Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (1969)


“Neil Young’s music has been a unique landscape of musical terrain across five decades. His catalog is large and for those unfamiliar, it can loom unapproachable. As with most things, it’s easy to start at the beginning. His 1969 self-titled debut is a bright start—a collection of songs with many colors, shapes, and textures mimicking the geometric, psychedelic portrait of Young on the LP’s cover. If you’re familiar with any other Neil Young, whether or not it’s within the Buffalo Springfield or CSNY universes, listening to it is like reading a beloved author’s lesser known work. It’s not as tight or fully realized, but it provides a groundwork of expectations to launch Neil Young as a solo artist. He clearly had a lot on his mind as his first two solo records were released in 1969. His sophomore LP and first with his famous backing band Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, turns 50 this week. And more so than his debut, it’s an excellent record to start with for new listeners and great to return to for fans. With only seven tracks, Everybody Knows only logs forty minutes, but it’s a ripe forty at that. Four of the songs became favorite standards for Young and the band, a practiced group that would play with or without Young for decades. The only two consistent Crazy Horse members, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina on bass and drums respectively, would share vocal duties with all the other members who came and went through the years, a rotating cast of eleven men. Crazy Horse fluffs up Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere comparatively to Neil’s self-titled from short stories to a full-fledged novel, replete with characters we’d return to as listeners eager to hear different sides of their stories through different versions and arrangements. Everybody Knows starts with ‘Cinnamon Girl,’ one of Neil’s most famous tunes. He shares vocal duties with Crazy Horse’s Danny Whitten, whose voice soars higher than Young’s deep range. The familiar greasy riff kicks us into gear with an instant downbeat clap track pushing into Young’s daydream to find a Cinnamon Girl. …”
Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ Turns 50 (Video)
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