eMusic Review 0
"I'm sorry. You don't know these people. This means nothing to you." Neil Young included those words in the liner notes to Tonight's the Night, an album about the drug overdoses of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry ("Bruce Berry was a working man who used to load that Econoline van," he sings in the opener). Recorded in 1973 but unreleased until 1975, it's always been considered one of rock's darkest records, a full-on confrontation with rock's destructiveness, a reality check on the myths of rock and the counterculture's pending Utopias.
It's also a very good Neil Young record. The autobiographical elements are clear in Tonight's the Night, but they are hardly all there is. The perils of drug addiction were already a Young staple ("The Needle and the Damage Done," most prominently), and he's always shunned the rock lifestyle. And considering the circumstances, it's also hard to ignore how boozy the record sounds. This isn't a PSA, it's a rock & roll record.
"Come on Baby Let's Go Downtown" is a ballsy rocker, and a nice example of where he and Crazy Horse would go later in the '70s. When people talk about Neil Young as the Godfather… read more »