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Neil Young

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Neil Young
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Neil Percival Young, OC OM  (born November 12, 1945), is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, producer, director and screenwriter. Young began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960. In 1966, after a brief stint with the Rick James-fronted Mynah Birds, he moved to Los Angeles, where he formed Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others.

 Young had released two albums by the time he joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. From his early solo albums and those with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has recorded a steady stream of studio and live albums, sometimes warring with his recording company along the way.

Young's often-distorted electric guitar work, deeply personal lyrics  and signature tenor singing voice  transcend his long career. Young also plays piano and harmonica on many albums which frequently combine folk, rock, blues and other musical styles.

Famed for emotional outbursts and ripping up live set lists, Young often plays acoustic versions of songs in one show and electric versions in others. His gritty guitar work, especially with Crazy Horse, earned him the nickname "Godfather of Grunge"  and led to his 1995 album Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam. More recently Young has been backed by Promise of the Real.

Young directed (or co-directed) 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 also contributed to the soundtracks of the films Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).

Young has received several Grammy and Juno awards. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted him twice: as a solo artist in 1995 and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.  In 2000, Rolling Stone named Young the 34th greatest rock 'n roll artist.

He has lived in California since the 1960s but retains Canadian citizenship.  He was awarded the Order of Manitoba on July 14, 2006,  and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on December 30, 2009.
#1 - February 25, 2017, 07:50:48 PM
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Neil Young - Heart of Gold


"Heart of Gold" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young. Released from the 1972 album Harvest, it is so far Young's only U.S. No. 1 single. In Canada, it reached No. 1 on the RPM national singles chart for the first time on April 8, 1972, on which date Young held the top spot on both the singles and albums charts.

 Billboard ranked it as the No. 17 song for 1972.  In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 297 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
#2 - February 25, 2017, 07:55:28 PM
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Neil Young - Old Man


"Old Man" is a song written and performed by Neil Young on his 1972 album Harvest. "Old Man" was released as a single on Reprise Records in the spring of 1972, and reached # 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending June 3.

The song was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. The song compares a young man's life to an old man's and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals.  In the movie Heart of Gold, Young introduces the song as follows:

About that time when I wrote ("Heart of Gold"), and I was touring, I had also -- just, you know, being a rich hippie for the first time -- I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today. And there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avila and his wife Clara.

 And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep. He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there's this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, "Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?" And I said, "Well, just lucky, Louie, just real lucky." And he said, "Well, that's the darndest thing I ever heard." And I wrote this song for him.

He tells a similar story when introducing the song at a February 23, 1971 performance broadcast by the BBC (in which he says that he purchased the ranch from "two lawyers")
#3 - April 15, 2017, 06:40:03 PM
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Neil Young - Harvest Moon


Harvest Moon is the twentieth studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on November 2, 1992.

 Many of the musicians appearing on it also appeared on his 1972 album Harvest, and it is considered by many to be like a "sequel" to Harvest.
#4 - April 20, 2017, 12:06:19 PM
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Neil Young - Southern Man


"Southern Man" is a song by Neil Young from his album After the Gold Rush. The album was released in 1970. An extended live version can be heard on the Crosby Stills Nash & Young album 4 Way Street.

The lyrics of "Southern Man" are vivid, describing the racism towards blacks in the American South. In the song, Young tells the story of a white man (symbolically the entire white South) and how he mistreated his slaves. Young pleadingly asks when the South will make amends for the fortunes built through slavery when he sings:

I saw cotton and I saw black,
tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern Man, when will you pay them back?
The song also mentions the practice of cross burning.

Young was very sensitive about the song's message as anti-racism and anti-violence. During his 1973 tour, he cancelled a show in Oakland, California because a fan was beaten and removed from the stage by a guard while the song was played.

#5 - May 17, 2017, 09:32:27 AM
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Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl


"Cinnamon Girl" is a song by Neil Young. It debuted on the 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, which was also Young's first album with backing band Crazy Horse. Released as a single the following year, it reached #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

Like two other songs from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River", Young wrote "Cinnamon Girl" while he was suffering from the flu with a high fever at his home in Topanga, California.

