Neil Young | Artist

Neil Young | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Country, Genre_Pop_Rock, Origin_Canada, Type_Artist

Neil Young OC OM, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, environmentalist and political activist, born 1945 in Toronto. Young is renowned for being a member of the bands Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, along with his extensive solo career. After dropping out of school to be a musician, Young's first band was the Squires who had a local hit called "The Sultan". Over a three-year period the band played hundreds of shows at community centres, dance halls, clubs and schools in Winnipeg and other parts of Manitoba. While playing at The Flamingo in Fort William, Young met Stephen Stills, whose band The Company was playing the same venue, and they became friends. After leaving the Squires, Young worked folk clubs in Winnipeg, where he first met Joni Mitchell, who recalls Young as having been highly influenced by Bob Dylan at the time. At this time he wrote some of his most enduring folk songs such as "Sugar Mountain", about lost youth - and Mitchell wrote "The Circle Game" as a response. The Canadian band The Guess Who had a Top 40 hit with Young's "Flying on the Ground is Wrong", which was Young's first major success as a songwriter. In 1966 Young moved to Los Angeles where he formed Buffalo Springfield with old friend Stephen Stills. Buffalo Springfield only existed for three years but during that time delivered 3 albums of highly influential psych-tinged country rock. In 1969 Young also recorded two solo albums, the first self-titled album gained attention, but it was the second album, the superb Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, made with backing band Crazy Horse, which catapulted Young's career. That same year Young reunited with Stephen Stills by joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, who had already released one album in May 1969. Young was originally offered a position as a sideman, but agreed to join only if he received full membership. CSN&Y performed at Woodstock in August 1969, and recorded the classic album Déjà Vu in March the following year. Young wrote the song "Ohio" following the Kent State massacre on May 4, 1970, and the song was recorded by CSNY and immediately released as a single, even though CSNY's "Teach Your Children" was still climbing the singles charts. Young's classic solo albums kept on flowing with the consecutive releases of After the Gold Rush, Harvest, On The Beach, Tonight's the Night and Zuma, highlighting a truely astoundingly creative period in Young's career. To the present day there are some 48 albums credited to Neil Young (excluding Archival releases) many of with he is backed by Crazy Horse. Added to this are many live albums which capture the artist as a superb live performer. A selection of essential albums includes Everyone Knows This is Nowhere (1969), After the Gold Rush (1970), Harvest (1972), On the Beach (1974), Tonight's the Night (1975), Zuma (1975), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Ragged Glory (1990), Harvest Moon (1992), Hitchhiker (2017), and Chrome Dreams (2023). Also the live albums Time Fades Away (1973), Live Rust (1979), Weld (1991), and Live at Massey Hall 1971 (2007). There are also many superb compilations, of which Decade (1977) is a standout. One of his many philanthropic projects is Farm Aid. Young remains on the board of directors of Farm Aid, an organization he co-founded with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp in 1985, which is the longest running concert benefit series in the US and has raised $43 million since its first benefit concert in 1985. The story behind Neil Young's move to the US is a fascinating one. In 1966 in Toronto, Young joined Rick James' R&B outfit the Mynah Birds, but during the recording of their first album, James was arrested for being AWOL from the Navy Reserve. With the band then finished, Young and the bass player Bruce Palmer pawned the group's musical equipment and bought a Pontiac hearse, which they used to relocate to Los Angeles. Young admitted in a 2009 interview that he was in the United States illegally until he received a Green Card in 1970.

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Featured Albums: Neil Young

Related Artists: Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Crazy Horse, The Ducks

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