Friday, October 30, 2015
About: Eric Burdon
Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941) is an English singer-songwriter best known as a member and vocalist of rock band the Animals and the funk band, War and for his aggressive stage performance. He was ranked 57th in Rolling Stone's list The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Burdon was lead singer of the Animals, formed during 1962 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The original band was the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which formed in 1958; they became The Animals shortly after Burdon joined the band. The Animals combined electric blues with rock and in the USA were one of the leading bands of the British Invasion. Along with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, and the Kinks, the group introduced British music and fashion. Burdon's powerful voice can be heard on the Animals' singles "The House of the Rising Sun", "Sky Pilot", "Monterey", "I'm Crying", "Boom Boom", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Bring It On Home to Me", "Baby Let Me Take You Home", "It's My Life", "We Gotta Get out of This Place", "Don't Bring Me Down", and "See See Rider".
By late 1966, the other original members, including keyboardist Alan Price, had left. Burdon has often attributed the disintegration of the band to conflict with Price, specifically that Price had claimed sole rights and ownership to “House of the Rising Sun.” Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group as Eric Burdon and The Animals. This more psychedelic incarnation featured future Family member John Weider and was sometimes called Eric Burdon and the New Animals. Keyboardist Zoot Money joined during 1968 until they split up in 1969. This group's hits included the ballad "San Franciscan Nights", the grunge–heavy metal-pioneering "When I Was Young", "Monterey", the anti-Vietnam anthem "Sky Pilot", and the progressive cover of "Ring of Fire".
In 1975, the original Animals reunited and recorded an album called Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted, released in 1977 and overlooked due to the dawning of punk. In May 1983, The Animals reunited with their original line-up and released the album Ark on 16 June 1983, along with the singles "The Night" and "Love Is For All Time". A world tour followed, and the concert at Wembley Arena, London, recorded on 31 December 1983, was released in 1984 as Rip it to Shreds. Their concert at the Royal Oak Theatre in April 1984 was released in 2008 as Last Live Show; the band members were augmented by Zoot Money, Nippy Noya, Steve Gregory, and Steve Grant. The original Animals broke up for the last time at the end of 1984.
During 1969, while living in San Francisco, Burdon joined forces with Californian funk rock band War. In April 1970, the resulting album created was entitled, Eric Burdon Declares "War", which produced the singles "Spill the Wine" and "Tobacco Road".
A two-disc set entitled “The Black-Man's Burdon”, was released later in September 1970. The singles from the double album, "Paint It, Black" and "They Can't Take Away Our Music", had moderate success during 1971. During this time Burdon collapsed on the stage during a concert caused by an asthma attack, and War continued the tour without him.
In 1976, a compilation album, Love Is All Around, released by ABC Records, included recordings of Eric Burdon with War doing a live version of "Paint it, Black" and a cover of The Beatles song "A Day in the Life." The band also featured ex-NFL star Deacon Jones who coined the term "quarterback sack" and sang on the band's 1975 song "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
Eric Burdon and War were reunited for the first time in 37 years, to perform an Eric Burdon & War reunion at the concert at the Royal Albert Hall London on 21 April 2008. The concert coincided with a major reissue campaign by Rhino Records (UK), which released all the War albums including Eric Burdon Declares "War" and The Black-Man's Burdon.
Burdon began a solo career in 1971 with the Eric Burdon Band, continuing with a hard rock–heavy metal–funk style. In August 1971, he recorded the album Guilty! which featured the blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon, and also Ike White of the San Quentin Prison Band. In 1973, the band performed at the Reading Festival and in 1974 they travelled to New York City. At the end of 1974, the band released the album Sun Secrets and this was followed by the album Stop in 1975. Burdon moved to Germany in 1977 and recorded the album Survivor with a line-up including guitarist Alexis Korner and keyboardist Zoot Money; the album also had a line-up of four guitarists and three keyboard players and is known for its interesting album cover, which depicts Burdon screaming. The album was produced by former Animal's bassist Chas Chandler. The original release included a booklet of illustrated lyrics done in ink by Burdon himself.
In May 1978, he recorded the album Darkness Darkness at the Roundwood House in County Laois, Republic of Ireland, using Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio and featuring guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group, who had left Streetwalkers a few months before. The album was eventually released in 1980. During January 1979, Burdon changed his band for a tour taking in Hamburg, Germany, and the Netherlands.
On 28 August 1982, "The Eric Burdon Band" including Red Young (keyboards) performed at the Rockpalast Open Air Concert in Lorelei, Germany. Following this Burdon toured heavily with his solo project from March 1984 to March 1985, taking in UK, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Australia. In 1986, Burdon published his autobiography entitled I Used To Be An Animal, But I'm Alright Now.
In March 1979, he played a concert in Cologne and changed the band's name to "Eric Burdon's Fire Department", whose line-up included backing vocalist Jackie Carter of Silver Convention, Bertram Engel of Udo Lindenberg's "Panik Orchester" and Jean-Jaques Kravetz. In mid 1980, they recorded the album The Last Drive. "Eric Burdon's Fire Department" toured Europe with this line-up and Paul Millins and Louisiana Red made special appearances in Spain and Italy. By December 1980, the band had broken up.
In April 1981, Christine Buschmann began to film Comeback with Burdon as the star. They created a new "Eric Burdon Band" whose line-up included Louisiana Red, Tony Braunagle, John Sterling and Snuffy Walden. This band recorded live tracks in Los Angeles. They also recorded in Berlin with another line-up, the only remaining member being John Sterling. In September 1981, the final scenes of Comeback were shot in the Berlin Metropole and Burdon and his band continued to tour through Australia and North America. A studio album titled Comeback was released in 1982. The 1983 album Power Company also included songs recorded during the Comeback project.
In 1988, he put together a band with 15 musicians including Andrew Giddings – keyboards, Steve Stroud – bass, Adrian Sheppard – drums, Jamie Moses – guitar and four backing vocalists to record the album I Used To Be An Animal in Malibu, in the United States. In 1990, Eric Burdon's cover version of "Sixteen Tons" was used for the film Joe Versus the Volcano. The song, which played at the beginning of the film, was also released as a single. He also recorded the singles "We Gotta Get out of this Place" with Katrina & The Waves and "No Man's Land" with Tony Carey and Anne Haigis. Later in 1990, he had a small line-up of an Eric Burdon Band featuring Jimmy Zavala (sax and harmonica), Dave Meros(bass), Jeff Naideau (keyboards), Thom Mooney (drums) and John Sterling (guitar) before he began a tour with The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and they appeared at a concert from Ventura Beach, California, which was released as a DVD on 20 June 2008.
On 13 April 2004, he released a "comeback" album, My Secret Life, which was his first album with new recordings for 16 years. When John Lee Hooker died in 2001, Burdon had written the song "Can't Kill the Boogieman" the co-writers of the songs, on the album, were Tony Braunagel and Marcelo Nova. In 2005, they released a live album, Athens Traffic Live, with special DVD bonus material and a bonus studio track and disbanded in November 2005. He began a short touring as "The Blues Knights".
On 27 January 2006, he released his blues–R&B album Soul of a Man. This album was dedicated to Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. The cover of the album was a picture which was sent to Burdon a few years before. Burdon then formed a new band, with the following members: Red Young (keyboards), Paula O'Rourke (bass), Eric McFadden (guitar), Carl Carlton (guitar), and Wally Ingram (drums). They also performed at the Lugano Festival and in 2007 he toured as the headlining act of the "Hippiefest" line-up, produced and hosted by Country Joe McDonald.
Burdon, at 71, recorded an E.P. with Cincinnati garage band the Greenhornes called, simply, Eric Burdon & the Greenhornes. The album was recorded at an all-analogue recording studio, and released on 23 November 2012 as part of Record Store Day's "Black Friday."
In 2013, Eric Burdon came out with a new album called, “Til Your River Runs Dry”. The lead single off the album was called, "Water" and was inspired by a conversation he had with former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1991, Burdon and Brian Auger formed the "Eric Burdon – Brian Auger Band" with the following line-up: Eric Burdon – vocals, Brian Auger – keyboards, vocals, Dave Meros – bass, vocals, Don Kirkpatrick – guitar, vocals, and Paul Crowder – drums, vocals. By 1992, Larry Wilkins replaced Kirkpatrick and Karma Auger (Brian's son) replaced Crowder and in 1993 they added Richard Reguria (percussion). The live album Access All Areas was then released. In 1994 the "Eric Burdon – Brian Auger Band" disbanded. Burdon then formed the "Eric Burdon's i Band". The line-up included Larry Wilkins, Dean Restum (guitar), Dave Meros (bass) and Mark Craney (drums).
In 1995, Burdon made a guest appearance with Bon Jovi, singing "It's My Life"/"We Gotta Get out of This Place" medley at the Hall of Fame. He also released the album Lost Within the Halls of Fame, with past tracks and re-recordings of some songs from I Used to be an Animal. In October 1996, Aynsley Dunbar replaced Craney on drums. The Official Live Bootleg was recorded in 1997 and in May that year Larry Wilkins died of cancer. He also released the compilations Soldier of Fortune and I'm Ready which featured recordings from the 1970s and 1980s.
