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After Neil Young left the Californian folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield in 1968, he slowly established himself as one of the most influential and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters of his generation.
From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s until the late '90s, Neil Young never stopped writing, recording, and performing; Young's official catalog only represented a portion of his work, since he kept countless tapes of unreleased songs in his vaults.
Just as importantly, Neil Young continually explored new musical territory, from rockabilly and the blues to electronic music. But these stylistic exercises only gained depth when compared to Young's two primary styles: gentle folk and country-rock, and crushingly loud electric guitar rock, which he frequently recorded with the Californian garage band Crazy Horse.
Throughout his career, Neil Young alternated between these two extremes, and both proved equally influential; there were just as many simply singer/songwriters as there were grunge and country-rock bands claiming to be influenced by Neil Young.
Despite his enormous catalog and influence, Neil Young continued to move forward, writing new songs and exploring new music in his fourth decade as a performing artist. That restless spirit ensured that Young was one of the few rock veterans as vital in his old age as he was in Young's youth.
Neil Young's eponymous debut was released in 1969. By the time the album was released, Neil Young had begun playing.
Young renamed the group Crazy Horse and had them support him For his second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Young recorded with a local band called the Rockets: guitarist Danny Whitten, bass player Billy Talbot, and drummer Ralph Molina which was recorded in just two weeks. Neil renamed the band Crazy Horse and gave the world "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down By the River."
Soon thereafter, Neil Young began jamming with Crosby, Stills & Nash, eventually joining the group for their spring 1970 album, Deja Vu.
Despite his new ties to CSN, Neil Young continued to record as a solo artist, releasing After the Gold Rush at the end of 1970.
In 1971, Neil Young had his first number one album with Harvest, and number one single, " Heart of Gold."
After a few uninspired albums, Neil Young was rocked by the overdose deaths of Danny Whitten in 1972 and his roadie Bruce Berry the following year. These events spawned 1975's Tonight's the Night. Zuma, an album recorded with Crazy Horse was released later that year.
In 1977, Young recorded American Stars 'n Bars, which featured a gorgeous young singer named Nicolette Larson, who was also prominent on 1978's Comes a Time.
At the end of 1978, Young began an arena tour called Rust Never Sleeps. Rust Never Sleeps was released in the summer of 1979. Later that year, Neil Young released the double album Live Rust and the live movie Rust Never Sleeps.
In 1981, Young released Re*Ac*tor and the oddball Trans.
Everybody's Rockin' found Young doing rockabilly in 1983. Young returned to Crazy Horse for 1987's Life, and This Note's for You in 1988..
At the end of the year, Young recorded a reunion album with Crosby, Stills & Nash called American Dream.
The following year, Young reunited with Crazy Horse for Ragged Glory.
In 1992 Young wowed longtime fans with Harvest Moon, a sequel to Young's 1972 breakthrough, Harvest.
Also in 1993, Young released the rarities collection Lucky Thirteen. The following year, Young released Sleeps With Angels,
Young joined forces with Pearl Jam for Mirror Ball in 1995.
In the summer of 1996, Neil Young reunited with Crazy Horse for Broken Arrow and supported it with a brief tour. That tour was documented in Jim Jarmusch's 1997 film The Year of the Horse, which was accompanied by a double-disc live album. In 1999, Neil Young reunited with Crosby, Stills & Nash for the first time in a decade, for Looking Forward.
A new solo effort, Silver and Gold, followed in the spring of 2000. In recognition of his 2000 summer tour, Neil Young released the live album Road Rock, Vol. 1 the following fall.
Neil Young's 2001 single "Let's Roll", was a tribute to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the passengers and crew on Flight 93 in particular. At the " America: A Tribute to Heroes" concert he performed a cover version of John Lennon's "Imagine". In 2002, Q magazine named Neil Young in their list of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die."
Neil Young hauled out his concept album Greendale in 2003 -- about an extended family in a small town called Greendale, and how they're torn apart by a murder. Greendale the album version was recorded with Crazy Horse members Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina. This tale of the Green family also resulted in a movie called Greendale, written and directed by Young (again using his "Bernard Shakey" pseudonym) and starring a few of his friends that act out and lip sync the songs from the album.
In 2006, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, a film made by Jonathan Demme, was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Filmed at the Ryman Auditorium during the premiere of Prairie Wind, it includes both new and old songs as well as behind the scenes commentary by Young, his wife Pegi and others.
Young has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2000, the cable music channel VH1 ranked Young 30th on a list of the Top 100 Artists of Rock and Roll. He was also 30th on VH1's list of Top 100 Hard Rock Artists.
Young has directed or co-directed a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), and Greendale (2003).
He is also an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and small farmers, having co-founded the benefit concert Farm Aid, and in 1986 helped found The Bridge School together with his wife Pegi.
Neil Young Song List
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