Sunday, November 6, 2011

#1: Neil Young - Tonight's The Night

Release Year: 1975

If you were to compile a list of the top 10 Neil Young songs, would any of them be found on Tonight's The Night?  Doubtful.  Why, then, is it my favorite album ever?  I think it is actually partly because of that.

When Neil made this record, he was hot off his most successful record ever, Harvest.  He was at the height of popularity, but he was completely depressed.  He had lost two close friends to substance abuse, and he was dealing with substance abuse problems of his own.  This album captures that mood better than perhaps any other album ever made.  It is a clinic on tone.

As a display of incredible songwriting and musical talent, this album is not Neil's best.  There are certainly some excellent tracks, but it is so raw that Neil doesn't even bother to clean up his voice cracking or his completely missing notes.  But as a work of art, it is transcendent.

Standout tracks:
  • Lookout Joe
  • New Mama
  • Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown

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