Neil Young – Tired Eyes

• “Tired Eyes” set to a picture of a later compilation album cover. Thanks to Eric Balajadia.

9.1 “Classic Folk Rock / Americana from Canada”

From his album “Tonight’s The Night” (Reprise Records MS-2221) released in 1975.

Released in June ’75 almost two years after it was recorded; how strange for a set that was considered by Neil to be the best record that he’d made to date. So relaxed was the session, that four songs which found their way to the final edit were recorded in one take without stopping. Perhaps it was initially deemed too dark for release, too lo-fi. Almost thematically, Reprises’ normal orange label was replaced by a black one. Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and Young’s friend and roadie Bruce Berry had both died of heroin overdoses in the months before most of these songs were written. The genuine grief is palpable throughout this intimate affair.

My huge find on this set was “Tired Eyes” which, it seems to me, is a plea to get off the road to destruction, to wake up and smell the coffee. A bad drug deal leads to a double-murder in Topanga Canyon, Neil’s own neighbourhood: “Please take my advice, open up those tired eyes.” The Santa Monica Flyers are his brothers in arms on this one and feel it with him all the way.

You can read my album review for this, together with many others for 1975 here.

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