Self-titled: Crazy Horse

Rating: 85%

CrazyHorseCDThe year was 1971, and after recording with Neil Young in 1969 and 1970, Crazy Horse released their self-titled debut record. Prior to the recording with Neil Young, Crazy Horse was known as the Rockets which released their first album in 1968, where they soon became the backing band for Neil Young after he left Buffalo Springfield. Crazy Horse was made up of guitarist and vocalist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina who also sang lead vocals on “Dance Dance Dance”, a song written by Neil Young. The band hired guitarist Nils Lofgren and pianist Jack Nitzsche.

Crazy Horse takes their musical influences from hard rock and country rock of the day. Fusing the two genres and adding a dash of folk rock to it. Although, their sound is a bit different than that of the backing band for Neil Young, Crazy Horse proves they can stand and hold their own ground. The album has an even keel tempo throughout the majority of the record. Lots of great guitar riffs and added to Danny Whitten vocals, the album is very good. “Downtown” and “Dirty, Dirty” are great examples. The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young style of backing vocals give this album a more folk rock sound. The song structures are written very well, from the melody to the actual lyrics themselves. Some of the songs, one would recognize from the recordings Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night” which features “Downtown” and “After the Gold Rush” which features the song “Dance, Dance, Dance.”

This was the only Crazy Horse album to feature Danny Whitten as he died in 1972 from his drug use. Danny died the same night that Neil Young sent him packing for home on November 18. Neil Young wrote the song “The Needle and the Damage Done” because of Whitten’s drug use which was released on the “Harvest” album.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Gone Dead Train”
2. “Dance, Dance, Dance”
3. “Look at All the Things”
4. “Beggars Day”
5. “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”
Side two
1. “Downtown”
2. “Carolay”
3. “Dirty, Dirty”
4. “Nobody”
5. “I’ll Get By”
6. “Crow Jane Lady”

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