Bad Songs: Neil Young, Man Needs a Maid

One of the most sacred elpees in rock history is Neil Young’s Harvest. And I love a lot of it, can sing along to a lot it, though I’ve never owned it.

But even when I was a teen in my friend Judy’s bedroom with a whole gang of kids, listening to this elpee for the first time, it was hard to stomach A Man Needs a Maid.

The sentiment fails, and the grandiose arrangement overcompensates for what? This is Neil Young at his absolute worst.

I’m not sure why Neil decided to tart up the song on the elpee, with all those strings. For me it takes a simple confessional statement, a good melody, and makes it a bit ugly and grandiose.

Here’s a live clip where the basic sexist shit comes across as a man looking closely at his life. He could be wrong, but who can fault him for that. I like that a lot better.


4 thoughts on “Bad Songs: Neil Young, Man Needs a Maid

  1. Although I like a dose of misogyny with my rock ‘n’ roll from time to time, I think I like Peter’s initial shot at a bad songs thread – bad songs by good artists.

    I think we could go on forever with Afternoon Delight’s and Billy Don’t Be A Hero’s (great name for a sandwich shop though) and the internet is probably already loaded with this stuff. As well, I’m sure I could pick 10 REALLY bad songs out of the current top 40 every week (videos too).

    Bad songs by good artists has reasonable boundaries.

    My two cents anyway.

  2. first, you are right about the sandwich shop, Steve. brilliant. (in fact, there is an upholstery store here called “Sweets” and I always thought they blew it by not having the slogan, “Sweets to the Seat.” There is Victor’s Cleaners however, and theirs is “To the Victor, go the soils.”

    second, yeah: bad songs, good bands.

    also, my friend Les also thought we should look at the best bridges in songs we could think of.

  3. The best bridge of all-time is in The Beatles “No Reply.” I can’t post it because that band is not on youtube except for outtakes and live stuff. In fact, probably 10 of the 25 best are in Beatles songs.

    Here is maybe the Stones’ best. I am waiting, I am waiting, for the bridge to make the song.

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