Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nov. 12: Neil Young is 68-years-old today.

Born Neil Percival Young, in Toronto, Canada, but raised in Winnipeg,  Neil is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

Young began playing music in high school in garage rock outfits like the Esquires, and in local folk clubs and coffeehouses, where he eventually met Joni Mitchell and Stephen Stills. During the mid-'60s, he returned to Toronto, where he played as a solo folk act.

In 1966, he joined the Mynah Birds, which also featured bassist Bruce Palmer and Rick James. The group recorded an album's worth of material for Motown, none of which was released at the time. Frustrated by his lack of success, Young moved to Los Angeles in his Pontiac hearse with  Palmer. Shortly after they arrived in L.A., they happened to meet Stills, and they formed Buffalo Springfield, which quickly became one of the leaders of the Californian folk-rock scene.

After Neil Young left 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. From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s until the late '90s, he never stopped writing, recording, and performing; his official catalog only represented a portion of his work, since he kept countless tapes of unreleased songs in his vaults.

Despite his enormous catalog and influence, Young continued to move forward, writing new songs and exploring new music. Despite the success of Buffalo Springfield, Young quit the band several times before finally leaving to become a solo artist in May of 1968. Young signed with Reprise Records and released his self-named debut album in early 1969. By the time the album was released, he had begun playing with a local band called the Rockets, which featured guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot, and drummer Ralph Molina.

Young renamed the group Crazy Horse and had them support him on his second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, which was recorded in just two weeks. Featuring such Young staples as "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down by the River," the album went gold.

Following the completion of the record, he began jamming with Crosby, Stills & Nash, eventually joining the group for their spring 1970 album, Déjà Vu. Although he was now part of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Young continued to record as a solo artist, releasing After the Gold Rush in August, 1970. After the Gold Rush, with its accompanying single "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," established Young as a solo star, and fame only increased through his association with CSNY.

In 1972, Young had his first number one album with the mellow country-rock of Harvest, which also featured his first - and only - number one single, "Heart of Gold."

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Greatest Hits, Neil YoungHarvestAfter the Gold RushDeja VuThe Best Of Buffalo Springfield: Retrospective

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Neil's career has since spanned over 40 years and 34 studio albums, with a continual and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as "one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers."
 He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and secondly as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.


For more about Neil, visit his Website at -



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