Now Playing: Neil Young – Tonight’s The Night
I’ve been a Neil Young disciple my entire adult life, and am particularly fond of his lesser-known albums that are mostly void of the “70s Mellow Gold” hits you’ll find on iconic records like Harvest. This one has none of the standards many casual Young fans would recognize, and originally had an element of mystery that is all but extinct when it comes to record releases these days. And no, we’re not talking about the kind of mystery that begs the question–why did Steve write his last name in capital letters on all his record sleeves?
Tonight’s The Night was mostly recorded during one epic binge of tequila, off-key harmonies, and sadness, as Young was mourning the drug-related deaths of Danny Whitten (original Crazy Horse guitarist) and band roadie, Bruce Berry. It was then promptly shelved and ignored for two years before finally being released.
The result is gloriously sloppy; the guitars typically jagged, the songwriting plaintive and cynical–even by Neil Young standards. At times you can hear the man literally holding himself up on the piano as he drunkenly eulogizes his fallen comrades.
There are a handful of tributes to Mr. Young adorning the walls of The Creative Party World Headquarters and, fortunately for us, his catalog gives us plenty of listening options. We like to keep it pretty positive around here, but sometimes you need to find beauty in the pain…and this one’s a local favorite.
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