In 2000, he recorded the song "Power to the People" together with Ringo Starr and Billy Preston for the motion picture “Steal This Movie!”. On 11 May 2001, the Animals were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Burdon's 60th birthday. On 3 March 2002, the live album Live in Seattle was recorded. Ex-War member Lee Oskar made a guest appearance on the album. In 2003 he made a guest appearance on the album Joyous in the City of Fools by the Greek rock band Pyx Lax, singing lead vocal on "Someone Wrote 'Save me' On a Wall".
In 2001, his second critically acclaimed memoir, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," written with author/filmmaker J. Marshall Craig, was released in the US, followed by editions in Greece, Germany and Australia; it covers the British Invasion, moving to Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and various anecdotes about Rock and Roll stardom.
On 7 June 2008, Burdon performed at the memorial service of Bo Diddley in Gainesville, Florida. During July and August 2008, Burdon appeared as the headline act of the "Hippiefest". He also recorded the single "For What It's Worth" with Carl Carlton and Max Buskohl.
On 12 November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Eric Burdon No. 57 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers of all Time. On 22 January 2009 he first performed with his new band, including keyboardist Red Young, guitarist Rick Hirsch, bass player Jack Bryant and drummer Ed Friedland. For a few months he was sick and did not perform except in the United States. On 26 June, he began his European tour. The band included Red Young (keyboards), Billy Watts (guitar), Terry Wilson (bass), Brannen Temple (drums) and Georgia Dagaki (cretan lyra). The tour ended on 7 August.
On Monday 28 January 2013, Eric Burdon made a rare appearance performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, backed by the Roots. Fallon hyped Burdon's current album, 'Til Your River Runs Dry.
On Tuesday 23 July 2013, Eric was a guest on stage with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Cardiff Millennium Stadium, performing "We Gotta Get Out of This Place."
In August 2013, he toured with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.
The sound of The Animals influenced many Britpop, alternative rock and power pop groups as well as the bands Deep Purple, The Black Crowes, The Hives, Grand Funk Railroad, MC5, The White Stripes and his voice has been highly respected by many singers such as Jim Morrison, Robert Plant, Tom Petty, David Johansen, Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Hunter, Ryan Adams, Julian Thome, Jack White, John Mellencamp and Dan Zanes.
1964 - The Animals
1965 - The Animals on Tour
1965 - Animal Tracks
1966 - Animalisms
1977 - Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted
1983 - Ark
Eric Burdon & The Animals
1967 - Eric Burdon & The Animals
1967 - Winds of Change
1968 - The Twain Shall Meet
1968 - Every One of Us
1968 - Love Is
Eric Burdon & War
1970 - Eric Burdon Declares "War"
1970 - The Black-Man's Burdon (double album)
1976 - Love Is All Around – 1976, No. 140 US
Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon
1971 - Guilty! (Re-released in 1976 as "Black & White Blues")
The Eric Burdon Band
1974 - Sun Secrets
1975 - Stop
1982 - Comeback
1977 - Survivor
1980 - Darkness Darkness
1980 - The Last Drive
1983 - Power Company
1988 - I Used To Be An Animal
1995 - Lost Within the Halls of Fame
2004 - My Secret Life
2006 - Soul of a Man
2008 - Mirage
2012 - Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes
2013 - 'Til Your River Runs Dry
1965 – In The Beginning
1973 – The Animals with Sonny Boy Williamson
1984 – Rip It To Shreds: Greatest Hits Live, No. 195 in US
1985 – That's Live
1993 – Access All Areas
1996 – Eric Burdon Live
1998 – Live at the Roxy
2000 – The Official Live Bootleg #1
2000 – The Official Live Bootleg #2
2001 – The Official Live Bootleg 2000
2002 – Live in Seattle 2002
2005 – Athens Traffic Live
2009 – Live 17th October 1974
Eric Burdon – 2000 to 2019
Eric Burdon – 1980 to 1999
Eric Burdon – 1960 to 1979
Eric Burdon through the Years – (Live)
Eric Burdon Interviews through the Years
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
About: Marlon Williams
Marlon Williams is an award winning singer-songwriter from town of Lyttelton, New Zealand.
He released his debut solo album to critical acclaim in April, charting at 4 in New Zealand, and 31 in Australia in its opening week. The album has been called “captivating” by Rolling Stone, “a revelation” by Metro Magazine and “wonderfully accomplished” by the New Zealand Herald in a 5-star review. It has also featured on countless ‘Best of the Year So Far’ lists including Double J, Fasterlouder, Herald Sun, The Music and Timber & Steel
Williams’ sold out album release tour in June/July, including an epic hometown show at the 1300-capacity Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Performing with his band The Yarra Benders, the Sydney Morning Herald review glowed “what a terrific show. Fun and funny, sad and blue, it had flashes of modernity amid vast swathes of history and offered up the promise of a future completely unpredictable and completely watchable”.
Williams will spend 2015 touring the album in Australia and NZ, acting in several film and TV roles, and touring North America, UK and Europe before he releases the album internationally in early 2016.
With one of the purest voices in modern music, and the charisma and individuality to match it, the world is about to discover Marlon Williams.
Marlon Williams grew up singing in the Christchurch cathedral choir, before his punk rock dad turned him onto country music in his teens.
He founded The Unfaithful Ways at 17, with his high school friends and their science teacher, and quickly gained national attention, playing the Big Day Out, touring with Band of Horses and Justin Townes Earle, and picking up a Critics Choice award nomination at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards for their debut album Free Rein.
Williams met acclaimed country singer Delaney Davidson in 2011, and the pair began performing as a duo. Over two years they released three volumes of the series, Sad But True: The Secret History Of Country Music Songwriting, garnering critical acclaim, including the New Zealand country song and country album of the year in 2013.
Relocating to Melbourne in mid-2013, Williams began performing solo around town and built a cult following playing a residency at local venue the Yarra Hotel. The buzz built nationally in 2014, with major festival and television appearances leading to sold out tours of Australia and New Zealand.
He released his debut solo album in April 2015 to critical acclaim, and will spend the year touring internationally alongside film and TV appearances.
“Picks his marks and hits them…captivating” Rolling Stone
“…his voice soars to the heavens and plucks at the heartstrings.” The Australian
“One of the most impressive country records this year” Tonedeaf
“At times impossibly fun, at others bone-achingly beautiful; Marlon Williams has delivered a gem” The Music
“The whole record is remarkable…” Music Feeds
“…sublime” Herald Sun
“Williams is also a singular artist who mimics none of his heroes, and has forged his own musical path” New Zealand Herald
“Williams’ combination of youthful enthusiasm, old-soul wisdom, and solid songwriting makes this debut a wonderfully accomplished record which justifies the hype he is getting” New Zealand Herald
“It’s a revelation: an album that will still be listened to and enjoyed a decade hence” Metro Magazine
“Marlon Williams solo debut is so effortlessly great…” Metro Magazine
“A big part of his charm is that voice, which almost single-handedly brings back the type of emotive yet eloquent crooning touched on by both Tim Buckley and his son Jeff, but which hasn’t really been done the way it needs to be done since those first crooners of rock and roll, those bedevilled songs of Bing like Elvis Presley and especially Roy Orbison” Metro Magazine
“Well, I have something to say. Do yourself a favour and buy this album. Buy it now, because it might just be one of the best country/folk/alternative/whatever-you-want-to-categorise-it records you listen to all year!” Speaker TV
Marlon Williams has one of the richest voices you’ll hear anywhere in New Zealand.” Sunday Star Times
Though this solo debut has been a long time coming he has built a strong reputation as a live performer across Australia and New Zealand, and that experience has filtered through on this superb album that never falters or loses its sense of wonderment across its thirty-five minutes” UTR
“Sorry, New Zealand – in the grand tradition of Crowded House, Sam Neill and Russell Crowe, Australia will be claiming Marlon Williams as our own. After all, the Lyttelton-born singer resides in Melbourne now, and really, he’s just that good, we’re having him” The Age
striking poise and unique polish” Mess & Noise
One of New Zealand’s finest musical exports” Renowned For Sound
2011 – Free Rein by The Unfaithful Ways
2012 – Sad But True Vol 1 by Delaney Davidson & Marlon Williams
2013 – Sad But True Vol 3 by Delaney Davidson & Marlon Williams
2014 – Strange Things (Single) – Marlon Williams
2014 – Dark Child (Single) – Marlon Williams
2015 – Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams
Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders – Hello Miss Lonesome (Live - 2015)
Hello Miss Lonesome – (Album: Marlon Williams – Feb. 2015)
Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders - Portrait of a Man (Screamin' Jay Hawkins cover)
Strange Things - (Live on Radio NZ - 2015)
Lonely Side of Her – (Live @ The Black Bear Lodge – 2015)
Everyone’s Got Something to Say - (Live on Radio NZ - 2015)
Strange Things – (2014 Single) - (Album: Marlon Williams – Feb. 2015)
Dark Child – (2014 Single)
The State Hospital – (Love on RocKwiz TV – 2014)
Ballad of Minnie Dean – (Balcony TV – 2013)
Marlon Williams – Official Website
Marlon Williams - Soundcloud
Marlon Williams - Wikipedia
Marlon Williams - Facebook
Marlon Williams - Twitter
Marlon Williams - YouTube
Marlon Williams - iTunes
Marlon Williams – Amazon (Vinyl)
Marlon Williams - Bandcamp
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
About: David Philips
David Philips is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from the UK. His work as a solo artist and session guitar player has taken him around the world playing venues and festivals such as Montreaux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Delhi Jazz Festival (India), Woodford Folk Festival (Australia), Blue Balls Festival (Switzerland), Mare De Agosto Festival (Azores Islands), Blues Aan Zee Festival (Holland), plus studio work and live shows in the US, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. He has also written and recorded productions for companies such as MTV, VH1, Audi, Volkswagon, Honda, La Caixa (Spain) and Gas Natural (Spain).
