Tuesday, October 31, 2006

136. Neil Young With Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)

Track Listing

1. Cinnamon Girl
2. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
3. Round And Round
4. Down By The River
5. Losing End (When You're On)
6. Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)
7. Cowgirl In The Sand


Ok, there very few artists that I love as much as Neil Young, and this is his first truly great album, first of many. And there isn't anything better to start 1969 off than this album. I'll say this right of the bat: this album is a 10.

Neil Young destroys the excesses of psychadelia, which are sometimes fun and sometimes just over the top, and brings rock back to guitars and songs, in this album, he later goes into orchestration and more complex stuff. But here it's the guitar and the voice that matters. He is considered the father of Grunge, and this is where we first see him as such. He left the confines of Buffalo Springfield, which were frankly just keeping Young back from his greatness.

Here Young makes two tracks which are around the 10 minute mark, and it is a tribute to his immense talent that they never sound stretched, and that you are never hoping that they finish. In fact there is not one bad track in this album, or mediocre, or medium good, or good. All are excellent. The album both rocks hard, particularly in the extended songs but is also capable of moments of great beauty in Round & Round and Running Dry, which has an exquisitely beautiful violin in it.

It's an album that I am sad to see go, but fortunately I listen to it all the time anyway... so you can stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Down By The River
2. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
3. Running Dry
4. Cowgirl In The Sand

Final Grade



CSNY play Down By The River (it is actually the same version of the album, but with CSN instead of Crazy Horse):

From Wikipedia:

* Other hobbies of Young include collecting and restoring classic automobiles, and attending San Jose Sharks ice hockey games with his son, Ben Young.

* Young's full birth name is reportedly Neil Percival Kenneth Robert Ragland Young. In the opening of the documentary Year of the Horse, Young identifies himself as Neil Percival Young.

* Young owns a 101-foot wooden schooner, built in 1913, the W.N. Ragland, which he named after his grandfather, Bill Ragland.

* Police knocked out one of Young's teeth in the aftermath of one of the notorious Sunset Strip riots of 1967. Comparison of modern concert footage with Buffalo Springfield footage shows that Young has had extensive dental work in the intervening years. In an interview for Jerry Hopkins' book The Rock Story in 1970, Buffalo Springfield manager Dick Davis stated that the beating sent Young to the UCLA neuropsychiatric hospital for some time for tests. He believed that Young's epilepsy was at least partly an outcome of police battery.

* When filming the motion picture The Last Waltz, Young appeared on stage with one nostril clearly filled with cocaine. Bandleader Robbie Robertson later had to pay several thousand dollars for the cocaine to be Rotoscoped out of the film, lest rock audiences be "offended." Robertson called it "the most expensive cocaine I've ever bought." When asked about the incident many years later, Young replied, "I'm not proud of that."

* Young's tour buses operate on biodiesel. He also owns a Hummer that has been modified to operate on alternative fuel. Said Young about the latter vehicle in the 2005 Time article, "I love it when people yell at me that about the environment... and then I tell them that I'm burning 90% cleaner than them."

* Young wrote the song "Ohio" after David Crosby gave him the Newsweek magazine cover with pictures from the infamous Kent State shootings in 1970.

* He wrote his song "Campaigner" (originally called "Requiem for a President") after sitting on a hotel bed with his (then) young son Zeke watching the news and seeing an emergency bulletin about Pat Nixon who had suffered a stroke. The sight of a sad and beaten Richard Nixon tearily moving through the hospital's revolving doors inspired Young to write the song.

* Young was the musical guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien for the first week of November 2005. This was one of his few late night talk show appearances.

* On 17 August 2006 Young apeared as a guest on The Colbert Report. His interview led to a musical duet with Colbert that ended prematurely. Before Young was able to finish singing the opening line, "Let's impeach the President for lying", Colbert interrupted, saying "Wait a second!", waving his arm, and adding "We'll be right back", twice, as the show cut to a commercial.

* The Australian Band Powderfinger is named after a Neil Young song.

* Actor Rick Moranis portrayed a left-handed Young in an SCTV sketch entitled "The Wide World of High Voices".

* According to Marge Simpson, Neil Young "was a singer in the Sixties, like the Archies and the Banana Splits."

* The Sonic Youth song Creme Brulee contains the line "last night I dreamed I kissed Neil Young, if I was a boy I guess it would be fun."

* The Teenage Fanclub song "Neil Jung" was a working title given by a sound
engineer. The name stayed and appears on the album Grand Prix.

* The Pixies, a late 80s indie band, had covered the songs, "Winterlong" and "I've Been Waiting For You", as one of their B-sides. Both cover songs can be found on their B-sides compilation.

* Canadian singer-songwriter Scott B. Sympathy released an album entiled Neil Yonge Street in 1990 (which puns on the name of the City of Toronto's central thoroughfare).

* A live cover of the song "Rockin' in the Free World" can be found on the Bon Jovi album "One Wild Night 2001"

* Young was interested in playing lead guitar for Iron Butterfly when the group reformed in 1968 after a brief split. Before deciding upon Erik Brann, the band also considered Jeff Beck and Michael Monarch.

* On the 31st season finale of Saturday Night Live, in a commercial spoof, the actor Kevin Spacey portrayed Young promoting his "subtlest" album, I Do Not Agree With Many Of This Administration's Policies, about the Bush administration. Songs included President George W. Liar, Donald Rumsfeld is a Straight-Up Murderer, I'm Just Going To Say It, I Don't Think Iraq is Going Well, Dick Cheney is Overweight, and The NSA Wiretapping Shuffle. It also included duets with The Dixie Chicks and Bright Eyes and was "not sold at Wal-mart," considering that the store refused to sell his album Living With War.

* There is a high school in Toronto, Ontario, called Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, where Neil Young attended before he was expelled. There is somewhat of a legend of how he got expelled; some say he was expelled for some drug-related reasons, but many attendees of the school claim that he was expelled for riding his motorcycle through the hallway.

* At some point before he made it big, Neil Young worked at a Coles Sporting Goods store in Toronto as a shipper receiver.

* The mythical feud between Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd is referenced by the Drive-By Truckers on their 2001 album Southern Rock Opera in the song "Ronnie and Neil".

* The song "Old Man" off of Harvest (1972) features a banjo played by James Taylor.

* Neil Young was parodied by Jim Carrey in a third season In Living Color sketch entitled "Career-Aid".

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