly mediocre lyrics. The track is just country/folk enough for fans of that genre, but is also pop enough for what would have been at the time, the ever expanding popular music crowd to enjoy. The mix to surround sound is both full and wondrous. I guess some people do not like it when their old albums get this sort of update but really, it is the best way to listen to music if done correctly.

The track Alabama’s electric guitar and hefty bass line really explode in, more so with the sharp contrast of Young’s soft singing voice. The clash of the cymbals come at you from behind while the monstrous bass eclipses the room. The chorus, sung by Young with Stephen Stills and David Crosby (from Crosby, Stills and Nash) reminds me of something I cannot quite put my finger on. However it is more likely that something else I have heard reminds me of this track since it is over 30 years old and most of my music isn’t. Mellow and exciting, soft and loud, acoustic and electric – this album has it all. The audio fidelity is outstanding and the music itself is also remarkable.

Alabama was recorded in a barn - I kid you not
Extras
Firstly since this album is so short, they have decided to include a DTS soundtrack which is a great idea. After all, it is not like they are running out of space on this DVD. It still takes up only half the DVD even with three soundtracks and a couple of extras. Anyway, I am not listening to the DTS or the Dolby Digital soundtracks as there is little point. As with all DVD-Audio discs, each soundtrack is created from the same mix so the only difference is the compression used. And when I can listen to the magic of DVD-Audio, I see little point in having to listen to the lower quality DTS or Dolby Digital soundtracks (I never thought I’d say that DTS was actually inferior when talking about a DVD, but in these cases it is). One small side note, the DTS soundtrack is what we would call full bit rate DTS however, the people at DTS hate us using that phrase (see the interview <a href=;s=13&c=17 target=moo>here</a>) so I will just say it is 1536kbps DTS.

The first proper extra is an interview with Neil Young from the seventies. Set in a field while he listens to the first recording of his album, Neil talks about the music and how he wonders how people will dance to it (speaking about the track Words). It must have been amazing to actually be there and hear it for the first time, pumped out of a barn across the fields and hills. He is one tripped out, chilled out “cat”.

Neil notices the axe-wielding maniac behind the camera man for the first time
The next interview is with Elliot Mazer in front of the same barn. It is not long at all (under a minute-thirty), but he demonstrates the way in which it was recorded which is quite interesting. Also included is a photo gallery which comprises of around 13 pictures, some posed and some during the recording session for the album. A four page Discography and the Lyrics (which are also on the inlay) to the songs round off the extras, not forgetting the o-so important Credits section which I am sure you all read religiously.

Overall
This is one of the finest DVD-Audio discs I have managed to get my greasy mitts on so far. The only downside is that in an attempt to be different, it is not presented in a plastic case, but a cardboard one which is annoying as it doesn’t sit on my shelf right, and will no doubt look worn a lot quicker than if it were in a Super Jewel Case as other releases are. No real problem, just a minor peeve to be honest. So you know of the album, and you maybe like it, but you don’t know whether to splash your cash on it? You are kidding me, right? To the shops, Batman!


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