Philips self released his debut album “Heal Yourself Alone” in 2010 and was quickly selected as Album Of The Week by Robert Elms at BBC Radio London. It was also at #34 in the top 100 roots/country albums of 2011, compiled by Roots Music Report in the US. After a short tour of Holland and Belgium Philips signed with Black and Tan Records in Holland and released his next 3 albums with the Dutch label.
Philips is known for his D.I.Y approach in the studio, writing, recording and producing all his albums himself as well as playing all instruments and tracking all vocals on his last 3 records to date. The Rooftop Recordings (2011) was recorded in his rooftop apartment in Barcelona, Spain while December Wine (The 4 Track Tapes) (2013) is a selection of demos recorded using a Tascam 4 track cassette machine. His most recent album “If I Had Wings” was released in March 2015 and is the result of 18 months of writing, recording and live shows throughout Europe. The record is Philips' most adventurous to date, exploring his musical past as a jazz guitar player and also electronic music producer. He also did the artwork for the release using paintings, drawings and sketches made whilst on tour and at home throughout 2014. David Philips has toured Europe extensively over the past 5 years and continues to showcase his world class guitar playing and carefully crafted songs and stories to a growing audience.
Washes Over Me – (Album: The Rooftop Recordings 2 - Oct. 2016)
Angel – (Album: If I Had Wings – 2015)
Hummingbird – Studio Session – (Album: If I Had Wings – 2015)
Quiet - @Classic 21 Blues Live – (Album: If I Had Wings – 2015)
Up There – Live on Norderstedt - 2014 (Album: If I Had Wings – 2015)
Lonely – Rooftop Sessions 2015 - (Album: December Wine – 2013)
The Man in the Moon - (Album: December Wine – 2013)
A Sailors Song - (Album: December Wine – 2013)
December Wine - (TV3 Studio Session 2012 – Live) (Album: December Wine – 2013)
Sitting Watching You - (TV3 Studio Session 2012 – Live)
Rag Boat - (TV3 Studio Session 2012 – Live)
You Didn’t Make Me - Live Uit Lloyd Radio Session – (Album: The Rooftop Recordings – 2011)
Right Back – (BTV's Nit de Blues – 2012) - (Album: Heal Yourself Alone – 2010)
Love Will Ruin a Good Thing – (Live Spanish TV 2012) - (Album: Heal Yourself Alone – 2010)
Southeast Breeze - Live Uit Lloyd radio 2011 - (Album: The Rooftop Recordings – 2011)
Testing new equipment - Golden Age Projects R1 MkIII and Bluerdige BG60
David Philips – Official Website
David Philips - Reverbnation
David Philips - Soundcloud
David Philips – Last FM
David Philips - Songkick
David Philips - Facebook
David Philips - Twitter
David Philips - YouTube
BUY MUSIC @
David Philips - iTunes
David Philips – CD Baby
Monday, October 26, 2015
About: Flavor Crystals
Flavor Crystals are a psychedelic shoegaze band from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
From 2005 to 2015 the band released 4 albums: “On Plastic” in 2005 on mpls ltd. "Ambergris" recorded with Kramer and released on vinyl by mpls ltd in 2007 and later released on CD by Second Shimmy (Distributed by Cargo UK) in 2008. Then in 2012 they released a triple LP "Three", and their latest LP “The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals” was released on Oct 13th, 2015.
The Band has toured extensively including opening for the Brian Jonestown Massacre, US leg in 2009. They have also toured with the “LSD and the Search for God” the “Telescopes” in 2012, the “Carsick Cars” in 2013, and “Chui Wan” in 2015 and others.
Flavor Crystals deliver an appealing laid back progressive Psychedelic / shoegaze dreamy sound that appeals to conscious seeking music fans the world over.
Album: The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals – (Oct 2015)
Album: Three (Limited Edition Vinyl) – (May 2012)
Album: Three (Digital d/l Edition) – (May 2012)
Album: Ambergris – (July 2007)
Album: On Plastic – (June 2005)
Diamond Mind – (Album: The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals – 2015)
Flavor Crystals (Live on KVSC - 2013)
Mirror Chop – (Album: Three – 2012)
Ivan In The Park / Boris In The Pool – (Live on Radio K770 – 2012)
Squid Ink – (Album: Ambergris – 2007)
Checker Board – (Album: On Plastic – 2005)
Flavor Crystals – Official Website
Flavor Crystals - MySpace
Flavor Crystals – Last FM
Flavor Crystals - Facebook
Flavor Crystals – Bandcamp
Flavor Crystals - iTunes
Flavor Crystals - Amazon
Flavor Crystals – CD Baby
Saturday, October 17, 2015
About: Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield together with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, and later joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. He released his first album in 1968 and has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, spanning over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continuous and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as "one of rock and roll's greatest songwriters and performers". He was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Young's music is characterized by his distinctive guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and characteristic alto or high tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments, including piano and harmonica, his idiosyncratic electric and acoustic guitar playing are the defining characteristics of a varyingly ragged and melodic sound.
While Young has experimented with differing music styles throughout a varied career, including electronic music, most of his best known work is either acoustic folk-rock and country rock or electric, amplified hard rock (most often in collaboration with the band Crazy Horse). Musical styles such as alternative rock and grunge also adopted elements from Young. His influence has caused some to dub him the "Godfather of Grunge".
Young has directed (or co-directed) a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films including Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).
Young is an environmentalist and outspoken advocate for the welfare of small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid. He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled LincVolt. The project involves his 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology as an environmentalist statement.
In 1986, Young helped found The Bridge School, an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his ex-wife Pegi Young (née Morton).
Young has three children: sons Zeke (born during his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress) and Ben, who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and daughter Amber Jean who, like Young, has epilepsy. Young lives on his ranch near La Honda, California. Although he has lived in northern California since the 1970s and sings as frequently about U.S. themes and subjects as he does about his native country, he has retained his Canadian citizenship. On July 14, 2006, Young was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and on December 30, 2009, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Early Years: 1945 to 1966
Neil Percival Young was born on November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario. His father, Scott Alexander Young (1918–2005), was a journalist and sportswriter who would later rise to prominence in Canada for his work. His mother, Edna Blow Ragland "Rassy" Young (1918–1990) was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. His mother was an American of French ancestry. They married in 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and their first son, Robert 'Bob' Young, was born in 1942.
Shortly after Neil's birth in 1945, the Young family moved to the rural town of Omemee, Ontario, which Neil would later fondly describe as a "sleepy little place". (The Youngtown Museum in Omemee (recently moved to Lindsay as part of Old Gaol Museum) is a tribute to Young.) Young suffered from a bout of polio in 1951, in what was the last major outbreak of the disease in Ontario. Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, then aged nine, also contracted the virus in this epidemic.
After his recovery, the Young family vacationed to Florida in the United States in 1952, and upon returning to Canada soon decided to move away from Omemee and into the city of Toronto, before relocating to Pickering, which is just east of Toronto, and then again to north Toronto soon afterward. It was during this period that Young began to take an interest in popular music that he heard on the radio, and also began to raise chickens in order to sell their eggs.
When Young was twelve, his father, who had been having a number of extra-marital affairs, left his mother, and she asked for and received a divorce some years later, in 1960. Due to the breakup of the family, Neil went to live with his mother, who moved back to Winnipeg, while his brother Bob stayed with his father in Toronto. It was then that his musical drive really kicked in.
During the mid-fifties, at around the age of ten or eleven, Young was drawn to a variety of musical genres including rock and roll, rockabilly, doo-wop, R&B, country, and western pop. He would listen to pop music broadcast on the CHUM radio station via his transistor radio. Young has stated in interviews that he grew up idolizing Elvis Presley and strove to be just like him. He later referred to him in a number of his lyrics. Other early musical influences included Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Hank Marvin, Little Richard, Fats Domino, The Chantels, The Monotones, Ronnie Self, The Fleetwoods, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Gogi Grant. Young first began to play music himself on a plastic ukulele, before, as he would later relate, going on to "a better ukulele to a banjo ukulele to a baritone ukulele – everything but a guitar."
