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Tonight's the Night

83 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 16 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002KCC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Tonight's The Night
2. Speakin' Out
3. World On A String
4. Borrowed Tune
5. Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown
6. Mellow My Mind
7. Roll Another Number (For The Road)
8. Albuqueque
9. New Mama
10. Lookout Joe
11. Tired Eyes
12. Tonight's The Night - Part II

Product Description

Product Description

This album acted as a musical expression of grief for Young, who wrote and recorded it in 1973 after the deaths of two close friends who overdosed on heroin. His emotional tone and hoarse voice soar on Tonight's the Night; World on a String; Tired Eyes; Roll Another Number (for the Road); Speakin' Out; Borrowed Tune , and six more.

By 1975 Young had written some of the most enduring anthems in rock history. But from the slow, tension-building piano opening of "Tonight's the Night", he downshifts into darkness and Crazy Horse's folk-country melodies take on a guttural hum that would eventually speak to generations of punk and grunge musicians. Inspired by the overdose deaths of two of Young's friends, roadie Bruce Berry and guitarist Danny Whitten, the title track (and its closing reprise) is a hypnotic cry of "why?" Even the relative party songs, "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown" and "Roll Another Number", fit the album's bus-to-nowhere resignation. --Steve Knopper

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By train on Dec 23 2003
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young put his heart and soul on this album. You can feel the pain and sorrow he felt at the time of recording this. The death of two of his friends are the theme of this emotional album. Even if you are a casual Neil Young fan, you should have this album. Not a bad song is on the disc. I had heard that when Neil turned this album into his label, they rejected it for being to dark and disturbing. If that is true those people should not have been in the music industry. It is those reasons that make this the classic that it is. This is not for people who like a little happy face on all the music they listen to. This is raw and real. Simply put, a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Makas on July 16 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is the best hour of music you will find anywhere, from anyone, anytime. This album is drenched in desperation, drugs, booze, and the sounds of a man at the end of his tether. That, partially BECAUSE of that, this stands as Neil Young's best work. It is an atmosphere that he has not delved into since (although his two previous albums, "Time Fades Away" and the equally phenomenal "On the Beach," both are on the same vein), and it was not appreciated in its time by people who kept wanted Young to release another "Harvest." I would have given ANYTHING to be at one of the concerts on this tour, where he refused to play anything but the songs on this album, much to his audiences' chagrin. I would have been the one person shouting for more and not "Heart of Gold." Anyway, time has been kinder to this album than those people, thank God, and it is now rightfully upheld as arguably his best. Buy this album NOW. You shouldn't even still be reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Beyer on June 3 2003
Format: Audio CD
If 65 Amazon customer reviews (and countless raves from professional critics) haven't convinced you of this album's greatness, then I certainly don't know what I can add.
This album is drunken and emotional, filled to the brim with the drug-fueled decay of the 1970s. The idealism that informed the psychedelic age of the late 60s had given way to death and incoherence just six years later. Suddenly, the excess and the drugs that seemed so hip began to kill people.
By the time Neil Young and his band entered the studio, Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison were dead. No doubt Young felt that these stars' deaths showed the true dangers of excess. He possibly might have felt that these were isolated incidents. After all, drugs expanded and freed the mind, did they not? They didn't kill you in various combinations. Maybe those three just overdid it.
Then Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry also died. Not just one person close to Neil Young, but two. The resulting confusion and grief is everywhere on TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT. This album is a portrait of a man mourning the deaths of others, while struggling to overcome his own addictions. Pretty ironic that Young and company are singing about these deaths, and sound so loaded and wasted at the same time.
The contradiction in TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT is but one of the many facets to Neil Young, who must be considered one of the most complex and gifted artists of the 20th century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Gardner on Sept. 11 2000
Format: Audio CD
Fans of singer/songwriter hits, beware! Despite Young's early successes in the pop world, not every one of his albums should be considered as being tame and accessible. Such is the case with "Tonight's the Night". No other Young album is quite like it. Released two years after it was made, the album in question is a requiem to the early departures of original Crazy Horse guitarist, Danny Whitten; and Crosby, Stills, Nash $ Young roadie, Bruce Berry; these two friends of Young died of drug overdoses. In response to the anguish he felt about the passing of the two, he put out "Tonight's the Night", not entirely believing it would pass muster with the fans, much less the critics. True, the album is stark, and the band sounds less than sober while recording it; however, it is Young's most important work, and a benchmark record, to be sure. The title track relates to roadie Berry and his quick demise. Young's voice cracks and sways uncertainly recounting the tale of tragedy. "World on a String" only emphasizes the point of loss. "Come on Baby, Let's Go Downtown" is an early Seventies' version of a song that Crazy Horse did without Young. Danny Whitten's powerful vocal shines (in a live-concert recording with Neil) and his song was added here so that people would not forget the reason Young put this album together in the first place. It is eerie to hear Whitten singing so vibrantly, when his body now molders in the grave. "New Mama" is the only real positive track, relating to a father's joy at the birth of a newborn...but is tempered by the last verse, "I'm livin' in a dreamland", perhaps suggesting happiness is only available when the man sleeps.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin Mclaughlin on June 23 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've scoped a couple of reviews that seem to give this album a reluctantly positive review. Y'know: "It's pretty good, but no masterpiece. Just an average album by Neil. Pretty good." And so on...
It's safe to say anyone who thinks this album is merely average should probably avoid other "dark nights of the soul" like Exile on Main Street, L.A. Woman, etc. Matter of fact, keep listening to Harvest and CSNY and you should be okay. It's probably not safe to go into the dark.
Seriously, this is Neil's best one by a long shot. He opens up a vein and lets it bleed all over the vinyl, naming names, sounding like he's on the verge of suicide, a drug OD, or both, and it's a beautiful and touching and powerful testament to the bleak era of post-Woodstock, post-Vietnam America. This album is perfectly constructed, remarkably played (dig that Nils Lofgren solo on Speakin' Out....astonishing), and the one record that I can call both beautiful and terrifying. So don't listen to the naysayers. It has less to do with the album's quality and more to do with their middle of the road tastes. This is ESSENTIAL.
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