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Hawks & Doves is a 1980 album by Neil Young. Its two sides were recorded in different circumstances, side one being culled from sessions dating from approximately 1974 through 1977, and side two from sessions specifically for the album in early 1980. The record peaked at #30 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in December 1980 in the United Statesmarker. It is also one of Young's shortest albums, its running time just under half an hour.

It was unavailable on compact disc until it was released as a HDCD-encoded remastered version on August 19, 2003 as part of the Neil Young Archives Digital Masterpiece Series.

Album information

Side one, the "doves" side, includes "Little Wing" and "The Old Homestead", which were originally intended to be released as part of 1975's Homegrown. "The Old Homestead" presents a winding, oblique parable of Young's career, including reference to those who question Young's insistence on using the band Crazy Horse when more polished musicians are easily available. Since David Crosby has been on record many times with that very question, the song could be in answer to him directly, incidentally bearing resemblance to Crosby's song "Cowboy Movie" from his If I Could Only Remember My Name album of 1971, in that both present a lengthy allegorical story concealing allusion to the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young saga. In another resemblance, the song "Captain Kennedy" bears similarities to a tune entitled "My Name Is John Johanna" as recorded by Kelly Harrell and the Virginia String Band in 1927, appearing as part of the "ballads" section of Harry Smith's famed Anthology of American Folk Music from 1952. This was intentional on Young's part, as the Anthology was part of the background hum on the folk circuit of Young's early days, influencing hundreds of folk and blues oriented performers in the 1950s and 1960s, both directly and indirectly.

Side two, the "hawks" side, consists of the recordings intended for the album, being the straightest country and western songs Young had penned to date, even more so than those found on American Stars 'N Bars or Comes a Time. Also, this side was unabashed patriotism and seeming promotion of right-wing values puzzled many critics and fans alike as it went against the public perception of the sixties folk-rocker who had written one of the most celebrated protest songs of the seventies, "Ohio." See the Robert Christgau link to the right for one take on this apparent conundrum.

As with many of Young's releases, critical reaction at the time was mixed.

Track listing

All songs written by Neil Young.

Side one - "Doves"

  1. "Little Wing" – 2:10
  2. "The Old Homestead" – 7:38
  3. "Lost in Space" – 4:13
  4. "Captain Kennedy" – 2:50

Side two - "Hawks"

  1. "Stayin' Power" – 2:17
  2. "Coastline" – 2:24
  3. "Union Man" – 2:08
  4. "Comin' Apart at Every Nail" – 2:33
  5. "Hawks & Doves" – 3:27


  • Neil Young – guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals
  • Greg Thomas – drums
  • Dennis Belfield – bass
  • Ben Keith – steel and dobro, harmony vocals
  • Rufus Thibodeaux – fiddle
  • Ann Hillary O'Brien – harmony vocals
  • Levon Helm – drums on "The Old Homestead"
  • Tim Drummond – bass on "The Old Homestead"
  • Tom Scribner – saw player on "The Old Homestead"

External links

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