Neil Young: “Walk On” (1974)

A short stop on the long drive to find the cost of stardom.

Kronomyth 6.01: Fame is a beach.

The bulk of Neil Young’s radio bounty comes from Harvest and earlier. The albums after were exactly that: albums of songs. Sure, you could release a song like Walk On as a single and get it halfway up the charts, but eventually it came crashing down to earth on broken wings. “Walk On” is the shortest and most succinct song from On the Beach, but it’s an appetizer for much heavier fare. A good song surrounded by some great ones.

The B side is For the Turnstiles, the second-shortest song on the album. Both are identical to the elpee versions. It’s a ragged tune, featuring Ben Keith on dobro and backing vocals, that deals with the fleeting nature of fame (or something like that). Neither side of the single sets you up for On the Beach, which is one of his most powerful and affecting albums.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Walk On (Neil Young) (2:39)
B1. For the Turnstiles (Neil Young) (3:06)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in July 1974* in the US and Canada (Reprise, REP 1209), Germany (Reprise, REP 14 360 (N)) and Spain (Reprise, 45-1115) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #69 on the US charts. (*First appeared in 7/13/74 issue of Billboard.)

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