Neil Young

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Posted by motoman 03/03/2009 @ 09:09

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Neil Young Archives Blu-ray: Rip off? - CNET News
The "Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1: 1963-1972" Blu ray box goes for $349; the DVD is $250; and the CD set a mere $100. The Blu-ray box contains a sprawling 11-disc collection. Young's been working on this set for what feels like decades; was it worth the...
Nick Cave Covers Neil Young - AOL Music Canada
Yesterday afternoon at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square, 1623 people gathered to try and break the Guinness World Record for largest guitar ensemble by playing Neil Young's "Helpless", en masse, as part of the Luminato arts festival, the song chosen via a...
Young's Archives worth wait - Times Colonist
By Jordan Zivitz, Canwest News ServiceJune 8, 2009 When it comes to music that's been delayed forever and two days, no parallel comes to mind for Neil Young's Archives. (No, not even Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy.) Young started talking about the...
Keeping track of summer's hot albums - Edmonton Sun
Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Iggy Pop, Rancid and some guy named Neil Young kicked off the season on Tuesday; here are some of the other big releases headed our way as unavoidably as Bruno's crotch. Don't get your hopes up, haters; that title stands...
New Software, New iPhone, New Steve? Live-blogging the Apple ... - New York Times
2:29 pm | Star Defense Demo: Neil Young, chief executive and founder of iPhone games publisher Ngmoco, takes the stage. Mr. Young and developer Stephanie Morgan show off Star Defense, an upcoming sci-fi strategy game for the platform....
Neil Patrick Harris lands two movie roles - Entertainment Weekly
Neil Patrick Harris has been cast in two new films, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In indie comedy Best, the recent Tony Awards host will star as a father who moves with his status-conscious wife and young child from Delaware to New York City's...
Adam Lambert: 'All your questions will be answered' - Entertainment Weekly
Also, Adam's brother Neil has blogged that Adam is gay (Quote: "Ladies, Adam is gay. Stop asking him to be your boyfriend because that doesn't compute for him.") Lots of other info out there: photos, comments from people who know him, etc....
The Big One - Isle of Wight Festival 2009 more - Virtual Festivals
Now in it's 8th year since its rebirth, the festival continues to deal with massive heritage names - this year Neil Young does the honours - alongside a cross section of some of the finest bands around at the moment. It's an eclectic event that can...
New Reviews: Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young and Jeff Buckley - Rolling Stone
Highlights include the catchy first single “Funny The Way It Is,” the Pearl Jam-esque “Time Bomb” and the brawny “Why I Am.” DMB fans may have waited four years for Big Whiskey, but that's nothing compared to the lengthy chunk of time Neil Young...
Neil Young's 'Archives' Hits Tech High Note - Baltimore Sun
Neil Young included everything but boyhood homework from the Earl Grey School in Winnipeg in his stunning new life-in-a-box, 10-disc set. Anything is possible in the Blu-ray disc edition of "Neil Young: Archives, Vol. 1 (1963-1972)," the most...

Neil Young

Neil Young in Austin, Texas on November 9, 1976

Neil Percival Young OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician and film director.

Young's work is characterized by deeply personal lyrics, distinctive guitar work, and signature falsetto tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments—including piano and harmonica—his claw-hammer acoustic guitar style and often idiosyncratic electric guitar soloing are the linchpins of a sometimes ragged, sometimes polished sound. Although Young has experimented widely with differing music styles, including swing, jazz, rockabilly, blues, and electronic music throughout a varied career, his best known work usually falls into either of two distinct styles: folk-esque acoustic rock ("Heart of Gold", "Harvest Moon" and "Old Man") and electric-charged hard rock (like "Cinnamon Girl", "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"). In recent years, Young has adopted elements from newer styles like industrial, alternative country and grunge. Young's profound influence on the latter caused some to dub him "the godfather of grunge".

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), Greendale (2003), and CSNY Déjà Vu (2008). He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled Linc/Volt. The project involves a 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology, which Young plans to drive to Washington, DC as an example to lawmakers there.

He is also an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid, and in 1986 helped found The Bridge School, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his wife Pegi (in this, Young's involvement stems at least partially from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy).

Neil Young was born in Toronto, Ontario, to sportswriter and novelist Scott Young and Edna Ragland (known as Rassy), who had moved to Toronto from their family home in Manitoba to pursue a sport journalism career. He spent his early years in the small country town of Omemee, 130 kilometres (81 mi) northeast of Toronto.

Young was diagnosed with diabetes as a child and a bout of polio at the age of 6 left him with a weakened left side; he still walks with a slight limp.

