14 May 2013

14th May - Neil Young with Crazy Horse's Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Artist – Album: Neil Young with Crazy Horse- Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Released:  14th May 1969             
Sounds Like: Young Neil rocks

The best of Neil Young’s music falls under two distinct categories – those with his backing band Crazy Horse and those without. Sans the zany stallions, his sound is countrified folk rock, all falsetto vocals, dreamy lyrics and beautiful orchestration or plucked acoustic guitar. In the company of the wacky steeds though, they turn it up a little bit. The guy rocks out, amid electric guitar solos, thudding bass and hard drums, and the noise they made became something of a precursor to the alternative rock and grunge genres.

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere is Neil Young’s second album but his first with the eccentric mares, and that loose, guitar-heavy rock sound is in full effect. Admittedly, in comparison to some of their heavier stuff on later albums such as Rust Never Sleeps and Weld, it’s reined in (hehe, a pun) somewhat, but ‘Cinnamon Girl’, for example, stands as one of the greatest rockers in Young’s lengthy and impressive career. ‘Down by the River’ and ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’ are stretched, sustained jams, full of distorted guitar solos and suggestive lyrics. All three were written whilst he was bedridden in Topanga Canyon with a 103 °F (39 °C) fever, and yet each has been hailed as his finest composition at various junctures.  Elsewhere, ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ and ‘Round & Round (It Won’t Be Long)’ retain the amplified approach but have elements of his alter ego, that harmonious country star, to them.

Few artists have possessed the sense of individuality and identity that Young conveys, and there’s elements that you just wouldn’t think would work – he has the awkward, lanky demeanour that ill-suits a frontman; his high pitched, wavering voice; and the thirty-seven studio albums he has had released since 1968 should surely affect the quality of his output. But, invariably, he overcomes these obstacles to create some of the best music rock history has ever heard, with a brilliant emphasis on feeling and groove. And of those thirty-seven fantastic albums, this may well make the top three.

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Cinnamon Girl – 2:58
2.       Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – 2:26
3.       Round & Round (It Won’t Be Long) – 5:49
4.       Down by the River – 9:13
5.       The Losing End (When You’re On) – 4:03
6.       Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets) – 5:30
7.       Cowgirl in the Sand – 10:06

Listen to ‘Cinnamon Girl’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAdtUDaBfRA

Also released on the 14th May:
2002: The Black Keys – The Big Come Up
Also released on the 14th May:
2007: Battles – Atlas

Also released on the 14th May:
2007: The 1990’s - Cookies

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