Friday, May 18, 2012

208 Everybody knows this is nowhere- Give me fever

Album: Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Artist: Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Year: 1969
Genre: Rock

  1. Cinnamon Girl
  2. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
  3. Round & Round (It Won't Be Long)
  4. Down by the River
  5. The Losing End (When You're On)
  6. Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)
  7. Cowgirl in the Sand
I often get creative when I have a fever. I remember once having a nasty virus and writing a brilliant episode of The Simpsons in my head. I didn't set out to write for Springfield's finest, I was just trying to stop the pain but somehow I created the funniest half hour of television ever created. Of course when the fever broke I couldn't remember any of it except that it revolved around Homer and had a zeppelin.

I strongly suspect that a high temperature doesn't make me more creative it just makes me believe I am and if the Simpsons episode ever really existed in my head it was incomprehensible garbage. Thankfully the same can't be said of Neil Young who reportedly went down with a flu of some kind and wrote Cinnamon Girl, Down by the River and Cowgirl in the Sand as a result. Thank God for that illness is all I can say. Praise be for the flu that not only gives people a temperature it also makes them create three pieces of classic rock and roll. Forget trying to genetically engineer viruses as biological weapons, someone in a lab somewhere should synthesize that germ and infect Neil Young with it once a year.

Can someone please explain to me what on earth this album is doing outside the top 100? Why is a record which features Cowgirl, River and Cinnamon Girl languishing down here in the 200's? Can anyone point me to a song introduction more perfect than Down by The River? That jangly-chord guitar introduction which is licked perfectly by those electric notes before being kicked along by a drumbeat and bassline and then Neil's "Be on my side I'll be on your side baby." It's just perfect and continues being perfect for 9 glorious minutes. Down by the River on its own is better than a lot of albums higher up in the countdown, hell I'd rather have its opening minute than a lot of albums in the top 100.

But Everybody Knows this is Nowhere would still be a brilliant album even if those nine minutes were deleted from the end of Side One. Cinammon Girl is just beautiful, Cowgirl in the sand is magnificent, the title track is outstanding and the three overlooked album tracks are all great songs as well.

As you may have gathered I'm a bit of a fan. I love Neil's voice, I love the shambles that his extended jamming becomes and I love the groove that Crazy Horse (the band he adopted) gave him to play with. But most of all I love these songs. Down by the River exists here as an extended electric jam with shrieking solos and big backing vocals but when stripped down so it's just Neil and his acoustic guitar it's still a brilliant piece of music.

Neil Young is a name you know but if this album isn't one you're familiar with then get your hands on it, and if anyone out there thinks they've got that flu can they please sneeze on Neil as soon as possible.

Highlight: Down by the River
Lowlight: Running Dry (and its very high for a lowlight)

Influenced by: Dylan
Influenced: Grunge

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Having said all of that, well, I'm a bit tired, really and could use a short nap."

-I love the fact that someone's enthusiasm for a Neil Young album (and they were enthusiastic) could actually wear them out to the point where they required a lie down.

So is this nowhere or somewhere special and does everyone know it or not? Let me know below.


  1. Great songs to be found here. was he a bit nasty to work with ? Lots of great artists were very creative but couldnt stand it when their foloow mussos couldnt keep up. hence we get great solo albums like this.

  2. David Crosby once described Young as "The most selfish man in music". The impression I've always got is that he was a pleasant guy to be around and easy to get along with if you were both on the same page. His problems were basically selfishness and disloyalty. If you were committed to a project with him and he suddenly decided something else was more fun he'd be off without a second thought for those he left in the lurch.