Young and his mother settled into the working class area of Fort Rouge, Winnipeg, where the shy, dry-humoured youth enrolled at Earl Grey Junior High School. It was there that he formed his first band, The Jades, and met Ken Koblun, later to join him in The Squires. While attending Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, he played in several instrumental rock bands. Young's first stable band was called The Squires, with Ken Koblun, Jeff Wuckert and Bill Edmondson on drums, who had a local hit called "The Sultan". Young dropped out of high school and also played in Fort William (now part of the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario), where they recorded a series of demos produced by a local producer named Ray Dee, whom Young called "the original Briggs". While there, Young first encountered Stephen Stills. In the 2006 film Heart of Gold, Young relates how he used to spend time as a teenager at Falcon Lake, Manitoba, where he would endlessly plug coins into the jukebox to hear Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds". The Squires played in as many dance halls and clubs in Winnipeg and Ontario as they could.
After leaving the Squires, Young worked folk clubs in Winnipeg, where he first met Joni Mitchell. Mitchell recalls Young as having been highly influenced by Bob Dylan at the time. Here he wrote some of his earliest and most enduring folk songs such as "Sugar Mountain", about lost youth. Mitchell wrote "The Circle Game" in response. The Winnipeg band The Guess Who (with Randy Bachman as lead guitarist) had a Canadian Top 40 hit with Young's "Flying on the Ground is Wrong", which was Young's first major success as a songwriter.
In 1965 Young toured Canada as a solo artist. In 1966, while in Toronto, he joined the Rick James-fronted Mynah Birds. The band managed to secure a record deal with the Motown label, but as their first album was being recorded, James was arrested for being AWOL from the Reserve. After the Mynah Birds disbanded, Young and the bass player Bruce Palmer relocated to Los Angeles. Young admitted in a 2009 interview that he was in the United States illegally until he received a green card in 1970.
Buffalo Springfield (1966 - 1968)
Once they reached Los Angeles, Young and Palmer met up with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, and Dewey Martin to form Buffalo Springfield. A mixture of folk, country, psychedelia, and rock, lent a hard edge by the twin lead guitars of Stills and Young, made Buffalo Springfield a critical success, and their first record Buffalo Springfield (1966) sold well after Stills' topical song "For What It's Worth" became a hit, aided by Young's melodic harmonics played on electric guitar. According to Rolling Stone, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other sources, Buffalo Springfield helped create the genres of folk rock and country rock.
Distrust of their management, as well as the arrest and deportation of Palmer, exacerbated the already strained relations among the group members and led to Buffalo Springfield's demise. A second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, was released in late 1967, but two of Young's three contributions were solo tracks recorded apart from the rest of the group.
In many ways, these three songs on Buffalo Springfield Again, "Mr. Soul", "Expecting to Fly", and "Broken Arrow", are harbingers of much of Young's later work in that, although they all share deeply personal, almost idiosyncratic lyrics, they also present three very different musical approaches to the arrangement of what is essentially an original folk song. "Mr. Soul" is the only Young song of the three that all five members of the group performed together. In contrast, "Broken Arrow" was confessional folk-rock of a kind that would characterize much of the music that emerged from the singer-songwriter movement. Young's experimental production intersperses each verse with snippets of sound from other sources, including opening the song with a soundbite of Dewey Martin singing "Mr. Soul" and closing it with the thumping of a heartbeat. "Expecting to Fly" was a lushly produced ballad similar to the baroque pop of the mid-1960s, featured a string arrangement that Young's co-producer for the track, Jack Nitzsche, would dub "symphonic pop".
In May 1968, the band split up for good, but in order to fulfill a contractual obligation, a final album, Last Time Around, was released, primarily from recordings made earlier that year. Young contributed the songs "On the Way Home" and "I Am a Child", singing lead on the latter. In 1997, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Young did not appear at the ceremony. The three surviving members, Furay, Stills and Young, appeared together as Buffalo Springfield at Young's annual Bridge School Benefit on October 23–24, 2010, and at Bonnaroo in the summer of 2011.
Going Solo, Crazy Horse (1968 - 1969)
After the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, Young signed a solo deal with Reprise Records, home of his colleague and friend Joni Mitchell, with whom he shared a manager, Elliot Roberts, who manages Young to this day. Young and Roberts immediately began work on Young's first solo record, Neil Young (November 12, 1968), which received mixed reviews. In a 1970 interview, Young deprecated the album as being "overdubbed rather than played", and the quest for music that expresses the spontaneity of the moment has long been a feature of his career. Nevertheless, the album contains some songs that remain a staple of his live shows, most notably "The Loner".
For his next album, Young recruited three musicians from a band called The Rockets: Danny Whitten on guitar, Billy Talbot on bass guitar, and Ralph Molina on drums. These three took the name Crazy Horse (after the historical figure of the same name), and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (May 1969), is credited to "Neil Young with Crazy Horse". Recorded in just two weeks, the album opens with one of Young's most familiar songs, "Cinnamon Girl", and is dominated by two more, "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River", that feature improvisations with Young's distinctive electric guitar solos billowing out over the hypnotic Crazy Horse backing. Young reportedly wrote all three songs on the same day, while nursing a high fever of 103 °F (39 °C) in bed.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (1969–1970)
Shortly after the release of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Young reunited with Stephen Stills by joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, who had already released one album Crosby, Stills & Nash as a trio in May 1969. Young was originally offered a position as a sideman, but agreed to join only if he received full membership, and the group – winners of the 1969 "Best New Artist" Grammy Award – was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The quartet debuted in Chicago on August 16, 1969, and later performed at the famous Woodstock Festival, during which Young skipped the majority of the acoustic set and refused to be filmed during the electric set, even telling the cameramen: "One of you fuckin' guys comes near me and I'm gonna fuckin' hit you with my guitar". During the making of their first album, Déjà Vu (March 11, 1970), the musicians frequently argued, particularly Young and Stills, who both fought for control. Stills continued throughout their lifelong relationship to criticize Young, saying that he "wanted to play folk music in a rock band." Despite the tension, Young's tenure with CSN&Y coincided with the band's most creative and successful period, and greatly contributed to his subsequent success as a solo artist.
Young wrote "Ohio" following the Kent State massacre on May 4, 1970. The song was quickly recorded by CSN&Y and immediately released as a single, even though CSN&Y's "Teach Your Children" was still climbing the singles charts.
After the Gold Rush, acoustic tour and Harvest (1970–1972)
Later in the year, Young released his third solo album, After the Gold Rush (August 31, 1970), which featured, among others, a young Nils Lofgren, Stephen Stills, and CSNY bassist Greg Reeves. Young also recorded some tracks with Crazy Horse, but dismissed them early in the sessions. The eventual recording was less amplified than Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, with a wider range of sounds. Young's newfound fame with CSNY made the album his commercial breakthrough as a solo artist, and it contains some of his best known work, including "Tell Me Why" and "Don't Let It Bring You Down", the country-influenced singles "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "When You Dance I Can Really Love", and the title track, "After the Gold Rush", played on piano, with dream-like lyrics that ran a gamut of subjects from drugs and interpersonal relationships to environmental concerns. Young's bitter condemnation of racism in the heavy blues rock song "Southern Man" (along with a later song entitled "Alabama") was also controversial with southerners in an era of desegregation, prompting Lynyrd Skynyrd to decry Young by name in the lyrics to their hit "Sweet Home Alabama". However, Young said he was a fan of Skynyrd's music, and the band's front man Ronnie Van Zant was later photographed wearing a Tonight's the Night T-shirt on the cover of an album.
In the autumn of 1970, Young began a solo acoustic tour of North America, during which he played a variety of his Buffalo Springfield and CSNY songs on guitar and piano, along with material from his solo albums and a number of new songs. Some songs premiered by Young on the tour, like "Journey through the Past", would never find a home on a studio album, while other songs, like "See the Sky About to Rain", would only be released in coming years. With CSNY splitting up and Crazy Horse having signed their own record deal, Young's tour, now entitled "Journey Through the Past", continued into early 1971, and its focus shifted more to newer songs he had been writing; he famously remarked that having written so many, he could not think of anything to do but play them. Many gigs were sold out, including concerts at Carnegie Hall and a pair of acclaimed hometown shows at Toronto's Massey Hall, which were taped for a planned live album. The shows became legendary among Young fans, and the recordings were officially released nearly 40 years later as an official bootleg in Young's Archive series.