His parents divorced when Young was 12, and he moved with his mother back to the family home of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where the formative years of his music career began. Neil and his mother Rassy settled into the working class suburb of Fort Rouge where the shy, dry-humoured youth enrolled at Earl Grey Junior High School. It was there that he formed his first band the Jades, and met Ken Koblun, later to join him in the Squires.

While attending Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, he played in several instrumental rock bands. Young's first stable band was called the Squires, who had a local hit called "The Sultan". Young dropped out of high school and also played in Fort William, where they recorded a series of demos produced by a local producer named Ray Dee, whom Young called "the original Briggs." While in Thunder Bay, Young first encountered Stephen Stills. In the 2006 film Heart of Gold Young relates how he used to spend time as a teenager at Falcon Lake, Manitoba where he would endlessly plug coins into the jukebox to hear Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds". Neil also formed a friendship with musician Randy Bachman.

After leaving the Squires, Neil worked folk clubs in Winnipeg, where he first met Joni Mitchell. Here he wrote some of his earliest and most enduring folk songs such as the classic "Sugar Mountain", about his lost youth. Mitchell wrote "The Circle Game" in response.

In 1965 Young toured Canada as a solo artist. In 1966, he joined the Rick James-fronted Mynah Birds. The band managed to secure a record deal with the Motown label, but as their first album was being recorded, James was arrested for being AWOL from the army. After the Mynah Birds disbanded, Young and bass player Bruce Palmer relocated to Los Angeles. Young has admitted in an interview that he was in the United States illegally until receiving a green card in 1970.

Once they reached Los Angeles, Young and Palmer met up with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, and Dewey Martin to form Buffalo Springfield. A mixture of folk, country, psychedelia, and rock lent a hard edge by the twin lead guitars of Stills and Young made Buffalo Springfield a critical success, and their first record Buffalo Springfield (1967) sold well after Stills' topical song "For What It's Worth" became a hit, aided by Young's melodic harmonics played on electric guitar.

Distrust of their management, as well as the arrest and deportation of Palmer, exacerbated the already strained relations among the group members and led to Buffalo Springfield's demise. A second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, was released in late 1967, but two of Young’s three contributions were solo tracks recorded apart from the rest of the group.

In May 1968, the band split up for good, but in order to fulfill a contractual obligation, a final album, Last Time Around, was recorded, primarily from recordings made earlier that year. Young contributed the songs "On the Way Home" and "I Am a Child", singing lead on the latter. In 1997, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Young did not appear at the ceremony.

For his next album, Young recruited three musicians from a band called The Rockets: Danny Whitten on guitar, Billy Talbot on bass guitar, and Ralph Molina on drums. These three took the name Crazy Horse (after the historical figure of the same name), and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (May 1969), is credited to "Neil Young with Crazy Horse." Recorded in just two weeks, the album opens with one of Young's most familiar songs, "Cinnamon Girl," and is dominated by two more, "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River," that feature lengthy jams showcasing Young's idiosyncratic guitar soloing accompanied sympathetically by Crazy Horse. Young reportedly wrote all three songs on the same day, while nursing a high fever of 103 °F (39.5 °C) in bed.

Shortly after the release of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Young reunited with Stephen Stills by joining Crosby, Stills, & Nash, who had already released one album as a trio. Young was originally offered a position as a sideman, but agreed to join only if he received full membership, and the group - winners of the 1969 "Best New Artist" Grammy - was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The quartet debuted in Chicago on August 16, 1969, and later performed at the famous Woodstock Festival, during which Young skipped the acoustic set and refused to be filmed during the electric set, even telling the cameramen: "One of you fuckin' guys comes near me and I'm gonna fuckin' hit you with my guitar". During the making of their first album, Déjà Vu, the musicians frequently argued, particularly Young and Stills, who both fought for control.

Also that year, Young released his third solo album, After the Gold Rush (1970), which featured, among others, a young Nils Lofgren, Stephen Stills, and CSNY bassist Greg Reeves. Young also recorded some tracks with Crazy Horse, but dismissed them early in the sessions. Aided by his newfound fame with CSNY, the album was a commercial breakthrough for Young and contains some of his best known work. Notable tracks include the title track, with dream-like lyrics that run a gamut of subjects from drugs and interpersonal relationships to environmental concerns, as well as Young’s controversial and acerbic condemnation of racism in "Southern Man," which, along with a later song entitled "Alabama," later prompted Lynyrd Skynyrd to decry Young by name in the lyrics to "Sweet Home Alabama." Young was one of Skynyrd's biggest influences, and Young was an admirer of Skynyrd's music. The respectful rivalry and friendship between Young and Skynyrd front man Ronnie Van Zant would serve as a recurring theme in the Drive-By Truckers' 2001 concept album Southern Rock Opera.

