Today, Neil Young celebrates his 76th birthday, and after a decorated, 50+ year-long career as a musician, singer-songwriter, producer, director, screenwriter, humanitarian, entrepreneur, he’s still going strong. Young even recently became a U.S. citizen earlier this year after multiple failed efforts, which he claimed were denied due to his love for cannabis.

Watch Neil Young’s Improvised Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speech, Eh?

With such a vast body of work to pull from, there are countless ways we could honor the beloved Canadian-American rocker on his birthday. Here, we’re opting to revisit arguably the most famous release of his career, 1972’s Harvest

In 1971, Young was in a time of growth in his career. He had recently parted ways with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Crazy Horse had signed a new record deal of their own, so Young had plans to release a live acoustic album as his next project. In 1971, Young headed to Nashville to record one of his new acoustic tunes on The Johnny Cash Show in promotion of the new acoustic album. But that trip to Nashville ended up serendipitously altering Young’s course.

Watch Neil perform “The Needle and the Damage Done” on the Johnny Cash Show during the fateful trip to Nashville in 1971.

Neil Young – “The Needle and the Damage Done” – The Johnny Cash Show

[Video: shitilike]

After taping his new acoustic lament “The Needle and the Damage Done”, he went in for a recording session at the local Quadrafonic Sound Studios (now Quad Studios Nashville) to jam and cut a few new songs he had written. The band consisted of a group of session players that had been pulled together at the last minute. Young felt such an immediate connection to the band (whom he eventually dubbed The Stray Gators) that he brought in Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, who had also been part of the Johnny Cash Show recording, to help realize the unexpected burst of inspiration and chemistry.

Young was so inspired by these Nashville sessions that he decided to scrap the existing live acoustic album concept, instead of using the fruits of his fortuitous 1971 Nashville trip as the core of a reimagined new release. The only remnant of the acoustic live concept that remained on the revamped album was a now-famous rendition of “The Needle and the Damage Done” akin to the one performed on The Johnny Cash Show.

Related: ‘Neil Young: Harvest Time’ Docu-Film To Premiere In Theaters [Watch]

The result, 1972’s Harvest, received initially harsh critical reception. A Rolling Stone review famously called the album a “disappointing retread of earlier, better Young releases,” noting that “the discomfortingly unmistakable resemblance of nearly every song on this album to an earlier Young composition – it’s as if he just added a steel guitar and new words to After The Gold Rush.” However, the album was a commercial smash, eventually taking the #1 spot on the Billboard charts and going Platinum four times over. Over the years, the critical opinion of Harvest has done a virtual 180. It is now considered one of his greatest releases, was named the #1 Canadian Album of All Time in Bob Mersereau‘s book, The Top 100 Canadian Albums, and even Rolling Stone ranked the supposedly “disappointing” Harvest the 78th “Greatest Album of All Time” in a 2003 list.

In honor of Neil Young turning 77 years young today, revisit his ’72 classic, Harvest, although it’s worth noting that one doesn’t really ever need an excuse to spin this classic:

Neil Young – Harvest

Happy birthday, Neil! Here’s to many more years of rockin’!