Neil Young (born Neil Percival Young, 12.11.1945) Neil Young is a Canadian, internationally-renowned singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s as part of the groups Buffalo Springfield and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
Biography: Neil Young was born in Toronto. His father, Scott Young was a novelist and sportswriter. His mother, Edna Ragland (Rassy) was also an aspiring sports journalist.
Neil Young walks with a slight limp, as a result of having polio as a child. When he was 12, his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Winnipeg. It was here that he formed his first band, The Jades. He later met Ken Koblun, who encouraged him to join The Squires. The Squires had a hit, locally, entitled 'The Sultan'. Whilst they were in Thunder Bay, Neil Young met Stephen Stills and Randy Bachman for the first time.
Young wrote some of his early folk tracks after leaving The Squires, such as 'Sugar Mountain'. Joni Mitchell wrote 'The Circle Game' as a response to the track.
In 1966, Young joined the Mynah Birds, fronted by Rick James. They signed to Motown briefly, before James was arrested for being AWOL for the US Army.
Buffalo Springfield: In Los Angeles, Neil Young formed Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay and Dewey Martin. Their mix of psychedelia, folk and country led to them becoming very popular, especially after the release of 'For What It's Worth'.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young / Solo Career
When Buffalo Springfield disbanded, Neil Young signed a solo deal with Reprise Records, sharing his manager, Elliot Roberts, with Joni Mitchell. Young's eponymous debut album was released in 1968, to mixed reviews.
For his second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Young recruited Ralph Molina, Danny Whitten and Billy Talbot to be his backing band. The band took on the name Crazy Horse. The album featured the iconic songs 'Cinnamon Girl' and 'Down by the River'.
Following the release of the album, Neil Young re-joined Stephen Stills, as well as David Crosby and Graham Nash, who had already recorded as a trio. The quartet performed at 1969's Woodstock festival. They recorded an album, Déjà Vu, but Young and Stills fought for control and argued often. They wrote the song 'Ohio' following the Kent State massacre in May 1970.
1970 also saw Neil Young release his third solo album, After the Gold Rush, featuring Nils Lofgren. Crazy Horse left the Neil Young stable and landed their own record deal, so Young recruited a new group of session musicians, called The Stray Gators.
His next album, Harvest was a global hit, with 'Heart of Gold' becoming his first US number one single. 'The Needle and the Damage Done', an account of the damage of heroin use, is another popular song from Harvest.
Time Fades Away was written after Danny Whitten's death from a heroin overdose. He toured the album with Linda Ronstadt as the opener. This was followed by the highly acclaimed Tonight's The Night and On the Beach.
Neil Young's next acoustic album was Homegrown, a highly personal album that reflected on his break-up from Carrie Snodgress.
For Zuma, Young was reunited with Crazy Horse, with Frank Sampedro on guitar. The album featured 'Cortez the Killer'
In 1976, Neil Young starred in The Last Waltz, the concert footage produced by Martin Scorsese. The concert also featured The Band, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.
The song 'Like A Hurricane' was one of the most popular songs from Young's 1977 album American Stars 'N Bars. The following year, he released Comes A Time, featuring Nicolette Larson and Crazy Horse.
The 'Rust Never Sleeps' tour was recorded and released in audio and video format as Live Rust. The Album Rust Never Sleeps was Rolling Stone magazine's Album of the Year in 1979.
Though Neil Young's influence never waned during the 1980s, his own career wavered somewhat as he experimented with synthesizers, vocoders and electronic music. It took many years for Re-ac-tor and Trans to be recognized with any degree of acclaim. The release of Trans, coupled with an album of rockabilly covers entitled Everybody's Rockin' caused David Geffen (the head of Young's record label at the time) to sue Neil Young for making music that was 'unrepresentative' of himself.
It wasn't until 1989 with the release of 'Rockin in the Free World' (taken from the album Freedom) that Young's career began to hit its stride once more. An album released the same year highlighted Young's influence over younger musicians, especially in the emerging grunge scene. The Bridge: A Tribute To Neil Young featured covers of his music performed by Dinosaur Jr., Nick Cave, The Pixies and Sonic Youth. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was also vocal in appreciation of Young's music. In 1990, Young toured his Ragged Glory with the punk bands Social Distortion and Sonic Youth in support. A later album, Sleeps With Angels was inspired by the death of Cobain. Then, in 1995, Young recorded the album Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam.
Young returned to country and folk with 1992's Harvest Moon, which featured Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. In 1995, following the death of Young's longtime producer, David Briggs, Young and Crazy Horse reconvened and recorded Broken Arrow. Jim Jarmusch directed the accompanying film, Year of the Horse.
2000 onwards has seen Neil Young's music career go through peaks and troughs. In 2005, he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm whilst he worked on his Prairie Wind album.
In 2006, Young released an overtly political album criticizing George W. Bush. The album was entitled Living With War and featured the track 'Let's Impeach the President'.
As it's Thanksgiving we've put together a little playlist for you of all things thankful and appreciative; happy holidays!
Thanksgiving is upon us once more. In fact in many countries, including Canada, The Netherlands and St Lucia it has already been celebrated. The forth Thursday in November though is arguably the biggest, best known Thanksgiving around the world as it's when The United States Of America, and Brazil, recognise the national holiday. Abraham Lincoln set, or proclaimed, the date for all states back in 1863 and ever since then that's when people have taken time out, not only to bless the harvest, but to say thank you. One reluctant out going President Trump pardoned Corn the turkey, although who was the bigger turkey was still up for debate, in the traditional White House ceremony just the other day setting in motion the start of the U.S celebrations. This inspired us here at Contact Music to put together a topical playlist themed around Thanksgiving.