With CSNY splitting up and Crazy Horse having signed their own record deal, Young began the year 1971 with a solo tour entitled "Journey Through the Past." Later, he recruited a new group of country-music session musicians, whom he christened The Stray Gators, to record much of the new material that had been premiered on tour for the album Harvest (1972). Harvest was a massive hit (especially with the country-music crowd) and "Heart of Gold" became a US number one single; incidentally, to this day it remains the only No. 1 hit in his long career.

Another notable song was "The Needle and the Damage Done," a somber lament on the pain caused by heroin addiction; inspired in part by the heavy heroin use of Crazy Horse member Danny Whitten, who would eventually die of an overdose.

In the second half of 1973, Young formed The Santa Monica Flyers, with Crazy Horse's rhythm section augmented by Nils Lofgren on guitar. Deeply affected by the drug-induced deaths of Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry, Young recorded Tonight's the Night. The album's dark tone and rawness caused Reprise to delay the release until two years later and only after being pressured by Young to do so. It received mixed reviews at the time, but is now regarded as a landmark album. In Young's own opinion, it was the closest he ever came to art.

While his record company delayed the release of Tonight's the Night, Young recorded On the Beach (1974), which dealt with themes such as the downside of fame and the Californian lifestyle. Like Time Fades Away and Tonight's the Night, it sold poorly but eventually became a critical favourite, presenting some of Young's most original work. In a review of the 2003 re-release on CD of On the Beach Derek Svennungsen described the music as "mesmerizing, harrowing, lucid, and bleary,".

After completing On the Beach, Young reunited with Harvest producer Elliot Mazer to record another acoustic album, Homegrown. Most of the songs were written after Young's breakup with Snodgress, and thus the tone of the album was somewhat dark. Though the album was entirely completed, Young decided to drop the album and release Tonight's the Night instead, at the suggestion of The Band bassist Rick Danko. Young further explained his move by saying: "It was a little too personal... it scared me".

Young reformed Crazy Horse with Frank Sampedro on guitar as his backup band for Zuma (1975). Many of the songs are overtly concerned with failed relationships, and even the epic "Cortez the Killer," outwardly a retelling of the Spanish conquest of Mexico from the viewpoint of the Aztecs, can be seen as an allegory of love lost—something that didn’t save it, however, from being banned in Franco's Spain.

In 1976, Young performed with The Band, Joni Mitchell, and other rock musicians in the high profile all-star concert The Last Waltz. The release of Martin Scorsese's movie of the concert was delayed while Scorsese unwillingly re-edited it to obscure the lump of cocaine that was clearly visible hanging from Young's nose during his performance of "Helpless." Young later said, "I'm not proud of that," according to one of his biographers.

American Stars 'N Bars (1977) contained two songs originally recorded for Homegrown album, "Homegrown" and "Star of Bethelehem," as well as newer material, including the future concert staple "Like A Hurricane". Performers included Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Young protégé Nicolette Larson along with Crazy Horse. Also in 1977, Young released Decade: a personally selected career summary of material spanning every aspect of his various interests and affiliations, including a handful of unreleased songs. Comes a Time (1978) also featured Nicolette Larson and Crazy Horse and became Young's most commercially accessible album in quite some time, marked by a return to his folk roots.

Young next set out on the lengthy "Rust Never Sleeps" tour, in which each concert was divided into a solo acoustic set and an electric set with Crazy Horse. Much of the electric set was later seen as a response to punk rock's burgeoning popularity. "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" compared the changing public perception of Johnny Rotten with that of the recently deceased Elvis Presley, who himself had once been disparaged as a dangerous influence only to later become an icon. Rotten, meanwhile, returned the favour by playing one of Young's records on a London radio show. The accompanying albums Rust Never Sleeps (new material, culled from live recordings, but featuring studio overdubs) and Live Rust (a mixture of old and new, and a genuine concert recording) captured the two sides of the concerts, with solo acoustic songs on side A, and fierce, uptempo, electric songs on side B. A movie version of the concerts, also called Rust Never Sleeps (1979), was directed by Young under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey.

Young was suddenly hip again, and the readers and critics of Rolling Stone voted him Artist Of The Year for 1979 (along with The Who), selected Rust Never Sleeps as Album Of The Year, and voted him Male Vocalist Of The Year as well. The Village Voice, meanwhile, honored Young as the Artist of the Decade.

