Neil Young's first album of the 1980s was a mellow, low key affair. The songs that made up Hawks & Doves came from a variety of sources. On side one he dug up a number of outtakes dating as far back as 1974. Despite this they did all tie together nicely, with a sparse, somewhat eerie acoustic sound. Two were solo performances, one was a little studio experiment with Young overdubbing all the instrument himself, and "The Old Homestead" featured Tim Drummond on bass and Levon Helm on drums (plus Tom Scribner on electric saw, of all instruments!). Side two of the album featured all new songs, recorded with a band put together just for the session - Ben Keith (pedal steel), Rufus Thibodeaux (fiddle), Dennis Belfield (bass) and Greg Thomas (drums). They were hardly songs which were going to become highlights of Young's canon, but with their relaxed country style they were pleasant enough.
Overall the album came together well. It turned out to represent the end of an era for Young, as with the start of the 80s he was about to embark on the most artistically confusing decade of his career.
Rust Never Sleeps (1979) <|> Re-ac-tor (1981)
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