Near the end of his tour, Young performed one of the new acoustic songs on the Johnny Cash TV show. "The Needle and the Damage Done", a somber lament on the pain caused by heroin addiction, had been inspired in part by Crazy Horse member Danny Whitten, who eventually died while battling his drug problems. While in Nashville for the Cash taping, Young accepted the invitation of Quadrafonic Sound Studios owner Elliot Mazer to record tracks there with a group of country-music session musicians who were pulled together at the last minute. Making a connection with them, he christened them The Stray Gators, and began playing with them. Befitting the immediacy of the project, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor were brought in from the Cash taping to do background vocals. Against the advice of his producer David Briggs, he scrapped plans for the imminent release of the live acoustic recording in favor of a studio album consisting of the Nashville sessions, electric-guitar oriented sessions recorded later in his barn, and two recordings made with the London Symphony Orchestra. The result was Young's fourth album, Harvest (February 14, 1972), which would prove to be a massive hit. The only remnant left of the original live concept was the album's live acoustic performance of the harrowing "Needle".
Young's more settled personal life was reflected in the rest of the Harvest album's mellow, pastoral tone. After his success with CSNY, Young had been able to purchase a ranch in rural Northern California (where he has lived since), writing the song "Old Man" in honor of the land's longtime caretaker, Louis Avila. The song "A Man Needs a Maid" was inspired by his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress. "Heart of Gold" was released as the first single from Harvest, the only No. 1 hit in his long career. "Old Man" was also immensely popular.
The album's recording had been almost accidental. Its mainstream success caught Young off guard, and his first instinct was to back away from stardom. In the Decade (1977) compilation, Young chose to include his greatest hits from the period, but his handwritten liner notes famously described "Heart of Gold" as the song that "put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there."
The "Ditch" Trilogy and personal struggles (1972–1974)
Although a new tour had been planned to follow up on the success of Harvest (1972), it became apparent during rehearsals that Danny Whitten could not function due to drug abuse. On November 18, 1972, shortly after he was fired from the tour preparations, Whitten was found dead. Young described the incident to Rolling Stone's Cameron Crowe in 1975: "[We] were rehearsing with him and he just couldn't cut it. He couldn't remember anything. He was too out of it. Too far gone. I had to tell him to go back to L.A. 'It's not happening, man. You're not together enough.' He just said, 'I've got nowhere else to go, man. How am I gonna tell my friends?' And he split. That night the coroner called me from L.A. and told me he'd OD'd. That blew my mind. I loved Danny. I felt responsible. And from there, I had to go right out on this huge tour of huge arenas. I was very nervous and ... insecure."
On the tour, Young struggled with his voice and the performance of drummer Kenny Buttrey, a noted Nashville session musician who was unaccustomed to performing in the hard rock milieu; Buttrey was eventually replaced by former CSNY drummer Johnny Barbata, while David Crosby and Graham Nash contributed rhythm guitar and backing vocals to the final dates of the tour. The album assembled in the aftermath of this incident, Time Fades Away (October 15, 1973), has often been described by Young as "[his] least favorite record", and it is one of only two of Young's early recordings that has yet to be officially re-released on CD (the other being the soundtrack album Journey Through the Past). Nevertheless, Young and his band tried several new musical approaches in this period. Time Fades Away, for instance, was recorded live, although it was an album of new material, an approach Young would repeat with more success later on. Time was the first of three consecutive commercial failures which would later become known collectively to fans as the "Ditch Trilogy", as contrasted with the more middle-of-the-road pop of Harvest (1972). These subsequent albums were seen as more challenging expressions of Young's inner conflicts on achieving success, expressing both the specific struggles of his friends and himself, and the decaying idealism of his generation in America at the time.
In the second half of 1973, Young formed The Santa Monica Flyers, with Crazy Horse's rhythm section augmented by Nils Lofgren on guitar and piano and Harvest/Time Fades Away veteran Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar. Deeply affected by the drug-induced deaths of Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry, Young recorded an album specifically inspired by the incidents, Tonight's the Night (June 20, 1975). The album's dark tone and rawness led Reprise to delay and Young had to pressure them for two years before they would release it. While his record company delayed the release, Young recorded another album, On the Beach (July 16, 1974), which presented a more melodic, acoustic sound at times, including a recording of the older song "See the Sky About to Rain", but dealt with similarly dark themes such as the collapse of 1960s folk ideals, the downside of success and the underbelly of the Californian lifestyle. Like Time Fades Away, it sold poorly but eventually became a critical favorite, presenting some of Young's most original work. A review of the 2003 re-release on CD of On the Beach described the music as "mesmerizing, harrowing, lucid, and bleary".
After completing On the Beach, Young reunited with Harvest producer Elliot Mazer to record another acoustic album, Homegrown. Most of the songs were written after Young's breakup with Carrie Snodgress, and thus the tone of the album was somewhat dark. Though Homegrown was reportedly entirely complete, Young decided, not for the first or last time in his career, to drop it and release something else instead, in this case, Tonight's the Night, at the suggestion of Band bassist Rick Danko. Young further explained his move by saying: "It was a little too personal ... it scared me". Most of the songs from Homegrown were later incorporated into other Young albums, but the original album never surfaced. Tonight's the Night, when finally released in 1975, sold poorly, as had the previous albums of the "ditch" trilogy, and received mixed reviews at the time, but is now regarded as a landmark album. In Young's own opinion, it was the closest he ever came to art.
Reunions, retrospectives and Rust Never Sleeps (1974–1979)
Young reunited with Crosby, Stills, and Nash after a four-year hiatus in the summer of 1974 for a concert tour.
In 1975, Young reformed Crazy Horse with Frank Sampedro on guitar as his backup band for his eighth album, Zuma (November 10, 1975). Many of the songs dealt with the theme of failed relationships; "Cortez the Killer", a retelling of the Spanish conquest of Mexico from the viewpoint of the Aztecs, may also be heard as an allegory of love lost. Zuma's closing track, "Through My Sails", was the only released fragment from aborted sessions with Crosby, Stills and Nash for another group album.
In 1976, Young reunited with Stephen Stills for the album Long May You Run (September 20, 1976), credited to The Stills-Young Band; the follow-up tour was ended midway through by Young, who sent Stills a telegram that read: "Funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach, Neil."
In 1976, Young performed with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and numerous other rock musicians in the high profile all-star concert The Last Waltz, the final performance by The Band. The release of Martin Scorsese's movie of the concert was delayed while Scorsese unwillingly re-edited it to obscure the lump of cocaine that was clearly visible hanging from Young's nose during his performance of "Helpless". American Stars 'N Bars (June 13, 1977) contained two songs originally recorded for the Homegrown album, "Homegrown" and "Star of Bethlehem", as well as newer material, including the future concert staple "Like a Hurricane". Performers on the record included Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Young protégé Nicolette Larson along with Crazy Horse. In 1977, Young also released the compilation Decade, a personally selected set of songs spanning every aspect of his work, including a handful of previously unreleased songs. The record included less commercial album tracks alongside radio hits.
Comes a Time (October 2, 1978), Young's first entirely new solo recording since the mid-1970s, also featured Larson and Crazy Horse. The album became Young's most commercially accessible album in quite some time and marked a return to his folk roots, including a cover of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds", a song Young associated with his childhood in Canada. Another of the album's songs, "Lotta Love", was also recorded by Larson, with her version reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1979. In 1978, much of the filming was done for Young's film Human Highway, which took its name from a song featured on Comes a Time. Over four years, Young would spend $3,000,000 of his own money on production. This also marked the beginning of his brief collaboration with the post-punk band Devo, whose members appeared in the film.
Young set out in 1978 on the lengthy "Rust Never Sleeps" tour, in which he played a wealth of new material. Each concert was divided into a solo acoustic set and an electric set with Crazy Horse. The electric sets, featuring an aggressive style of playing, were later seen as a response to punk rock. Two new songs, the acoustic "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" and electric "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" were the centerpiece of the new material. Their lyrics have been among Young's most widely quoted. Young also compared the rise of Johnny Rotten with that of the recently deceased "King" Elvis Presley, who himself had once been disparaged as a dangerous influence only to later become an icon. Rotten returned the favour by playing one of Young's records on a London radio show, an early sign of Young's eventual embrace by a number of punk-influenced alternative musicians.
Young's two accompanying albums Rust Never Sleeps (July 2, 1979; new material, culled from live recordings, but featuring studio overdubs) and Live Rust (November 19, 1979) (a mixture of old and new, and a genuine concert recording) captured the two sides of the concerts, with solo acoustic songs on side A, and fierce, uptempo, electric songs on side B. A movie version of the concerts, also called Rust Never Sleeps (1979), was directed by Young under the pseudonym "Bernard Shakey". Young worked with rock artist Jim Evans to create the poster art for the film, using the Star Wars Jawas as a theme. Young's work since Harvest (1972) had alternated between being rejected by mass audiences and being seen as backward-looking by critics, sometimes both at once, and now he was suddenly viewed as relevant by a new generation, who began to discover his earlier work. Readers and critics of Rolling Stone voted him Artist of the Year for 1979 (along with The Who), selected Rust Never Sleeps as Album of the Year, and voted him Male Vocalist of the Year as well. The Village Voice named Rust Never Sleeps as the year's winner in the Pazz & Jop Poll, a survey of nationwide critics, and honored Young as the Artist of the Decade. The Warner Music Vision release on VHS of Rust Never Sleeps in 1987 had a running time of 116 minutes, and although fully manufactured in Germany, was initially imported from there by the markets throughout Europe.