This song displays the very prominent role played by Danny Whitten in the sound of Young's early recordings. The vocals are a duet, with Whitten singing the high harmony against Young's low harmony. (The 45 rpm single mix of the song, in addition to being in mono and cutting off the guitar outro, features Whitten's vocal more prominently than the album version.) Young performed the song on his then-recently acquired Gibson Les Paul, "Old Black".

The song was written in Double drop D tuning (DADGBD). This tuning is used in several of his most famous songs, such as "The Loner", "The Old Laughing Lady", "When You Dance I Can Really Love", "Ohio", and "Cortez the Killer".[citation needed] The music features a prominent descending bass guitar line.

 The song's "one note guitar solo", consisting largely of a repeating, sharply played jangling D note, has often been singled out for praise.

#6 - May 25, 2017, 05:39:26 PM
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Neil Young - Down by the River



"Down by the River" is a song composed by Neil Young. It was first released on his 1969 album with Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Young explained the context of the story in the liner notes of his 1977 anthology album Decade, stating that he wrote "Down by the River," "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" while delirious in bed in Topanga Canyon with a 103 °F (39 °C) fever.

The lyrics are apparently about someone who kills his lover by shooting her, like a murder ballad, or in the tradition of the mid-60s song "Hey Joe."  The reason he gives for the killing is that she takes him to emotional heights from which he cannot bear to go on.

Young has provided multiple explanations for the lyrics. In an interview with Robert Greenfield in 1970 Young claimed that "there's no real murder in it. It's about blowing your thing with a chick. It's a plea, a desperate cry." Introducing the song in New Orleans on September 27, 1984 Young claimed that it depicts a man "who had a lot of trouble controlling himself" who catches his woman cheating on him, then meets her down by the river and shoots her.  According to Young, the local sheriff comes to the man's house and arrests him a few hours later.

"Down by the River" begins with electric guitars followed by bass guitar and snare drum before the vocals begin. The vocal sections are taken at a slow tempo. There are long instrumental passages after each of the first two refrains, during which Young plays short, staccato notes on his guitar and incorporates distortion. The song is composed in the key of E minor. The verse follows a chord progression of Em7-A while the pre-chorus is Cmajor7-Bm-Cmajor7-Bm-C-Bm-D and the chorus is G-D-D-A.

Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield calls "Down by the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" the "key tracks" on Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, calling them "long, violent guitar jams, rambling over the nine-minute mark with no trace of virtuosity at all, just staccato guitar blasts sounding as though Young is parachuting down into the middle of the Hatfield-McCoy feud.

 In one solo, the same staccato note is repeated 38 times. In 2015, another Rolling Stone critic, Trey Anastasio wrote, "If I was ever going to teach a master class to young guitarists, the first thing I would play them is the first minute of Neil Young's original "Down by the River" solo. It's one note, but it's so melodic, and it just snarls with attitude and anger. It's like he desperately wants to connect."

Anastasio declared Young the 17th greatest guitarist, based largely on this performance. Allmusic critic Bill Janovitz describes the groove as "lazy, almost funky," stating that this helps partially obscure the "malevolence in its lyric." However, Janovitz goes on to note that the "very sparseness on 'Down by the River' only acts as a haunting void for its blues, like John Lee Hooker's 'Tupelo'."
#7 - May 27, 2017, 04:23:10 PM
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Neil Young - My My Hey Hey


"Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" is a song written by Neil Young. Combined with its acoustic counterpart "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)", it bookends Young's successful 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps. Inspired by electropunk group Devo, the rise of punk and what Young viewed as his own growing irrelevance, the song significantly revitalized Young's career at the time, and today crosses generations, inspiring admirers from punk to grunge. The song is about the alternatives of continuing to produce similar music ("to rust" or – in "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" – "to fade away") or to burn out.

A line from the acoustic version of the song, "it's better to burn out than to fade away," became infamous after being quoted in Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's suicide note. Young later said that he was so shaken that he dedicated his 1994 album Sleeps with Angels to Cobain.
#8 - June 10, 2017, 11:48:06 AM
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Neil Young - Hitchhiker
#9 - October 01, 2018, 11:21:48 AM
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