The 1980s were a lean time for Young both critically and commercially. After providing the incidental music to a biopic of Hunter S. Thompson entitled Where the Buffalo Roam, he recorded Hawks & Doves (1980), a folk/country record. Re-ac-tor (1981), once again with Crazy Horse, was a façade of distortion and feedback obscuring a relatively weak selection of songs, but his strangest record of the decade came with Trans (1982). Recorded partially with vocoders, synthesizers, and other devices that modified instruments and vocals with electronic effects, it is sometimes considered an experiment related to finding a technology that would become a means to communicate for Young’s son (with his wife Pegi), Ben, who has severe cerebral palsy and cannot speak. Many fans were baffled by the radical forms of this album and rockabilly-styled Everybody's Rockin' (1983), and record company head David Geffen even sued Young for making "unrepresentative" music—i.e. music that did not sound like Neil Young—that deliberately lacked commercial appeal. Young later stated that he would have preferred to release the songs featuring the synclavier and vocoder as an EP, and that their inclusion with the Hawaiian-themed rockabilly was a mistake. Also premiered at this time though little seen was an eclectic full-length comedy film Human Highway starring, co-directed and co-written by Young.

In 1985, he reunited with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Live Aid at Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium. The two songs that they played, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "Daylight Again/Find The Cost of Freedom," were the first songs they had played as a quartet in front of a paying audience since 1974.

Old Ways (1985) saw a return to country music, recorded with a group of friends and session musicians. Landing on Water (1986) is entertaining for the blending of synthesizers and other instruments related to the 1980s into Young’s own style, with lyrics that take pot shots at some favourite targets, including CSN in "Hippie Dream," with a chorus that goes: "But the wooden ships/Were just a hippie dream," and David Geffen in "Drifter," with the line: "Don’t try to tell me what I gotta do to fit." The resumption of his partnership with Crazy Horse on Life (1987) fulfilled his contract with Geffen, and Young was finally able to switch labels.

Director Pope again made a series of videos from the album, including "Touch the Night" and "People on the Street".

Signing with Warner Brothers (which distributed Geffen at the time) and returning to Reprise Records, Young produced This Note's For You (1988) with a new band, The Bluenotes, whose name rights were owned by musician Harold Melvin. Young named his band after a cafe called the Blue Note on Main Street in Winnipeg Manitoba, where he had played. The addition of a brass section provided a new jazzier sound and the title track became his first hit single of the decade. Accompanied by a video which parodied corporate rock, the pretensions of advertising and Michael Jackson in particular, the song was initially banned by MTV (although the Canadian music channel, MuchMusic ran it immediately) before being put into heavy rotation and finally given the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year for 1989. After Melvin sued over the use of the Bluenotes name, Young renamed his back-up group "Ten Men Workin'" for the balance of the concert tour.

Young also contributed to that year's CSNY reunion American Dream (1988) and CSNY played a few benefit concerts. Young, however, refused to book a full tour with CSN and the foursome would not embark upon a nationwide tour until 2000.

Freedom was a mixture of acoustic and electric rock dealing with the state of the U.S. and the world in 1989, alongside a set of love songs and a version of the standard "On Broadway." "Rockin' in the Free World", two versions of which bookended the album, again caught the mood. Some say it became a de facto anthem during the fall of the Berlin Wall, a few months after the record's release. However, most Germans don't remember the song being related to the unification, understandably so, since the lyrics are not about political repression. Like Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.", the anthemic use of this song was based on largely ignoring the verses, which evoke social problems and implicitly criticize American government policies. In mid-1989, record executive Terry Tolkin conceived and produced a tribute album to Young's songs called The Bridge: A Tribute To Neil Young, released on his No.6 Records label. It featured cover versions of 15 of Young's songs by the cream of the up and coming Alternative Music and Grunge music bands including Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Soul Asylum, Dinosaur Jr,and The Pixies. By 1990, grunge music was beginning to make its first inroads in the charts and many of its prime movers, including Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, cited Young as a major influence.

Using a barn on his Northern California ranch as a studio, he rapidly recorded Ragged Glory with Crazy Horse, whose guitar riffs and feedback driven sound showed his new admirers that he could still cut it. Young then headed back out on the road with Orange Country country-punk band Social Distortion and alternative rock elder statesmen Sonic Youth as support, much to the consternation of many of his old fans. Yet the influence of Sonic Youth could be clearly heard on the accompanying home video and live album, Weld, which also included a bonus CD entitled Arc, a single 35-minute-long collage of feedback and guitar noise that Neil included, evidently at the suggestion of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Arc was later sold separately.