Experimental years (1980–1988)
At the start of the decade, distracted by domestic medical concerns relating to his second disabled son, Ben, Young had little time to spend on writing and recording. After providing the incidental music to a 1980 biographical film of Hunter S. Thompson entitled Where the Buffalo Roam, Young released Hawks & Doves (November 3, 1980)', a short record pieced together from sessions going back to 1974.
1981's Re-ac-tor, an electric album recorded with Crazy Horse, also included material from the 1970s. Young did not tour in support of either album; in total, he played only one show, a set at the 1980 Bread and Roses Festival in Berkeley, between the end of his 1978 tour with Crazy Horse and the start of his tour with the Trans Band in mid-1982.
The 1982 album Trans, which incorporated vocoders, synthesizers, and electronic beats, was Young's first for the new label Geffen Records (distributed at the time by Warner Bros. Records, whose parent Warner Music Group owns most of Young's solo and band catalog) and represented a distinct stylistic departure. Young later revealed that an inspiration for the album was the theme of technology and communication with his son Ben, who has severe cerebral palsy and cannot speak. An extensive tour preceded the release of the album, and was documented by the video Neil Young in Berlin, which saw release in 1986. MTV played the video for "Sample and Hold" in light rotation. The entire song contained "robot vocals" by Neil and Nils Lofgren.
Young's next album, 1983's Everybody's Rockin', included several rockabilly covers and clocked in at less than twenty-five minutes in length. Young was backed by the Shocking Pinks for the supporting U.S. tour. Trans (1982) had already drawn the ire of label head David Geffen for its lack of commercial appeal, and with Everybody's Rockin' following only seven months later, Geffen Records sued Young for making music "unrepresentative" of himself. The album was also notable as the first for which Young made commercial music videos – Tim Pope directed the videos for "Wonderin'" and "Cry, Cry, Cry". Also premiered in 1983, though little seen, was the eclectic full-length comedy film Human Highway, co-directed and co-written by Young, and starring Young, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper and members of Devo.
The first year without a Neil Young album since the start of Young's musical career with Buffalo Springfield in 1966 was in 1984. Young's lack of productivity was largely due to the ongoing legal battle with Geffen, although he was also frustrated that the label had rejected his 1982 country album Old Ways. It was also the year when Young's third child, this with his second with wife Pegi, was born: his daughter Amber Jean, a child who was later diagnosed with inherited epilepsy.
Young spent most of 1984 and all of 1985 touring for Old Ways (August 12, 1985) with his country band, the International Harvesters. The album was finally released in an altered form midway through 1985. Young also appeared at that year's Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, collaborating with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the quartet's first performance for a paying audience in over ten years.
Young's last two albums for Geffen were more conventional in genre, although they incorporated production techniques like synthesizers and echoing drums that were previously uncommon in Young's music. Young recorded 1986's Landing on Water without Crazy Horse, but reunited with the band for the subsequent year-long tour and final Geffen album, Life, which emerged in 1987. Young's album sales dwindled steadily throughout the eighties; today Life remains his all-time-least successful studio album, with an estimated four hundred thousand sales worldwide.
Switching back to his old label Reprise Records, Young continued to tour relentlessly, assembling a new blues band called The Bluenotes in mid-1987 (a legal dispute with musician Harold Melvin forced the eventual rechristening of the band as Ten Men Working midway through the tour). The addition of a brass section provided a new jazzier sound, and the title track of 1988's This Note's For You became Young's first hit single of the decade. Accompanied by a video that parodied corporate rock, the pretensions of advertising, and Michael Jackson, the song was initially unofficially banned by MTV for mentioning the brand names of some of their sponsors. Young wrote an open letter, "What does the M in MTV stand for: music or money?" Despite this, the video was eventually named best video of the year by the network in 1989. By comparison, the major music cable network of Young's home nation, Muchmusic, ran the video immediately.
Young reunited with Crosby, Stills and Nash to record the 1988 album American Dream and play two benefit concerts late in the year, but the group did not embark upon a full tour. The album was only the second-ever studio record for the quartet.
Return to prominence (1989–1999)
Young's 1989 single "Rockin' in the Free World", which hit No. 2 on the U.S. mainstream-rock charts, and accompanying album, Freedom, rocketed him back into the popular consciousness after a decade of sometimes-difficult genre experiments. The album's lyrics were often overtly political; "Rockin' in the Free World" deals with homelessness, terrorism, and environmental degradation, implicitly criticizing the government policies of President George H.W. Bush.
The use of heavy feedback and distortion on several Freedom tracks was reminiscent of the Rust Never Sleeps (1979) album, and foreshadowed the imminent rise of grunge. The rising stars of the genre, including Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, frequently cited Young as a major influence, contributing to his popular revival. A tribute album called The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young was released in 1989, featuring covers by alternative and grunge acts including Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Soul Asylum, Dinosaur Jr, and the Pixies.
Young's 1990 album Ragged Glory, recorded with Crazy Horse in a barn on his Northern California ranch, continued this distortion-heavy aesthetic. Young toured for the album with Orange County, California country-punk band Social Distortion and alternative rock pioneers Sonic Youth as support, much to the consternation of many of his old fans. Weld, a two-disc live album documenting the tour, was released in 1991. Sonic Youth's influence was most evident on Arc, a 35-minute collage of feedback and distortion spliced together at the suggestion of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and originally packaged with some versions of Weld.
1992's Harvest Moon marked an abrupt return to the country and folk-rock stylings of Harvest (1972) and reunited him with some of the musicians from that album, including singers Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. The title track was a minor hit and the record was well received by critics, winning the Juno Award for Album of the Year in 1994. Young also contributed to Randy Bachman's nostalgic 1992 tune "Prairie Town", and garnered a 1993 Academy Award nomination for his song "Philadelphia", from the soundtrack of the Jonathan Demme movie of the same name. An MTV Unplugged performance and album emerged in 1993. Later that year, Young collaborated with Booker T. and the M.G.s for a summer tour of Europe and North America, with Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam also on the bill. Some European shows ended with a rendition of "Rockin' in the Free World" played with Pearl Jam, foreshadowing their eventual full-scale collaboration two years later.
In 1994 Young again collaborated with Crazy Horse for Sleeps with Angels, a record whose dark, sombre mood was influenced by Kurt Cobain's death earlier that year: the title track in particular dealt with Cobain's life and death, without mentioning him by name. Cobain had quoted Young's lyric "It's better to burn out than fade away" (a line from "My My, Hey Hey") in his suicide note. Young had reportedly made repeated attempts to contact Cobain prior to his death. Young and Pearl Jam performed "Act of Love" at an abortion rights benefit along with Crazy Horse, and were present at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dinner, sparking interest in a collaboration between the two. Still enamored with the grunge scene, Young reconnected with Pearl Jam in 1995 for the live-in-the-studio album Mirror Ball and a tour of Europe with the band and producer Brendan O'Brien backing Young. 1995 also marked Young's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where he was inducted by Eddie Vedder.
"Young has consistently demonstrated the unbridled passion of an artist who understands that self-renewal is the only way to avoid burning out. For this reason, he has remained one of the most significant artists of the rock and roll era." – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website.
Young's next collaborative partner was filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who asked Young to compose a soundtrack to his 1995 black and white western film Dead Man. Young's instrumental soundtrack was improvised while he watched the film alone in a studio. The death of longtime mentor, friend, and producer David Briggs in late 1995 prompted Young to reconnect with Crazy Horse the following year for the album and tour Broken Arrow. A Jarmusch-directed concert film and live album of the tour, Year of the Horse, emerged in 1997. From 1996–97 Young and Crazy Horse toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, including a stint as part of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival's sixth annual tour.
In 1998, Young renewed his collaboration with the rock band Phish, sharing the stage at the annual Farm Aid concert and then at Young's Bridge School Benefit, where he joined headliners Phish for renditions of "Helpless" and "I Shall Be Released". Phish declined Young's later invitation to be his backing band on his 1999 North American tour.
The decade ended with the release in late 1999 of Looking Forward, another reunion with Crosby, Stills and Nash. The subsequent tour of the United States and Canada with the reformed super quartet earned US$42.1 million, making it the eighth largest grossing tour of 2000.
Continued activism and brush with death (2000s)
Neil Young continued to release new material at a rapid pace through the first decade of the new millennium. The studio album Silver & Gold and live album Road Rock Vol. 1 were released in 2000 and were both accompanied by live concert films. His 2001 single "Let's Roll" was a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks, and the effective action taken by the passengers and crew on Flight 93 in particular. At the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" benefit concert for the victims of the attacks, Young performed John Lennon's "Imagine" and accompanied Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready on "Long Road", a Pearl Jam song that was written with Young during the Mirrorball sessions. "Let's Roll" was included on 2002's Are You Passionate?, an album mostly composed of mellow love songs dedicated to Young's wife, Pegi, backed by Booker T. & the M.G.s.
