Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Neil Young (vocals, guitar); Danny Whitten (guitar); Billy Talbot (bass); Ralph Molina (drums).
Additional personnel: Robin Lane (vocals); Bobby Notkoff (violin).
Neil Young's second album yielded several of his most enduring hits (including the title tune, "Cowgirl In The Sand," "Cinnamon Girl," and "Down By The River") and firmly established him as a solo artist of the first rank. Though it's impossible to narrow the catalog of Young and Crazy Horse down to one representative document, this is about as close as you're likely to get. This was Young's first collaboration with the Horse, and it's still one of that group's defining recorded moments. As in much of Young's subsequent work, the feeling of despair moves unabated through the album, which runs the emotional gamut from laconically desperate to psychotically desperate. Despite the gloom, the heavy electric riffing on "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cowgirl In the Sand"--two surrealistic odes to an idealized muse--is cathartic and invigorating, easily as riveting as the guitar onslaught of anyone from the Stooges to the Velvet Underground.
Young's rootsy, acoustic side comes to the fore on "Round & Round" and "Running Dry." The homespun quality of these songs doesn't leaven the consuming sense of dread that permeates this album, though. Strangely, this expression of angst and emotional disorder became one of Young's most lastingly popular albums, and "Down By The River," "Cinnamon Girl," and "Cowgirl in the Sand" quickly turned into FM staples.
Rolling Stone (8/19/99, p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...raw, rushed, energised....The quartet's interplay is at once primitive and abstract....the gloriously spontaneous sound forged on [EVVERYBODY KNOWS] would endure, not only as a blueprint for Young...but as an influence on countless bands..."
Q (4/02, p.141) - "...Their debut invented US alt-rock...It features some of Young's greatest songs..."
The Wire (p.44) - "Young's playing is angry and invasive, the opening solo of 'Cowgirl In The Sand' being a case in point....Young unleashes fierce coils of sound....This would set the template for an expressive, emotional soloing style that endures to this day."
Mojo (Publisher) (11/01, p.150) - "...Crazy Horse provided a muscular back-up while Young tore hunks out of his guitar..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #63 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'