Young's next move was another return to country music. Harvest Moon (1992) was the long-awaited sequel to Harvest and reunited him with some of the musicians from that session, as well as singers Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. The title track was a minor hit and the record was reviewed and sold equally well, containing songs such as "From Hank to Hendrix" and "Unknown Legend", a tribute to his wife. His resurgent popularity saw him booked on MTV Unplugged in 1993. In 1992 he accompanied fellow Winnipegger Randy Bachman on "Prairie Town," a song that recounts their days in the Winnipeg music scene of the 1960s. That year, he contributed music to the soundtrack of the Jonathan Demme movie Philadelphia, and his song "Philadelphia" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song, losing out to Bruce Springsteen's contribution to the same film. A summer tour covering both Europe and North America with Booker T. and the MGs (with whom he played two songs at a 1992 Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden) was widely praised as a triumph. On a few of these dates, the show ended with a rendition of "Rockin' in the Free World" played with Pearl Jam.

Young was back with Crazy Horse for 1994's Sleeps with Angels, a much darker record. The title track told the story of Kurt Cobain's death; Young had reportedly made repeated attempts to contact Cobain prior to this event. Cobain had quoted Young's "It's better to burn out than fade away" (a line from "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)") in his alleged suicide note, causing Young to emphasize the line "'cause once you're gone you can't come back" in live performances at the time. Other songs dealt with drive-by shootings ("Driveby"), environmentalism ("Piece of Crap") and Young's own vision of America (the archetypal car metaphor of "Trans Am"). Young was inspired to make the record after viewing Cobain's performance on MTV Unplugged. Still admired by the prime movers of grunge, Young eventually performed with Pearl Jam at the MTV Music Awards during what was described as the highlight of a lackluster show. Their collaboration led to a joint tour, with the band and producer Brendan O'Brien backing Young. The accompanying album, Mirror Ball (1995), recorded as live in the studio captured their loose rock sound, and featured the standout track "I'm the Ocean". The year of 1995 also featured Young's entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After composing an abstract, distorted feedback-led guitar instrumental soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch's acid western film Dead Man Young recorded a series of loose jams with Crazy Horse that eventually appeared as the critically denigrated Broken Arrow. The return to Crazy Horse was prompted by the death of mentor, friend, and longtime producer David Briggs in late 1995. The subsequent tours of Europe and North America in 1996 resulted in both a live album and a tour documentary directed by Jim Jarmusch. Both releases took the name Year of the Horse.

In 1997, Young participated in the H.O.R.D.E. Festival's sixth annual tour.

In 1998, Young shared the stage with the rock band Phish at the annual Farm Aid concert, and later offered them an opportunity to headline both nights of the Bridge School Benefit concert. Phish took Young up on his offer to headline the Bridge School Benefit (where Young joined Phish for renditions of "Helpless" and "I Shall Be Released." Phish, however, declined Young's later invitation to be his backing band on a 1999 tour.

The decade ended with Looking Forward, another reunion with Crosby, Stills and Nash. The subsequent tour of the United States and Canada with the reformed super quartet was a huge success and brought in earnings of $42.1 million, making it the eighth largest grossing tour of 2000.

Young's next album, Silver & Gold (2000), contained a number of understated songs with personal lyrics, which was promoted through a mini-tour of solo acoustic shows. This style was continued in Are You Passionate? (2002), an album of love songs dedicated to his wife, Pegi.

Young spent the latter portion of 2004 giving a series of intimate acoustic concerts in various cities with his wife, Pegi, who is a trained vocalist and guitar player.

On September 28, 2005, Prairie Wind was released. In an interview given to Time magazine, Young revealed that he had planned to keep the news of his aneurysm private until he had the bleeding scare, after which he decided to make news of his condition public. The last two songs on the album were written after his aneurysm procedure, and several of the songs, such as "Fallin' Off the Face of the Earth," seem to be inspired by Young's brush with mortality, the recent death of his father, who suffered from senile dementia, and Young's Manitoba roots.

In 2006, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, a film made by Jonathan Demme, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Filmed over two nights at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee 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 members of Young's session band.

In April 2006, Young announced the release of Living with War, an album of protest songs that included the provocatively-titled "Let's Impeach the President." Recorded using his famous Les Paul electric guitar, "Old Black," along with Chad Cromwell (drums), Rick Rosas (bass), and Tommy Brea (trumpet), the album was intended to be a stinging rebuke of U.S. President George W. Bush and the War in Iraq. The album was recorded in a two week period in April, and was then made available over the internet from 28 April 2006 before being released as a CD on 5 May. Living With War was Young's most talked about release for years, creating heated political debate and a return to form with perhaps his most critically-acclaimed album since the early 1990s. Living With War: In the Beginning, a remixed version with the original album's choral backing vocals removed, was released in December of the same year. Its accompanying DVD featured videos directed by Young of every song on the album, footage of the Iraq War and demonstrations in the US, and clips from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

From July through September 2006, Neil Young reunited with his former bandmates from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for the "Freedom Of Speech Tour '06" across North America. Chad Cromwell and Rick Rosas made up the band's rhythm section. The entire Living with War album was performed on the tour, in addition to other CSN and Neil Young classics such as "Ohio" and "Rockin' in the Free World." An accompanying concert film and live album, called CSNY Deja Vu, were premiered on January 25, 2008, at the Sundance Movie Festival.

