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Tonight's the Night

Neil Young

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

A harrowing album from Young's celebrated "dark" period, Tonight's the Night is like a traffic accident: You simply can't turn away. Prior to recording this album in 1973, Young had suffered through the overdose deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry within a matter of months. Already recoiling from his newfound fame and fortune, Young's response was to retreat further into raw, ferocious rock and roll, and the painful strain in his voice and some ragged playing in spots only makes matters more compelling. The title track is a slowly building stomp with growling Young vocals in tribute to Berry. "World ona String" is a defiant rocker, and "Albuquerque" is a powerful life-on-the-road lament. Only the bright harmonies and fragile acoustic setting of "New Mama" offer a respite from the pain and anger, calling to mind the folkie days with CSN. But as Young sings on "Roll Another Number," he's "a million miles away" from Woodstock, and the twisted, drug-addled country laments and bleak, boozy blues dirges attest to that. It's as if he's trying to toss it all off, attempting not to care, looking to escape, but it's that blend of intensity and apathy that's so riveting.

Customer Reviews

An awful masterpiece...

I remember buying this, listening for the first time and thinking, "Wow, this is awful." I kept listening, though, because there was something about it that demanded it be listened to again...and again...and again...and suddenly, I'm thinking, "This IS awful. It's supposed to be...songs about death and the prison of stardom should be somber." And once I learned that the entire album was recorded basically in one night, that just impressed me even more. BUY THE ENTIRE ALBUM.

Contains Many Great Songs

Due to the unhappy period in Neil's career that this album is associated with, it tends to be talked about more than it is listened to. But Tonight's The Night is comprised almost entirely of great songs. Yes, the performance is ragged and that may turn some people off. Still, these songs deserve to be listened to because they are so good.

Neil's Best....

This has always been my favorite NY album. It is raw and honest. The lyric is powerful and crafted with a true view of the darker side of reality. Nils Lofgren adds a another layer to this mosaic of musical reality....


Born: November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After Neil Young left the California folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield in 1968, he slowly established himself as one of the most influential and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters of his generation. Young's body of work ranks second only to Bob Dylan in terms of depth, and he was able to sustain his critical reputation, as well as record sales, for a longer period of time than Dylan, partially because of his willfully perverse work ethic. From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s through...
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