I’ve probably listened to this album more than any other and I could pick several songs from it that have a deep meaning for me.
In the end, I’ve gone for Natural Beauty, the epic album closer. It is one of those songs that could just go on forever, transcendent and mesmeric.
The song takes me to so many places, but one in particular is the ON-10 highway from Toronto to the Blue Mountains.
My brother spent a year at McMaster University, just outside Toronto, as part of his degree at Manchester and I visited him there in depths of January 2007. We were both in our early twenties and did what guys do at that age spending most of the week in the student union bar, at house parties and clubs in Toronto.
But we also took couple of days out to rent a car and drove north to a small ski resort about 180 km away. We played this album as we crossed the barren, windswept fields, past derelict barns with snow drifting across the highway.
We were in Neil’s backyard and the music fit right in …