Album #341 – Tonight’s The Night

Album #341

Tonight’s The Night has become one of my favourite Neil Young albums. The sound Young has for this album is very raw and bare-bones. You can tell that each track was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs. It makes these songs much more emotionally raw than if they were loaded with studio gadgetry. It is an album that deals with death head on. The title track was written about one of Young’s roadies who died of drug use. Tonight’s The Night also marks guitarist Danny Whitten’s last colaboration with Young on C’mon Baby Let’s Go Downtown. Whitten was the original guitarist in Crazy Horse before his death in 1972. The Needle and The Damage Done was actually written about Whitten and his decline through heroin use. For years, Young felt that he was responsible for Whitten’s death. Side one and side two are drastically different. Side one is mostly rocking and displays Young’s brand of muddy, “grungy” rock. Side two is more laid back and displays Young’s country rock side, complete with Ben Keith’s pedal steel. Tonight’s The Night is one of those Neil Young albums that is severely underrated. I really enjoyed listening to it again. I am surprised that I have never bought it but, I will be adding it to my collection. Not bad for an album that was the result of death and pain.  Other highlights include: World On A String, Borrowed Tune (a song that literally borrows the melody of The Rolling Stone’s Sweet Lady Jane), Roll Another Number (For The Road), Albuquerque (one of Neil Young’s best hidden gems) and Tired Eyes. Overall, I give Tonight’s The Night, 5 out of 5.

Next: Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan!!!

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