President Trump is joined by First Lady Melania Trump to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey 2020 / Photo Credit: Sipa USA/PA Images
Dido - Thank you.
The week's music news rounded up, including more Ariana Grande dates, Neil Young's streaming archives and a new PJ Harvey film.
Ariana Grande ADDS UK TOUR DATES
Ariana Grande has given fans a little Sweetener, announcing extra dates for the UK and Ireland leg of her arena tour next summer.
Originally, the ‘thank u, next’ chart-topping star announced a brace of London shows in August 2019, before returning to the UK the following month for gigs in Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield and Dublin.
Young had objected to Barclaycard, a "fossil fuel funding entity", being the sponsor of his Hyde Park show next summer.
Neil Young has confirmed that he will be going ahead with a huge gig in London’s Hyde Park next summer, despite claiming that its sponsor, Barclaycard, has pulled out.
The legendary 73 year old rocker initially objected to the British Summer Time festival – who annually organise a number of stand-alone gigs at the central London location – using a “fossil fuel funding entity” as a sponsor.
“That doesn't work for me,” he said earlier this week via a post on his official website, which has been subsequently deleted. “I believe in science. I worry about the climate crisis and am deeply concerned about its massive global ramifications.”
Continue reading: Neil Young's BST Festival Set To Go Ahead Without Sponsor Barclaycard
The week's music news rounded up.
Muse UNVEIL EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM
British rock giants Muse have revealed the title of their new, eighth studio album, as well as its release date. Simulation Theory is set to come out on November 9th, and includes recent singles ‘Dig Down’, ‘Thought Contagion’ and ‘Something Human’.
Muse also teased more new music from the album, with a music video to ‘The Dark Side’.
The film is set to be released later this month.
Neil Young is set to release the soundtrack to the forthcoming Western movie 'Paradox' this Spring; a film in which he also stars opposite Willie Nelson and Promise of the Real, and sees Daryl Hannah in her directorial debut. Few details have been released, but it's set to premiere at SXSW.
Neil Young performing live in Leeds
It certainly won't be the 72-year-old songwriter's first venture into acting, but it's his first into both acting and soundtrack-creating. The music also features his backing band from 'The Monsanto Years' tour, Promise of the Real, which is led by Willie Nelson's son Lukas Nelson.
Daryl Hannah and Neil Young depart from the airport - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 11th November 2016
The award-winning star got to have music lessons from a rock legend.
At age 66, Meryl Streep continues to add to her bag of acting tricks. For her role as an ageing rocker in Ricki and the Flash, she took a crash course in guitar playing from none other than rock legend Neil Young.
Meryl Streep stars alongside her real life daughter Mamie Gummer in 'Ricki and the Flash'
And what was his best advice? "He said crank it up to 11," she laughs. "You've got to turn it up, turn it up loud!"
Continue reading: Meryl Streep Learns A New Skill For Ricki And The Flash
The rock legend is unhappy at the audio quality of the files that appear on online streaming sites.
Legendary singer-songwriter and guitar hero Neil Young has become the latest artist to withdraw his music from streaming platforms such as Spotify. However, it’s not because of the usual complaint over royalties, but rather a lack of audio quality.
The 69 year old took to his official Facebook page to make the announcement. “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution,” he explained. “I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.”
Neil Young has removed his music from Spotify and other streaming sites
Continue reading: Neil Young Removes Back Catalogue From Streaming Services
Neil Young has slammed Donald Trump.
Donald Trump probably shouldn't count on the support of Neil Young for his newly announced presidential campaign. The Republican billionaire launched his 2016 campaign this week, using Young's anthem Rockin in the Free World as an entrance tune.
Neil Young slammed Donald Trump for using his song Rockin in the Free World
However, just hours after the presidential candidate had left the stage at Trump Towers in Manhattan, Young's agent issued a statement supporting a Democratic candidate.
Continue reading: Neil Young Is Not Happy That Donald Trump Used His Song.
Yes you read it right, apparently Bono once thought he had some songwriting wisdom to impart on Neil Young.
You might have felt angry last month when Bono gave you his new album without asking if you'd wanted it first. But imagine how Neil Young felt when the U2 frontman offered him some unsolicited songwriting advice?
During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show yesterday (October 14th) the legendary singer recalled the time that Bono gave him advice about how to write a hit song.
Neil Young and Pegi Young are to divorce.
Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young and his wife Pegi Young are to divorce after 36 years of marriage. Documents were filed at the Superior Court of San Mateo County on July 29.
Pegi Young and Neil Young are to divorce [Getty/Larry Bussaca]
The pair have lived in their home in La Honda, northern California, for years though Neil has toured the world extensively.
Continue reading: Don't Let It Bring You Down: Neil Young And Pegi Young To Divorce
Graham Nash and Neil Young - Graham Nash and Stephen Stills of 'Crosby, Stills & Nash' Los Angeles, California - 2010 MusiCares Person Of The Year Tribute To Neil Young held at the Los Angeles Convention Center - Arrivals Friday 29th January 2010
Date of birth
12th November, 1945