45 Years Ago: How Neil Young Began His Journey to Becoming a Rock Icon with ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’

By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)

Only the most ardent of Neil Young fans and followers even know it, but the Canadian singer released a self-titled LP in 1968. But its wild inconsistency led it to generate little buzz as Neil’s post-Buffalo Springfield debut. It wasn’t until 1969’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere that Neil began to make a real mark as a solo artist.

His transformation started when he hooked up with Crazy Horse, which was a “centering aspect of Neil’s career and that album,” according to Carter. The band’s minimalist efficiency contributed to the live energy of the collective’s extended jams and studio recordings, and pushed Neil to let loose with his guitar work and overall performance.

“The fact that their chemistry was just right in the studio really allowed for Neil’s songwriting to blossom.”

The LP contained Neil’s first hit single, “Cinnamon Girl”, which peaked at #34 on the Billboard pop chart, and launched the forward momentum that rolled right into After the Gold Rush, which brought Neil from potential has-been to rock superstar in the span of just a little over a year.

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