The album that convinced Neil Young to go solo

Neil Young’s guiding principle is to do whatever the heck he wants. Young has never danced to anybody else’s song during his career because he wants to create music on his terms, regardless of whether doing so would prevent it from being heard by as many people as possible. Though he may have made his name with Buffalo Springfield, Young’s inspiration to go solo came from listening to this record for the first time.

But as he progressed in his career, going solo seemed increasingly inevitable. Given that he was known for writing his songs and playing some of Buffalo Springfield’s most vicious lead lines, Young’s initial endeavors involved him woodshedding his trademark sound, which combined elements of rock, country, and what Eddie Vedder would later refer to as “mountain funk.”

Young was developing into a singular creative force even before his old bandmate persuaded him to join Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Young’s compositions always had a sharper edge to them than those of the other rock icons that made up the legendary combo. He was able to add forceful guitar to the band’s best songs and contribute songs like “Ohio,” which looked critically at the direction society was taking.

However, Young preferred to keep things very unpolished while discussing his solo endeavors. Young believed that it was important to showcase his humanity in addition to the enormous electric guitar tones. As a result, he frequently included little flaws in his playing on albums like Tonight’s the Night and After the Gold Rush.

Even while most arrangers would have thought Young was careless, he learned from one of the greatest rock perfectionists ever. The Beatles were falling apart when Young was still living in Springfield, so Paul McCartney had to piece together his debut solo record quite haphazardly.

Given his history and his penchant for working a song all the way through, Macca dedicated much of his time to woodshedding songs for his self-titled first album, which frequently featured song snippets mixed in with timeless pieces. Even though McCartney’s broken state may have confused critics, Young claimed that McCartney’s work motivated him to pick up a guitar and break the norms.

Young expressed his admiration for McCartney’s humanity when he inducted the former Beatle into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, saying, “I love that record because it was so simple. There was so much to see and to hear. It was just Paul, and there was no adornment at all. There was no echo. There was no attempt made to compete with the things that he had done. It blew my mind and made me think, ‘Maybe I could do this too’”.

In the studio, Young would also discover his voice, revealing to the listeners every aspect of his character through how he recorded himself. Even while McCartney is known for being the controlling force behind The Beatles, his more eccentric moments unintentionally had a significant impact on music history.


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