Ragged Glory

Ragged Glory is the 18th studio album by Canadian / American singer-songwriter Neil Young, and his sixth album with the band Crazy Horse. It was released by Reprise Records on September 9, 1990.

Ragged Glory
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 9, 1990 (1990-09-09)[1]
RecordedApril 1990
StudioPlywood Digital, Woodside, CA (except "Mother Earth": The Hoosier Dome)
GenreGarage rock,[2] grunge[3]
ProducerNeil Young, David Briggs
Neil Young chronology
Ragged Glory
Crazy Horse chronology
Left for Dead
Ragged Glory


The Ragged Glory sessions took place in April 1990 at Young's Broken Arrow Ranch. The band played a set of songs twice a day for a couple of weeks (never repeating the same songs in a set), then went back, listened and chose the best takes. According to Young, this approach "took 'analysis' out of the game during the sessions, allowing the Horse to not think".[4]

Music and lyricsEdit

The album revisits the heavy rock style previously explored on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Zuma. The first two tracks, "Country Home" and "White Line" are songs Young and Crazy Horse originally wrote and performed live in the 1970s (the original recording of "White Line", made for an aborted Homegrown album, would finally see release in 2020). "Farmer John" is a cover of a 1960s song, written and performed by R&B duo Don and Dewey and also performed by British Invasion group The Searchers as well as garage band The Premiers.[5] Young revealed that the song "Days that Used to Be" is inspired by Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages". The album features many extended guitar jams, with two songs stretching out to more than ten minutes.

The closing track, "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)", uses the melody of the folk song "The Water Is Wide".

Reception and legacyEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [6]
Chicago Tribune    [7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [8]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[9]
Los Angeles Times     [10]
MusicHound Rock4/5[11]
Rolling Stone     [5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [12]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[13]
The Village VoiceA−[14]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Kurt Loder hailed Ragged Glory as "a monument to the spirit of the garage - to the pursuit of passion over precision" and calling it "a great one".[5] In the Los Angeles Times, John D'Agostino deemed the record "garage rock" and "impressive primitivism coming from a 45-year-old rock icon",[2] while Village Voice critic Robert Christgau called it "an atavistic garage stomp" that "makes good on several potent fantasies--eternal renewal, the garage as underground, the guitar as shibboleth and idea."[15] It was voted album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll,[16] and in 2010 it was selected by Rolling Stone as the 77th best album of the 1990s.[17] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[18]

The CD single culled from the album, "Mansion on the Hill", included the otherwise unreleased song "Don't Spook the Horse" (7:36). "F*!#in' Up" (pronounced "Fuckin' Up") is frequently covered by Pearl Jam live (see Category:Pearl Jam Official Bootlegs for recordings), and was performed by Bush in their headlining set at Woodstock 1999. Toronto-based band Constantines recorded a version of "F*!#in' Up" in Winnipeg,[19] which surfaced as the B-side to their "Our Age" 7"[20] in November 2008. Scottish heavy metal band The Almighty recorded the song and included it as a B-side (with an uncensored title) to their "Out of Season" single in 1992. An outtake from the sessions for the album, "Interstate", was released on the vinyl version of the 1996 album Broken Arrow and on the CD single for the track "Big Time".[citation needed] UK Americana band The Whybirds frequently covered the song live.[21]

Smell the HorseEdit

In December 2018 Young revealed in a post on his Archives website that during the process of remastering the album, engineer John Hanlon discovered 38 minutes of unreleased music from the recording sessions (featuring "five songs, with two versions of one, and one long extended take of another"). The expanded set, named Ragged Glory II, was expected to be released on CD, vinyl and Hi-Res audio in 2020 but was delayed.[4] In February 2021, the album was again announced, now titled Smell the Horse, containing all of Ragged Glory as well as "four added tracks", and was set for release later that year, but was eventually pushed back to 2023.[22]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Neil Young except as noted.[23]

1."Country Home" 7:05
2."White Line" 2:57
3."Fuckin' Up"Neil Young, Frank "Poncho" Sampedro5:54
4."Over and Over" 8:28
5."Love to Burn" 10:00
6."Farmer John"Don Harris, Dewey Terry4:14
7."Mansion on the Hill" 4:48
8."Days That Used to Be" 3:42
9."Love and Only Love" 10:18
10."Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" 5:11


Song Single
"Don't Spook the Horse" "Mansion on the Hill"[24]
"Interstate" "Big Time"


Crazy Horse



Chart performance for Ragged Glory
Chart (1990) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 62
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[26] 19
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[27] 42
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[28] 22
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[29] 13
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[30] 25
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 38
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 15
US Billboard 200[33] 31


Year Single Chart Peak Position
1990 "Mansion on the Hill" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 3[34]
"Over and Over" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 33[34]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[35] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Silver 60,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Neil Young Archives". Archived from the original on January 31, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b D'Agostino, John (April 23, 1991). "COMMENTARY : Colorful Chameleon : Music: Fans that have stuck by as Neil Young changed from one style to another are finally rewarded with his newest effort. He plays the Sports Arena tonight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "50 Greatest Grunge Albums". Rolling Stone. April 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Ragged Glory : Massive Discoveries in the vault!". Neil Young Archives. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Loder, Kurt (September 20, 1990). "Neil Young's Guitar Ecstasy". Rolling Stone. No. 587. p. 99.
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Ragged Glory - Neil Young, Neil Young & Crazy Horse | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 7, 2006.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (September 6, 1990). "3 To Watch Out For". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Neil Young". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  9. ^ Sandow, Greg (September 14, 1990). "Ragged Glory". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Hilburn, Robert (September 16, 1990). "Neil Young's 'Ragged Glory' Touches on Faded Ideals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (1996). "Neil Young". In Graff, Gary (ed.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0787610372.
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Neil Young". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Portions posted at "Neil Young > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  13. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Neil Young". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 23, 1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 5, 1991). "Hard News in a Soft Year". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "The 1990 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. March 5, 1991. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  17. ^ "100 Best Albums of the '90s". Rolling Stone. May 22, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  18. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (February 7, 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  19. ^ "Constantines: Celebrating 10 Years". Arts-crafts.ca. Archived from the original on June 9, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  20. ^ "Arts & Crafts - Constantines - Our Age - Arts & Crafts - Music Stream". Arts-crafts.ca. 2008-11-25. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "The Whybirds Fuckin' Up". YouTube. February 3, 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "ORS 5". Neil Young Archives. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  23. ^ Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Ragged Glory (Reprise Records, 1991).
  24. ^ "Neil Young And Crazy Horse - Mansion On The Hill (Edit)". 45cat. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 308.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  33. ^ "Neil Young - The Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Neil Young - Mainstream Rock Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  35. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Neil Young – Comes A Time". Music Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  36. ^ "British album certifications – Neil Young – Ragged Glory". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 May 2022.