2006 also saw the first release from Young's long awaited Archives project, as Live at the Fillmore East, a selection of songs drawn from a 1970 gig with Crazy Horse, was released in November of that year. The release was marked as number two in the Archives Performance Series, leaving room for the still-unreleased 1969 Riverboat bootleg, which will be number one in the series. In March 2007, another historical live album, marked as the third in the Performance Series, was released. Titled Live at Massey Hall 1971, it featured a solo acoustic set from Toronto's Massey Hall, including material from the upcoming Harvest album.

On August 15, 2007, Young played a new album for 100 people at Reprise Records entitled Chrome Dreams II. Chrome Dreams was an album he scrapped in 1977, and the name of two different bootlegs. The new album includes two long songs that time in at 18:13 ("Ordinary People") and 14:31 ("No Hidden Path"), respectively. The album consists of three songs written previously and seven new songs, all by Young. The album was released on October 23, 2007, timed to coincide with a seven-week tour that had kicked off in Boise, Idaho, ten days earlier.

On February 11, 2008, Neil Young started the European leg of his tour with a concert in Antwerp, Belgium. On July 17, he was interviewed on PBS by Charlie Rose, where he spoke about many things, including his project to make a hybrid 1959 Lincoln. In October, a BBC 4 documentary "Neil Young - Don't be Denied" was shown, featuring interviews with Neil and a number of his contemporaries. It also summarizes his biography and motivations.

The latest album in the Performance Series, Sugar Mountain - Live At Canterbury House 1968 was released on December 2, 2008. Featuring material from Young's earliest solo performances recorded in Ann Arbor, MI November 9, 1968, the album was released as number zero in the Performance Series.

The first installment of Young's oft-delayed box set The Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972 was officially announced in 2008 with a trailer. The first set of Archives will feature both DVD and Blu-ray editions which will include 128 audio tracks (43 unreleased and 13 never before heard songs), thousands of images (photos, lyrics, letters and memorabilia), and hours of new, previously released and rare videos. Also included will be a 236 page hardbound book. The Blu-ray edition will have HD picture, pristine audio mastered and presented in 24bit 192 khz., and access to photos, trivia and memorabilia without stopping the music. It is currently scheduled for release in 2009.

A April 07,2009 date has been set for Neil's new album 'A Fork in The Road', which will delay the release of the Archives until later in 2009.

Young currently lives on a 1500-acre (6 km²) ranch in La Honda, California, called Broken Arrow. He also owns property in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and on the islands of Hawaii.

Young headlined the 2009 Big Day Out festival in New Zealand and Australia. Young pushed other current mainstream bands to only secondary headlining, including Arctic Monkeys and The Ting Tings. He will also headline the Friday at Glastonbury Festival which has attempted to book him for many years. Although not officially confirmed, a number of sources have suggested this. He has also been confirmed to play the Primavera Festival, Barcelona in May 2009.

Neil Young has undeniably been an important artist in the history of American and Canadian popular music and remains a distinct influence upon other recording artists. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Sweet Home Alabama" was written in response to two of Neil Young’s songs "Southern Man" and "Alabama". "Ohio" which Young recorded with Crosby, Stills and Nash, was a recollection of the tragic events that transpired at Kent State University in May 1970. Young's willingness to be politically outspoken and socially conscious allowed him to influence such important artists such as Phish, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana. Neil Young is referred to as "the Godfather of Grunge" because of the influence he had on Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder and the entire grunge movement. Kurt Cobain quoted Neil Young in his suicide note, using the line “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” from Young’s song "My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)". Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam inducted Neil Young into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, citing him as a huge influence. He has also been a big influence on experimental rock acts like Sonic Youth and Radiohead. Young’s influence, importance and inspiration within the music scene derive in part from his longevity because of a career spanning more than four decades. His first album was released in 1966 and his latest in 2008. Bob Dylan's influence on Young has been so obvious that the former once lambasted: "Heart of Gold bothered me every time it came on the radio ... and I'd say, 'Shit, that's me. If it sounds like me it might as well be me. (...) It seemed somebody else had taken my thing and had run away with it, you know, and I never got over it. Maybe tomorrow".

The Australian rock group Powderfinger attribute their group name to their love of Young.

