Recorded at Wally Heider Recording Studios, Hollywood, on March 20, 1969
This is where it all begins, isn’t it? Sure, after the Buffalo Springfield broke up, Neil Young holed up with Jack Nitzche, Ry Cooder and made an overwrought and overthought self-titled debut solo album that buried what might have been good songs — only “The Loner” truly shines — with some weird production choices.
Realizing that he was missing the spontaneity and the interplay of working with a band, Neil recruited guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot & drummer Ralph Molina from a local psychedelic group called The Rockets, and rechristened them Crazy Horse. It was magic: the technical limitations of Talbot & Molina kept the songs simple, while Whitten & Young developed a two-guitar interplay that was less balanced than what he’d previously had with Stephen Stills — Neil was the lead guitarist, no question — but more explosive.