Neil Young Information
Easily one of the most influential artists of his generation, singer-songwriter Neil Young has been performing and releasing records for over 40 years. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice and has released 34 studio albums to date. Originally from Canada, Young moved to California in 1966 and co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield along with Stephen Stills. They became a critical success with their self-titled first album released in 1966, which produced the hit â€œFor What Itâ€™s Worthâ€. After a falling out with their management and the arrest and deportation of one of the groupâ€™s members, the band began to fall apart and released two more records before they split up for good in 1968.
After leaving Buffalo Springfield, Young went on to pursue a solo career and eventually signed a deal with Reprise Records who in 1968 released his first album, â€œNeil Youngâ€. His next album saw him teaming up with the group Crazy Horse and 1969â€™s â€œEverybody Knows This Is Nowhereâ€ is now hailed as one of his classic works featuring such famous songs as â€œCinnamon Girlâ€, â€œCowgirl In The Sandâ€, and â€œDown By The Riverâ€. It was shortly after this that Young was asked to join Crosby, Stills, & Nash, reuniting him with Stephen Stills. They debuted in 1969 with the album â€œDÃ©jÃ vuâ€, an album known not only for its great work but for how frequently the members argued during recording, particularly Stills and Young. Inner turmoil notwithstanding, Youngâ€™s period with CSN&Y resulted in one of their most creative and successful periods. Such songs as â€œCarry Onâ€, â€œHelplessâ€, â€œTeach Your Childrenâ€ and â€œOur Houseâ€ have been placed in rock history as classics. The band also recorded the song â€œOhioâ€, written and sang by Young, the protest song following the 1970 Kent State Massacre and quickly became a staple of anti-war rallies during that time.
Later in 1970 Young released his now infamous album, â€œAfter the Gold Rushâ€; recording without Crazy Horse, this album was less electrified than the previous â€œEverybody Knowsâ€ and features some of his most famous songs to date. With an extended range in sound featuring everything from country to heavy blues, songs like â€œOnly Love Can Break Your Heartâ€, â€œDonâ€™t Let It Bring You Downâ€, â€œAfter the Gold Rushâ€ and â€œSouthern Manâ€ showed the versatility and range of Young as not only a songwriter but as a musician as well. After his tour to support â€œAfter the Gold Rushâ€, Young released his fourth and easily most successful album, â€œHarvestâ€ in 1972. Coupled with Youngâ€™s trip to Nashville and his life becoming more settled down, the tone of â€œHarvestâ€ was more laid-back and down home than any of his previous work. Songs like â€œHeart of Goldâ€ and â€œOld Manâ€, reflected on growing up and searching for a deeper meaning while â€œAlabamaâ€ and â€œThe Needle and the Damage Doneâ€ related to heavy topics in America at the time such as racism and drug abuse.
The following years saw some tragedy happen in Youngâ€™s life, the first being the overdose of Crazy Horse guitarist and friend, Danny Whitten, which threw young into insecurity. Followed by live struggles and another death, this time of roadie Bruce Berry, Young released his darkest record to date, â€œTonightâ€™s the Nightâ€. His record label didnâ€™t like the raw nature of the songs and their somber undertone and it took two years before they would release it. While album sales were low during this period, the records received praise from critics, along with â€œTime Fades Awayâ€ and â€œOn the Beachâ€ these records mark Youngâ€™s â€œditchâ€ period where we saw him dealing with his own personal struggles along with the collapse in idealism with his generation in America.
Following the â€œditchâ€ period, Young reunited with Crazy Horse and put out a series of albums that began to bring back his commercial popularity, â€œZumaâ€ in 1975, â€œComes a Timeâ€ in 1978, which marked the return to his folk roots and â€œRust Never Sleepsâ€ in 1979. The latter featuring an accompanying live album entitled â€œLive Rustâ€ as well as a movie. These releases saw such songs as â€œCortez the Killerâ€, â€œThrough My Sailsâ€, â€œLotta Loveâ€, â€œPowderfingerâ€ and â€œHey Hey, My My (Into the Black)â€. 1979 saw Neil Young earn the praise of critics and readers of Rolling Stone by receiving Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.
The majority of the 1980â€™s saw Young experimenting with different sounds including synthesizers, rockabilly and a country album called â€œOld Waysâ€. It was also a time of personal and professional struggle for the artist. His son Ben, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and his daughter Amber Jean with inherited epilepsy, found him spending the majority of his time with them and not touring as frequently. He was also in the midst of an ongoing battle with his record label at the time, Geffen. After switching back to his old label, Reprise, Young began to tour constantly and released the album â€œThis Noteâ€™s For Youâ€, spawning his first hit single on the decade. He also got together with Crosby, Stills & Nash to record 1988â€™s â€œAmerican Dreamâ€, the follow up to â€œDÃ©jÃ vuâ€.
Neil Youngâ€™s 1989 album â€œFreedomâ€ brought him back into the view of the public after a decade of trouble and challenges. Along with the single â€œRockinâ€™ in the Freeworldâ€, Young received praise from bands in the emerging grunge scene. 1990â€™s â€œRugged Gloryâ€ continued the sound found on â€œFreedomâ€ and saw Young touring with punk band Social Distortion and alternative rock group Sonic Youth. In 1992 he released â€œHarvest Moonâ€, which was a return to the country and folk sound featured on â€œHarvestâ€ and saw him release a live MTV Unplugged album in 1993. Another record with Crazy Horse titled â€œSleeps with Angelsâ€, released in 1994, whose mood was inspired by the death of Kurt Cobain. In 1995 he got together with Pearl Jam to record a live-in-the-studio album entitled â€œMirror Ballâ€, embarked on a tour of Europe and got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1999, â€œLooking Forwardâ€ marked another reunion with CSN&Y and launched a highly successful tour of the United States and Canada.
Neil Young continued to release new material throughout the 2000â€™s and saw him taking a stand in activism once again. Protesting against the US invasion of Iraq and President George W. Bush, â€œLiving With Warâ€ showcased a return to current events being present in Youngâ€™s songwriting. He continued to tour, perform and release material for both compilations and collaborations with other artists and directors. On June 5, 2012 Neil Young & Crazy Horse released â€œAmericanaâ€, a tribute to some of the nationâ€™s most popular folk songs. Including, â€œOh Susannaâ€, â€œClementineâ€, â€œThis Land Is Your Landâ€ and â€œGod Save The Queenâ€, a reference to Youngâ€™s upbringing in Canada. The album resulted in the Neil Young & Crazy Horse launching their first tour in over eight year to support the record.