Toronto based band Constantines recorded a version of Neil's Fuckin' Up in Winnipeg,which surfaced at the b-side the their "Our Age" 7"in November 2008. The members of the Constantines have occasionally played shows under the name Horsey Craze, singing Neil Young songs. In early 2006, they released a vinyl only split-album with The Unintended. The Constantines recorded four Neil Young songs for the LP, while The Unintended performed four Gordon Lightfoot songs.

While in Winnipeg on November 2, 2008 during the Canadian leg of his tour, Bob Dylan visited Young's former home in River Heights. The home was where Neil spent some of his teenage years. Dylan was interested in seeing the room where some of Neil's first songs were composed.

Young was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: first in 1995 for his solo work, with an induction speech given by Eddie Vedder, and again in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.

He has also directed five movies under his pseudonym Bernard Shakey, and released them through his own Shakey Pictures imprint: Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979) Human Highway (1982) (starring new wave band Devo), and Greendale (2003) and the documentary, CSNY Deja Vu (2008). The bonus DVDs included in both versions of Greendale and in Prairie Wind are also directed by Young under the Bernard Shakey alias, and all of Young's home video and DVD releases have been co-released under the Shakey Pictures imprint.

As one of the original founders of Farm Aid, he remains an active member of the board of directors. For one weekend each October, in Mountain View, California, he and his wife host the Bridge School Concerts, which have been drawing international talent and sell-out crowds for nearly two decades with some of the biggest names in rock having performed at the event including Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, The Who, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth and Sir Paul McCartney. The concerts are a benefit for the Bridge School, which develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities. Young's involvement stems at least partially from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy.

Young was nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for his song "Philadelphia" from the film Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen won the award for his song "Streets of Philadelphia" from the same film). In his acceptance speech, Springsteen said that "the award really deserved to be shared by the other nominee's song." That same night, Tom Hanks accepted the Oscar for Best Actor and gave credit for his inspiration to the song "Philadelphia".

He was part owner of Lionel, LLC, a company that makes toy trains and model railroad accessories. In 2008 Lionel emerged from bankruptcy and his shares of the company were wiped out. At this time his status with Lionel is unknown, according to Lionel CEO Jerry Calabrese he is still a consultant for Lionel. He was instrumental in the design of the Lionel Legacy control system for model trains and it is believed he will continue to develop the system. Young has been named as co-inventor on seven U.S. Patents related to model trains.

Young has twice received honorary doctorates. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1992, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from San Francisco State University in 2006. The latter honour was shared with his wife Pegi for their creation of the Bridge School.

In a "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list in the June 1996 issue of Mojo magazine, Young was ranked No. 9.

In 2000, Young was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. He ranked No. 39 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock that same year.

In 2001, Young was awarded the Spirit of Liberty award from the civil liberties group People for the American Way.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Neil Young #34 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In 2006, Paste Magazine compiled a "Greatest Living Songwriters" list; Young was ranked No. 2 behind Bob Dylan. (While Young and Dylan have occasionally played together in concert, they have never collaborated on a song together, or played on each others' records).

Jason Bond, an East Carolina University biologist, discovered a new species of trapdoor spider in 2007 and named it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi after Young, his favorite singer.

In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Young at #37 in its list of "The 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time.

In 2009, He was nominated for a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal performance.

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Neil Young Archives

The Neil Young Archives is a series of archival releases by singer-songwriter Neil Young which feature previously unreleased studio and live recordings.

The Archives have been long-anticipated — work began on them in the late 1980s. Neil Young has expressed his desire to release such a series in numerous interviews over the course of decades.

The archives are divided into several series. The main part is a series of box sets covering separate periods of the artist's career. In addition to this is the Performance Series which is a series of individual releases of live concert recordings. Finally, there is the Special Edition series which will consist of previously unreleased albums.

The series will consist primarily of lengthy box sets.

Volume 2 will probably commence with the post-Time Fades Away tour material, ie. the Tonight's the Night sessions and tours of America and England. Little, if any film footage of these tours exist, according to biographer Jimmy McDonough. Material from 1974 will probably consist of the CSNY reunion and hopefully the May 16th gig at The Bottom Line. A considerable amount of unreleased material exists from 1975-1977, including the entire Homegrown album. The gigs of the 1976 tours of Japan, Europe and America were intermittently filmed on 16 mm and 35 mm and high quality soundboard tapes exist of all gigs. The sessions for Comes a Time were quite involved, so much material will exist for that period. The week-long gigs at The Boarding House, San Francisco (ten sets of shows) were intermittently filmed on 16 mm according to McDonough. Complete soundboard recordings of (almost) all Rust Never Sleeps gigs exist. This box will probably end before the Trans sessions, which marked a change in direction and also being his first record Neil Young album released on Geffen Records.

