An Arbitrary But Definitive Ranking of Neil Young Albums

Obviously, I’ll get deeper into what I think about the albums when Neil turns up on Certain Songs next month — though I will say that the first third are great, the next third are good, and even the final third probably have one great song on them — so for now, just a list, with some ground rules.

No live albums, unless said albums were live recordings of new material, so Time Fades Away counts, but A Treasure doesn’t, even though it would have stood as his best album between Rust Never Sleeps & Freedom had he released it instead of Old Ways.

No bootlegs. Sorry Chrome Dreams, but at least Chrome Dreams II counts. No collaborations with any combination of Crosby, Stills or Nash.

No compilations or film soundtracks, so no Decade or Journey Through The Past. And what the hell, I’ll allow Hitchhiker, even if there was forty years between recording & release.

  1. Rust Never Sleeps (1979)
  2. Tonight’s The Night (1975)
  3. Freedom (1989)
  4. Harvest Moon (1992)
  5. Ragged Glory (1990)
  6. After The Gold Rush (1970)
  7. On The Beach (1974)
  8. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
  9. Zuma (1976)
  10. Time Fades Away (1973)
  11. Mirror Ball (1995)
  12. Psychedelic Pill (2012)
  13. Hitchhiker (2017)
  14. Harvest (1972)
  15. Broken Arrow (1996)
  16. Americana (2012)
  17. Life (1987)
  18. Peace Trail (2016)
  19. Sleeps With Angels (1994)
  20. Prairie Wind (2005)
  21. Living With War (2006)
  22. Re*ac*tor (1981)
  23. Comes a Time (1978)
  24. Fork in the Road (2009)
  25. American Stars ‘n’ Bars (1977)
  26. Hawks & Doves (1980)
  27. Trans (1982)
  28. Chrome Dreams II (2007)
  29. Le Noise (2010)
  30. Silver & Gold (2000)
  31. Old Ways (1985)
  32. A Letter Home (2014)
  33. This Note’s For You (1988)
  34. Landing on Water (1986)
  35. Are You Passionate? (2002)
  36. The Visitor (2017)
  37. Neil Young (1969)
  38. Greendale (2003)
  39. The Monsanto Years (2015)
  40. Storytone (2014)
  41. Everybody’s Rockin’ (1983)

One Response to “An Arbitrary But Definitive Ranking of Neil Young Albums”

  1. Michelle says:

    This is highly useful! My love for him continues unabated. I was with my husband when he saw him for the first time, and with my kids when they first heard him (and were instantly mesmerized).

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