In 2003, Young released Greendale, a concept album recorded with Crazy Horse members Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina. The songs loosely revolved around the murder of a police officer in a small town in California and its effects on the town's inhabitants. Under the pseudonym "Bernard Shakey", Young directed an accompanying film of the same name, featuring actors lip-synching to the music from the album. He toured extensively with the Greendale material throughout 2003 and 2004, first with a solo, acoustic version in Europe, then with a full-cast stage show in North America, Japan, and Australia. Young began using biodiesel on the 2004 Greendale tour, powering his trucks and tour buses with the fuel. "Our Greendale tour is now ozone friendly," he said. "I plan to continue to use this government approved and regulated fuel exclusively from now on to prove that it is possible to deliver the goods anywhere in North America without using foreign oil, while being environmentally responsible." Young spent the latter portion of 2004 giving a series of intimate acoustic concerts in various cities with his wife, who is a trained vocalist and guitar player.
In March 2005, while working on the Prairie Wind album in Nashville, Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. He was treated successfully with a minimally invasive neuroradiological procedure, performed in a New York hospital on March 29, but two days afterwards he passed out on a New York street from bleeding from the femoral artery, which radiologists had used to access the aneurysm. The complication forced Young to cancel his scheduled appearance at the Juno Awards telecast in Winnipeg, but within months he was back on stage, appearing at the close of the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario, on July 2. During the performance, he debuted a new song, a soft hymn called "When God Made Me". Young's brush with death influenced Prairie Wind's themes of retrospection and mortality. The album's live premiere in Nashville was immortalized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the 2006 film Neil Young: Heart of Gold.
Young's renewed activism manifested itself in the 2006 album Living With War, which like the much earlier song "Ohio", was recorded and released in less than a month as a direct result of current events. In early 2006, three years after the US invasion of Iraq, the sectarian war and casualties there were escalating. While doing errands on a visit to his daughter, Young had seen a newspaper photo of wounded US veterans on a transport plane to Germany, and noticing that the same paper devoted little actual coverage to the story, he was unable to get the image out of his head, realizing the suffering caused to families by the war had not truly registered to him and most Americans who were not directly affected by it. Young cried, and immediately got his guitar out and began to write multiple songs at once. Within a few days he had completed work and assembled a band. He later said he had restrained himself for a long time from writing any protest songs, waiting for someone younger, with a different perspective, but no one seemed to be saying anything.
Most of the album's songs rebuked the Bush administration's policy of war by examining its human costs to soldiers, their loved ones, and civilians, but Young also included a few songs on other themes, and an outright protest titled, "Let's Impeach the President", in which he stated that Bush had lied to lead the country into war. Young's lyrics in another song named Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who had not declared any intention to run for president at the time and was widely unexpected to be able to win either the Democratic Party nomination or a general election, as potentially a replacement for Bush. That summer, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunited for the supporting "Freedom of Speech Tour '06", in which they played Young's new protest songs alongside the group's older material, meeting with both enthusiasm and anger from different fans, some of whom were supportive of Bush politically. CSNY Déjà Vu, a concert film of the tour directed by Young himself, was released in 2008, along with an accompanying live album.
While Young had never been a stranger to eco-friendly lyrics, themes of environmentalist spirituality and activism became increasingly prominent in his work throughout the 1990s and 2000s, especially on Greendale (2003) and Living with War (2006). The trend continued on 2007's Chrome Dreams II, with lyrics exploring Young's personal eco-spirituality. Also in 2007, Young accepted an invitation to participate in Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, contributing his version of "Walking to New Orleans".
Young remains on the board of directors of Farm Aid, an organization he co-founded with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp in 1985. According to its website, it is the longest running concert benefit series in the USA, and it has raised $43 million since its first benefit concert in 1985. Each year, Young co-hosts and performs with well-known guest performers who include Dave Matthews and producers who include Evelyn Shriver and Mark Rothbaum, at the Farm Aid annual benefit concerts in order to raise funds and provide grants to family farms and prevent foreclosures, provide a crisis hotline, and create and promote home grown farm food in the United States.
In 2008, Young revealed his latest project, the production of a hybrid-engine 1959 Lincoln called Lincvolt. A new album loosely based on the Lincvolt project, Fork in the Road, was released on April 7, 2009. The album, partly composed of love songs to the car, also commented on the economic crisis, with one narrator attacking the Wall Street bailouts enacted in late 2008. Unfortunately, the car caught fire in November 2010, in a California warehouse, and along the way it burned an estimated US$850,000 worth of Young's rock and roll memorabilia collection. Initial reports suggest the fire might have been triggered by an error in the vehicle's plug-in charging system. Young blamed the fire on human error and said he and his team were committed to rebuilding the car. "The wall charging system was not completely tested and had never been left unattended. A mistake was made. It was not the fault of the car", he said.
A Jonathan Demme concert film from a 2007 concert at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, called the Neil Young Trunk Show premiered on March 21, 2009, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. It was featured at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2009 and was released in the US on March 19, 2010 to critical acclaim. Young's most recent album appearance was on the album Potato Hole, released on April 21, 2009 by Memphis organ player Booker T. Jones, of Booker T. & the MGs fame. Young plays guitar on nine of the album's ten instrumental tracks, alongside Drive-By Truckers, who already had three guitar players, giving some songs on the album a total of five guitar tracks. Jones contributed guitars on a couple of tracks.
Young continues to tour extensively. In 2009, he headlined the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England, at Hard Rock Calling in London (where he was joined onstage by Paul McCartney for a rendition of "A Day in the Life") and, after years of unsuccessful booking attempts, the Isle of Wight Festival in addition to performances at the Big Day Out festival in New Zealand and Australia and the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona.
Young has been a vocal opponent of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run from Alberta to Texas. When discussing the environmental impact on the oilsands of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Young asserted that the area now resembles the Japanese city of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bomb attack of World War II. Young has referred to issues surrounding the proposed use of oil pipelines as “scabs on our lives”. In an effort to become more involved, Young has worked directly with the Athabasca Chipewyan First nation to draw attention to this issue, performing benefit concerts and speaking publicly on the subject.
Young participated in the Blue Dot Tour, which was organized and fronted by environmental activist David Suzuki, and toured all 10 Canadian provinces alongside other Canadian artists including the Barenaked Ladies, Feist, and Robert Bateman. The intent of Young’s participation in this tour was to raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by the exploitation of tar sands. Young has argued that the amount of CO2 released as a byproduct of tarsand oil extraction is equivalent to the amount released by the total number of cars in Canada each day. Young has faced criticism by representatives from within the Canadian petroleum industry, who have argued that his statements are irresponsible. Young’s opposition to the construction of oil pipelines has influenced his music as well. His song, “Who’s Going to Stand Up?” was written to protest this issue, and features the lyric “Ban fossil fuel and draw the line / Before we build one more pipeline”.
In addition to directly criticizing members of the oil industry, Young has also focused blame on the actions of the Canadian Government for ignoring the conclusions regarding the environmental impacts of climate change. He referred to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as “an embarrassment to many Canadians …[and] a very poor imitation of the George Bush administration in the United States”. Young has also been critical of Barack Obama’s government for failing to uphold the promises made regarding environmental policies during his election campaign.
In criticism of Coffee chain Starbucks and their possible involvement with Monsanto and use of GM food, he recorded "A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop" in protest. The song is to be included on his new concept album called The Monsanto Years.
More recent performances (2010s)
On January 22, 2010, Young performed "Long May You Run" on the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. On the same night, he and Dave Matthews performed the Hank Williams song "Alone and Forsaken", for the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief charity telethon, in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Young also performed "Long May You Run" at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Olympic winter games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In May 2010, it was revealed Young had begun working on a new studio album produced by Daniel Lanois. This was announced by David Crosby, who said that the album "will be a very heartfelt record. I expect it will be a very special record." On May 18, 2010, Young embarked upon a North American solo tour to promote his then upcoming album, Le Noise, playing a mix of older songs and new material. Although billed as a solo acoustic tour, Young also played some songs on electric guitars, including Old Black. Young continued his Twisted Road tour with a short East Coast venture during spring 2011. Young also contributed vocals to the Elton John–Leon Russell album The Union, singing the second stanza on the track "Gone to Shiloh" and providing backing vocals.
In September 2011, Jonathan Demme's third documentary film on the singer songwriter, Neil Young Journeys, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Like Demme's earlier work with Young, most of the film consists of a simply filmed live performance, in this case, Young's homecoming show in May 2011 at Toronto's Massey Hall, four decades after he first played at the iconic venue. Playing old songs, as well as new ones from Le Noise, Young performs solo on both electric and acoustic instruments. His performance is a counterpoint to Demme's footage of Young's return to Omemee, Ontario, the small town near Toronto where he grew up, which has now become physically unrecognizable, though he vividly recalls events from his childhood there.
