Freedom

Freedom was released in October 1989 and it included songs from various sessions over a couple of years. Producers were Neil Young and Niko Bolas.

Freedom cover

Songs

1. Rockin' in the Free World (Acoustic Version)
2. Crime in the City (Sixty to Zero Part I)
3. Don't Cry
4. Hangin' on a Limb
5. Eldorado
6. The Ways of Love
7. Someday
8. On Broadway
9. Wrecking Ball
10. No More
11. Too Far Gone
12. Rockin' in the Free World (Electric Version)

The album got a much better reception than the last albums and “Rockin’ in The Free World” became one of Young biggest hits ever. Two versions – acoustic live and electric – of the song was included as the first and last tracks on the record. A method familiar from Rust Never Sleep.

“Rockin’ in The Free World” can seem very anthem, but besides from the repeated chorus, it delivers intense and visual lyrics that are political in an implicit way (not all like Living With War). The second verse goes:

I see a woman in the night
With a baby in her hand
Under an old street light
Near a garbage can
Now she puts the kid away,
and she's gone to get a hit
She hates her life,
and what she's done to it
There's one more kid
that will never go to school
Never get to fall in love,
never get to be cool.

An analyze of the song could be found here.

In one aspect Young arises anew, in a background where all studio albums since Re-ac-tor could be called concept albums. Freedom on the other hand did sound as "the classic” Neil Young. A song like “Hangin’ On A Limb” do certainly remind of Young from the 70s.

All the pieces are not falling into place and there seems to be some insecurity of direction, but it is an impressive album overall. It was something of a new starting point of an artist that was ready with his more experimental projects, and together with the “Rockin’ in The Free World” single it has also helped introducing Neil Young's music for a new generation.

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