Neil Young - Tonight's The Night (1973)

Not released until 1975
Neil Young is a prolific Canadian singer-songwriter who has been releasing records since the 60s.

Neil Young's life had entered a dark period after the death of friend and bandmate Danny Whitten, and coming just after his biggest commercial success (1972's Harvest). His 1973 tour had been a grim and ramshakle experience, resulting in the live album Time Fades Away. The death of Whitten was soon followed by that of Bruce Berry, a roadie for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - heroin overdose. Berry had apparently been turned on to heroin through Whitten, and once stole one of David Crosby's guitars to pawn for drug money.
In the latter half of '73 Young formed a new band from the remnants of Crazy Horse. Drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot were joined by pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith (from the Stray Gators, who had appeared on both Harvest and Time Fades Away) and Nils Lofgren (who had played on 1970's After The Gold Rush). Young shared both guitar and piano duties with Lofgren. He christened this band the Santa Monica Flyers, and they started touring small clubs throughout the US.
If people had been confused by the Time Fades Away tour, the performances from The Santa Monica Flyers were positively confounding. Young was frequently wasted on tequila, surrounded by strange stage props and performing entirely new material that none of the audience had expected. The album to come out of the studio sessions from this time documented this dark and crazed period of his life. It took his rough, raw and unrehearsed approach to recording to a new extreme. Tonight's The Night is referred to as the second of Young's famed Ditch Trilogy. It wasn't that the music was particular downbeat, it was just raw to the point of painfulness. Opening and closing with two different versions of the title track (which forever immortalizes the deceased roadie Bruce Berry), it includes a recording of Young with Crazy Horse back in 1970 - a live rendition of "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown" from the Horse's eponymous album, with Whitten singing lead. A fitting tribute to Young's greatest guitar sparring partner.
The ambience of the album is perhaps best summed up by "Borrowed Tune", a solo performance of Young sitting at the piano which unashamedly steals its melody from The Rolling Stones' "Lady Jane". The lyrics: 'I'm singing this borrowed tune / I took from the Rolling Stones / Alone in this empty room / Too wasted to write my own'.
Young's record company (Reprise) did not like what they heard, and shelved the album. It wasn't actually released until 1975. In retrospective it is generally considered one of his greatest artistic triumphs.

Time Fades Away (1973) <|> On The Beach (1974)
More from Neil Young



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Maybe the most obscure period of Neil Young, but his his music remains intact.

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longcat said...

hi, i would appreciate this album, but i can't seem to be able to download it x