My Top 1000 Songs #361: On The Way Home

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

There are better, more interesting Neil Young songs. There are better, more interesting Buffalo Springfield songs. But "On The Way Home" is another one of those amiable, modest tracks that just feels nice to play. Like an old friend, not out to score points or impress, just great to have around.

The song showed up on Buffalo Springfield's final LP, 1968's post-breakup contract-fulfilling collection of odds & ends, Last Time Around; but unlike most of the album, it's at least a "real" group effort featuring the entire band. While Neil wrote it, Richie Furay handled the vocals--presumably a throwback to the band's earlier efforts to sweeten Neil's edge--and I kinda like that choice. Furay gives it an endearing spin that works well with the bittersweet lyrics, a sense of wistful sadness despite the brightness of the music, balancing Neil's sometimes cruel lash and the chipper horns and woo-hoo-hoos. Though it's great to have myriad live versions from Neil over the years as a counterpoint.

Acoustic live version from CSNY:
Neil, just last month!