Sam Harrelson

Sam Harrelson

Tonight’s the Night

I listened to Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night again last night. Amazing.

A comment on Amazon likens the album to Robert Johnson’s rawness and the Wikipedia article hints at the personal nature of the artistry behind the songs:

Tonight’s the Night (album) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “Included with the vinyl release of Tonight’s the Night was a seemingly strange insert that added to Neil Young’s claim that Tonight’s the Night was the closest he ever came to art. Emphasising the personal nature of the album, the self-penned liner notes contained an apology: ‘I’m sorry. You don’t know these people. This means nothing to you.’ The original inserts/liner notes included in the vinyl release were quite cryptic in their conveyance.

On the front of the insert is a letter to the mysterious ‘Waterface’ character, no explanation is given to their identity, although in Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography by Jimmy McDonough, Young says that ‘Waterface is the person writing the letter. When I read the letter, I’m Waterface. It’s just a stupid thing – a suicide note without the suicide.'”

The album has actually crept into my “Top 5” list which goes something like (in no particular order):

Tonight’s the Night: Neil Young

Heartbreaker: Ryan Adams (even if it is named after a Mariah Carey song.)

The Beatles (The White Album): The Beatles (sure, Abbey Road is a/the masterpiece, but I’ve always loved the chaotic underbelly of the Beatles…for me, this is pure music perfection.)

Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan (if you haven’t listened to this album all the way through with headphones on, you haven’t lived.)

Nevermind: Nirvana (the album that made me like music and changed my life and my generation.)

It’s difficult to nail down a “Top 5” but it’s really difficult to nail down a Top 10 or a Top 25. We’ll do that another day.

That’s because today, It’s Neil Young’s birthday. So do him and yourself a favor and give “Tonight’s the Night” a listen today (or tonight).

Posted: 11.12.2008

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