As of 2008, Young lives near La Honda, California, on his Broken Arrow Ranch, named after one of his early Buffalo Springfield songs. The original 140-acre (0.57 km2) parcel was purchased in 1970 for US$350,000 cash and has grown to thousands of acres.
On January 22, 2012, the Master Class at the Slamdance Festival featured Coffee with Neil Young & Jonathan Demme for their new film Neil Young Journeys. A report from the event by Bob & Kim C. revealed that Neil Young has been recording with Crazy Horse. One album is complete and they are working on another.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed a full-on grunge version of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" for Paul McCartney's MusiCares Person of the Year dinner on February 10, 2012, in Hollywood.
Neil Young with Crazy Horse released the album Americana on June 5, 2012. It was Young's first collaboration with Crazy Horse since the Greendale album and tour in 2003 and 2004. The record is a tribute to unofficial national anthems that jumps from an uncensored version of "This Land Is Your Land" to "Clementine" and includes a version of "God Save the Queen", which Young grew up singing every day in school in Canada. Americana is Neil Young's first album composed entirely of cover songs. On June 5, 2012, American Songwriter also reported that Neil Young & Crazy Horse would be launching their first tour in eight years in support of the album.
On August 25, 2012, Young was mistakenly reported dead by NBCNews.com, the day when astronaut Neil Armstrong died.
Neil Young with Crazy Horse launched a new tour on August 3, 2012, in anticipation of their second album of 2012, Psychedelic Pill, which was released in late October.
On October 3, 2012, the apparent third installment of the "Rust Trilogy" (Essentially 1979's Rust Never Sleeps and 1991's Weld) was announced. The album, tentatively titled Alchemy, appears to follow Neil Young and Crazy Horse through their 2012 North American tour.
On September 25, 2012 Young's autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream was released to critical and commercial acclaim. Reviewing the book for the New York Times, Janet Maslin reported that Young chose to write his memoirs in 2012 for two reasons. For one, he needed to take a break from stage performances for health reasons but continue to generate income. For another, he feared the onset of dementia, considering his father's medical history and his own present condition. Maslin gives the book a higher than average grade, describing it as frank but quirky and without pathos as it delves into his relationships and his experience in parenting a child with disabilities as well as his artistic and commercial activities and associations.
In November 2013, Neil Young performed at the annual fundraiser for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. Following after the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he played an acoustic set to a crowd who had paid a minimum of $2,000 a seat to attend the benefit in the famous Paramour Mansion overlooking downtown Los Angeles.
Due to be released in October 2014, Pono is a "high-resolution" digital music-download service, and music player being developed by Young, designed to compete against the MP3 and other formats. Pono promises to present songs "as they first sound during studio recording".
The album A Letter Home was released on April 19, 2014, and his second memoir, entitled "Special Deluxe" is tentatively scheduled for a late 2014 release. He appeared with Jack White on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on May 12, 2014.
The 2014 debut solo album by Chrissie Hynde, entitled Stockholm, featured Young on guitar on the track "Down the Wrong Way".
Young released his thirty-fifth studio album, Storytone on November 4, 2014. The first song released from the album, "Who's Gonna Stand Up?", was released in three different versions on September 25, 2014. This was followed in 2015 by his concept album The Monsanto Years. In April 2015 it was announced Young will begin a tour titled the Rebel Content Tour to support the new album. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are set to be special guests for the tour. The tour will ran from July 5 to July 22.
Awards and recognition
2011 Juno Awards Artist of the Year, Adult Alternative Album of the Year, and Allan Waters Humanitarian Award
2011 Grammy Awards Best Rock Song "Angry World" written by Neil Young.
2010 Grammy Awards Best Art Direction on a Boxed/Special Limited Edition Package The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972 – Neil Young, Gary Burden, Jenice Heo
Canadian Music Hall of Fame, 1982
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: first in 1995 for his solo work and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.
In 2006, Artist of the Year by the American Music Association.
As one of the original founders of Farm Aid (1985–), he remains an active member of the board of directors. For one weekend each October, in Mountain View, California, he and his ex-wife host the Bridge School Concerts, which have been drawing international talent and sell-out crowds for nearly two decades with some of the biggest names in rock having performed at the event including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, The Who, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Tom Waits, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, R.E.M., Foo Fighters, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, The Smashing Pumpkins, Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews. The concerts are a benefit for the Bridge School, which develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities. Young's involvement stems at least partially from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy.
Young was nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for his song "Philadelphia" from the film Philadelphia. Bruce Springsteen won the award for his song "Streets of Philadelphia" from the same film. In his acceptance speech, Springsteen said that "the award really deserved to be shared by the other nominee's song." That same night, Tom Hanks, when accepting the Oscar for Best Actor, gave credit for his inspiration to Young's song.
He was part owner of Lionel, LLC, a company that makes toy trains and model railroad accessories. In 2008 Lionel emerged from bankruptcy and his shares of the company were wiped out. He was instrumental in the design of the Lionel Legacy control system for model trains, and remains on the board of directors of Lionel. He has been named as co-inventor on seven U.S. patents related to model trains.
Young has twice received honorary doctorates. He received an honorary doctorate of music from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1992, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from San Francisco State University in 2006. The latter honour was shared with his wife Pegi for their creation of the Bridge School. In 2006, Young was given Manitoba's highest civilian honour when he was appointed to the Order of Manitoba. In 2009, he was appointed to Canada's second highest civilian order, the Order of Canada.
Rolling Stone magazine in 2000, ranked Young thirty-fourth in its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and in 2003, included five of his albums in its list of 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2000, Young was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2006, when Paste magazine compiled a "Greatest Living Songwriters" list, Young was ranked second behind Bob Dylan. (While Young and Dylan have occasionally played together in concert, they have never collaborated on a song together or played on each other's records.) He ranked thirty-ninth on VH1's 100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock that same year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame explained that while Young has "avoided sticking to one style for very long, the unifying factors throughout Young's peripatetic musical journey have been his unmistakable voice, his raw and expressive guitar playing, and his consummate songwriting skill."
Young's political outspokenness and social awareness influenced artists such as Blind Melon, Phish, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana. Young is referred to as "the Godfather of Grunge" because of the influence he had on Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder and the entire grunge movement. Vedder inducted Young into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, citing him as a huge influence. Young is cited as being a significant influence on the experimental rock group Sonic Youth, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Yorke recounted of first hearing Young after sending a demo tape into a magazine when he was 16, who favourably compared his singing voice to Young's. Unaware of Young at that time, he bought After the Gold Rush (1970), and "immediately fell in love" with his work, calling it "extraordinary". Dave Matthews lists Young as one of his favorite songwriters and most important inspirations and covers his songs on occasion. The British indie band The Bluetones named their number one debut album after the song "Expecting to Fly" (written by Young when still with Buffalo Springfield) and have covered the song while touring. Young also inspired the singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher of Oasis, who covered "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" on the live album Familiar to Millions (2000).
The Australian rock group Powderfinger named themselves after Young's song "Powderfinger" from Rust Never Sleeps (1979). The members of the Constantines have occasionally played Neil Young tribute shows under the name Horsey Craze. While in Winnipeg on November 2, 2008, during the Canadian leg of his tour, Bob Dylan visited Young's former home in River Heights, where Young spent his teenage years. Dylan was interested in seeing the room where some of Young's first songs were composed.
Jason Bond, an East Carolina University biologist, discovered a new species of trapdoor spider in 2007 and named it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi after Young, his favorite singer.
In 2001, Young was awarded the Spirit of Liberty award by the civil liberties group People for the American Way. Young was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year on January 29, 2010, two nights prior to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. He was also nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "Fork in the Road" and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963–1972). Young won the latter Grammy Award. In 2010, he was ranked No. 26 in Gibson.com's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
1968 - Neil Young
1969 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
1970 - After the Gold Rush
1972 - Harvest
1973 - Time Fades Away
1974 - On the Beach
1975 - Tonight's the Night
1975 - Zuma
1976 - Long May You Run
1977 - American Stars 'n Bars
1978 - Comes a Time
1979 - Rust Never Sleeps
1980 - Hawks & Doves
1981 - Re-ac-tor
1982 - Trans
1983 - Everybody's Rockin'
1985 - Old Ways
1986 - Landing on Water
1987 - Life
1988 - This Note's for You
1989 - Eldorado
1989 - Freedom
1990 - Ragged Glory
1992 - Harvest Moon
1994 - Sleeps with Angels
1995 - Mirror Ball
1996 - Broken Arrow
2000 - Silver & Gold
2002 - Are You Passionate?
2003 - Greendale
2005 - Prairie Wind
2006 - Living with War
2006 - Living with War: "In the Beginning"
2007 - Chrome Dreams II
2009 - Fork in the Road
2010 - Le Noise
2012 - Americana
2012 - Psychedelic Pill
2014 - A Letter Home
2014 - Storytone
2015 - The Monsanto Years
2015 – Bluenote Café (November 2015)
2016 – Peace Trail
2017 – Hitchhiker
2017 – The Visitor
2019 – Colorado2020 - Homegrown
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