Tonight's the Night

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Written and recorded in 1973 shortly after the death of roadie Bruce Berry, Neil Young's second close associate to die of a heroin overdose in six months the first was Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten, Tonight's the Night was Young's musical expression of grief, combined with his rejection of the stardom he had achieved in the late '60s and early '70s. The title track, performed twice, was a direct narrative about Berry: "Bruce Berry was a working man/He used to load that Econoline van." Whitten was heard singing "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown," a live track recorded years earlier. Elsewhere, Young frequently referred to drug use and used phrases that might have ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Written and recorded in 1973 shortly after the death of roadie Bruce Berry, Neil Young's second close associate to die of a heroin overdose in six months the first was Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten, Tonight's the Night was Young's musical expression of grief, combined with his rejection of the stardom he had achieved in the late '60s and early '70s. The title track, performed twice, was a direct narrative about Berry: "Bruce Berry was a working man/He used to load that Econoline van." Whitten was heard singing "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown," a live track recorded years earlier. Elsewhere, Young frequently referred to drug use and used phrases that might have described his friends, such as the chorus of "Tired Eyes," "He tried to do his best, but he could not." Performing with the remains of Crazy Horse, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina, along with Nils Lofgren guitar and piano and Ben Keith steel guitar, Young performed in the ragged manner familiar from Time Fades Away -- his voice was often hoarse and he strained to reach high notes, while the playing was loose, with mistakes and shifting tempos. But the style worked perfectly for the material, emphasizing the emotional tone of Young's mourning and contrasting with the polished sound of CSNY and Harvest that Young also disparaged. He remained unimpressed with his commercial success, noting in "World on a String," "The world on a string/Doesn't mean anything." In "Roll Another Number," he said he was "a million miles away/From that helicopter day" when he and CSN had played Woodstock. And in "Albuquerque," he said he had been "starvin' to be alone/Independent from the scene that I've known" and spoke of his desire to "find somewhere where they don't care who I am." Songs like "Speakin' Out" and "New Mama" seemed to find some hope in family life, but Tonight's the Night did not offer solutions to the personal and professional problems it posed. It was the work of a man trying to turn his torment into art and doing so unflinchingly. Depending on which story you believe, Reprise Records rejected it or Young withdrew it from its scheduled release at the start of 1974 after touring with the material in the U.S. and Europe. In 1975, after a massive CSNY tour, Young at the last minute dumped a newly recorded album and finally put Tonight's the Night out instead. Though it did not become one of his bigger commercial successes, the album immediately was recognized as a unique masterpiece by critics, and it has continued to be ranked as one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever made.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 075992722124
  • Catalog Number: 2221
  • Sales rank: 2,302

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Young Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals, Vibes
Nils Lofgren Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Jack Nitzsche Guitar, Piano, Keyboards
Ben Keith Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Tim Drummond Bass, Drums
Ralph Molina Drums, Vocals
Billy Talbot Bass
Danny Whitten Guitar, Vocals
Whitsell Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Neil Young Producer
David Briggs Producer
Elliot Mazer Producer
Tim Mulligan Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great album - a must

    One of Neil's best album. I bought this album on vinyl when it first came out. It is a timeless collection of great songs. Especially interesting if you want to listen to something original. There is no other album like this, anywhere. Also suggested, After The Gold Rush.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant

    One of Rock and Roll's crown jewel albums. Neil Young was one of the few rock musicians of the mid-to-late 70's who actually made anything worth listening to. It has more anger than anything the British Punks ever conjured up, lyrics that are the equal to anything Dylan ever wrote, and flat-out great music. It has great production, too. This is an album that actually sounds like "real" music. It is given no post-recording sheen, this is just raw, riveting music, warts and all. And what beautiful warts it has.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Young Navigates the Darkness

    It ain't pretty but it is heartbreaking,haunting, a reflection of the times and truly inspired . I consider "On the Beach", "Tonight's the Night" and "Zuma" as a sort of trilogy. These are the records that verified his genius. To bare so much of his soul as he passed through the darkness and back into the light was monumental. Only Dylan has traveled that road with such results.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Classic album

    This was my first of many Neil young albums that I purchased in the 70's. I loved it from its first spin on the turntable. This is Neil stripped bare. The sound is raw and chilling. The effect musically and poetically is brilliant. A must for any rock collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews