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Neil Young | Photo by Danny Clinch

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and rock and roll legend Neil Young begins a two night solo acoustic stand tonight at the Academy of Music. With so many incredible albums to pull from – and a new record on the way – Young fans can expect both some classics and some surprises tonight and tomorrow night. Recently, he’s been covering Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” and Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe,” and trotting out some of the old faithful classics from Harvest, After The Goldrush, and some new songs. Here’s five songs we hope he plays while in Philly. We hope he plays all your favorites. “Revolution Blues” (from On The Beach, 1974) For critics and hardcore fans, Young’s On The Beach is perhaps his best album. It followed Young’s commercially successful Harvest. Reviewing it for Rolling Stone, Stpehen Holden called it “one of the most despairing albums of the decade.” It also has some of Young’s most fantastic, soul bearing song writing. “Revolution Blues” is a burner, full of detachment and raw imagery. “Journey Through The Past” (from Time Fades Away, 1973) Most of this live album was recorded during a 1973 tour with The Stray Gators (Ben Keith, Jack Nitsche, Tim Drummond, Johnny Barbata and guest appearances from Graham Nash and David Crosby). The album included previously unreleased material and is still one of several albums Young has not released digitally. “Journey” was the title of a soundtrack and film of the same name that Young released in 1972. It’s a beautiful, piano based song. “Round and Round (It Won’t Be Long)” (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969). 1969, when this record was released, was a very long time ago. But this song and the album it’s from still stands the test of rock and roll time. While the title track, and songs like “Cinammon Girl,”Down By The River,” and “Cowgirl In The Sand,” have become classic rock standards, it’s songs like “Round and Round” With its haunting waltz like country folk vibe, that balanced out the collection. “Midnight On The Bay” (from Long May You Run, 1976) The one and only album released by The Stills-Young Band, a collaboration between Stephen Stills and Young, “Midnight On The Bay” was a soulful, slinky stand out on an album where the best songs were written by Young; “Fountainbleu,” the title song, and “Midnight.” While Stills’ guitar flourishes give the studio version it’s shine, I can see Young pulling off a solo version of this song without any difficulty. “Philadelphia” (from the soundtrack to Philadelphia) Obvious choice here, but not without possibilities of Young playing it. This was nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for Best Original Song and he performed it at the Academy Awards. It lost to Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia,” from the same movie. It’s a tender, moving ballad, one of Young’s best. Neil Young plays the Academy of Music tonight and tomorrow; tickets are still available, more information at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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