After his subtle and understated debut album, Neil Young made a big change for its follow-up. He hired guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina, members of a little-known band called The Rockets, and re-christened them Crazy Horse. They proved to be the ideal backing group for Young, as their rough, simplistic sound fitted his style perfectly. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere was produced with a seriously raw, one-take vibe, with no overdubs, very different in comparison to his debut. Stylistically it fits in with the folk rock and country rock of its day, but with a rough garage edge, driven by the thin, buzzing guitars of Young and Whitten. Two songs (“Down By The River” and “Cowgirl In The Sand”) would become among his best loved songs, notable for their lengthy guitar improvisation passages. Elsewhere the band played hard rock superimposed with delicate harmonies (“Cinnamon Girl”) and laid back country rock (the title track and “The Losing End”). The quiet acoustic number “Round And Round” featured guest musician Robin Lane on guitar and harmony vocals, and the dark “Running Dry” featured fiddle player Bobby Notkoff, another member of The Rockets. Besides these two guests, the entire album was performed solely by Young, Whitten, Talbot and Molina. Overall Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere made much more of an impact than the debut album, as Young had seemed to have found his voice as a solo artist, thanks in no small part to his new backing group.
Neil Young (1968) <|> After The Gold Rush (1970)
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