More detailed information regarding Volume 3 has not yet been announced. However, the web site for Neil Young's Living With War album contains several live recordings of songs from the album Life (1987) which are said to be taken from Volume 3.

Similarly, further details of Volume 4 have not yet been released. However, the above web site includes music videos of songs taken from Young's Are You Passionate? (2002) album which are said to be from Volume 4 of the archives.

The series of box sets are accompanied by individual concert releases, dubbed the Archives Performance Series. This section contains details of releases so far. The releases are ordered in chronological order of recording. The albums were released in a different order, with Volume 2 coming in 2006, Volume 3 in 2007 and Volume 1 to appear at a future date.

Sugar Mountain - Live At Canterbury House 1968 is the recently-announced new volume in the Performance Series, labelled Volume 00 but the third in the series to be released. It will feature recordings from either or both of Young's solo acoustic performances at Canterbury House on 9th-10th November, 1968. The album is due to be released on December 2, 2008.

Volume 1 is entitled The Riverboat and is taken from a series of shows at the Riverboat Coffeehouse in Toronto in February, 1969. Six evenings of music were Recorded by Brian Ahern to a stereo Ampex 351 Analogue Recorder. The CD will be released with or before Archives Vol. 1. Chrome Dreams II from certain retailers also included a bonus CD with a preview track from the Riverboat. Different outlets had different CDs, each with a different preview track. The iTunes version contains "I am a Child" from Riverboat.

Live at the Fillmore East, released in November 2006, features a March 1970 concert with Crazy Horse. The album was released on CD and DVD Video with the DVD version including high definition sound accompanied by still images from the concert.

A solo acoustic performance from January 1971, Live at Massey Hall 1971, saw release in March 2007. The album was released on both CD and DVD Video with the DVD version including high definition sound accompanied by 8mm film footage of the concert.

Other volumes in the series may include a live performances from the Tonight's the Night 1973 tour, Young's solo performance at The Bottom End, New York in May 16, 1974, one of the ten solo performances during late May 1978 at The Boarding House, San Francisco of which film footage exists (a portion of which appears in Young's 1982 film, Human Highway).

Neil Young recently announced a new part of the archives, known as the Special Edition Series. To date, one album has been announced in this series. Other unreleased albums such as Homegrown and Chrome Dreams are expected to be released in this series.

The first release in the Special Edition series will be entitled Toast. The release will feature a previously unreleased album recorded in 2000 in the San Francisco studio Toast. The album was produced by John Hanlon and he is currently mixing the album for future release.

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Freedom (Neil Young album)

Freedom cover

Freedom is a 1989 album by Neil Young.

Freedom relaunched Neil Young's career, after a mostly unsuccessful decade. After many arguments (and a lawsuit), Young left Geffen Records and returned to his original label, Reprise, in 1988 with This Note's for You. Freedom, however, brought about a new, critical and commercially successful album in the mold of his 1979 classic album, Rust Never Sleeps. Both albums consist of live songs with the audience track mainly removed. Freedom also contains one song, "Rockin' in the Free World", bookending the album in acoustic and electric variants, a stylistic choice previously featured on Rust Never Sleeps. "Rockin' in the Free World" became, despite lyrics critical of the George H. W. Bush administration ("we got a thousand points of light"), the de facto anthem of the collapse of communism (specifically the Fall of the Berlin Wall) due to its repeated chorus of 'Keep on Rockin' in the Free World'.

An edited cut of the electric version of "Rockin' in The Free World" was also used over the final credits of Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, and the song was rereleased as a single at the time of the film's release.

Stylistically the album was one of Young's most diverse records, ranging from acoustic love songs to raging rockers. Three of the songs on Freedom ("Don't Cry," "Eldorado" and "On Broadway") had previously been released on the Japan and Australia-only EP Eldorado, and in a way represented Young's reaction to the Grunge movement, featuring heavy waves of thundering distortion and feedback (often strangely juxtaposed with quieter sections). Two songs featured a brass section, an unusual stylistic departure for Young, but one he had embraced fully on his previous album This Note's For You.

All songs written by Neil Young, except as noted.

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Like a Hurricane (Neil Young song)

The song was written in July 1975 after a cocaine-fueled night with friend and La Honda neighbor Taylor Phelps in the back of his car, (a DeSoto Suburban), when Neil Young was unable to sing due to an operation on his vocal cords. Driven by Young's trademark fierce guitars, the song has been played on nearly every tour Neil Young has done since. It has also appeared on the compilations Decade and Greatest Hits and on the live albums Live Rust, Weld and Unplugged (this last rendition is played almost entirely on a pump organ).

An edited version of "Like a Hurricane" was released as a single on August 8th 1977, with "Hold Back the Tears" as B-side.

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Source : Wikipedia