Neil Young was born in 1945 in Toronto, Canada. He is probably one of the most loved singer/songwriters of his time. He first began singing in the 60's, with his good friends Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. They were joined by Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer and formed the band Buffalo Springfield. The band was signed to the Atco Records label in 1966 and they recorded three albums (Broken Arrow, Expecting to Fly, and one other) before breaking up in 1969 to pursue individual careers.
In 1969, Neil Young released his debut solo album, the self titled Neil Young. Though the album had never received much critical acclaim, some consider it one of his best albums because it showed what potential Young had at such a young age.
The second track on the album, "The Loner," is considered by fans to be Neil's first classic-rock song. "If I Could Have Her Tonight," the third track on the album, was the type of pop-song that was to be imitated by singers for years to follow.
After slow sales of the first album, Neil realized that he needed a backup band. He joined forces with Crazy Horse, with Ralph Molina on drums, Billy Talbot on the bass, and Danny Whitten on guitar. As a team, they released Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.
"Cinnamon Girl," one of the songs on the album, set an example for future singer/songwriters in its intensity and creativity. After listening to this, the first album with Crazy Horse, fans know why Neil still plays with them 40 years later: they're a great team.
Mr. Young joined up with Crosby Stills Nash & Young in 1970 and joined them at Woodstock. He contributed to two albums as part of that group, 1970's Deja Vu and 1971's Four Way Street. When After the Goldrush, released in 1970, quickly rose to the Top 10, and then stayed on the charts for a total of 66 weeks, Young realized how famous he had become. He followed up with the incredible album Harvest and enjoyed even more fame after the world heard the single "Heart of Gold" and the incredibly popular "Old Man."
Between 1970 and 1977, Young released 6 more albums: Times Fade Away, Tonight's The Night, Zuma, Long May You Run (with Stills), American Stars and Bars, and Decade. Each showcased how much Neil could change from year to year, as each was a very different sound, and each had a different meaning to his fans. In 1978, Neil released Comes a Time, which was a softer folk-rock album, and it reached number 7 on the charts and went gold.
Young went on to write the title track to the soundtrack for the film Philadelphia, which had Tom Hanks as the star, and won an Oscar. Soon after, Neil released Sleeps With Angels, which got all the way to number 9 on the Billboard Charts!
Neil's other albums through the years include:
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