Crazy Horse was formed by the excellent songwriter Danny Whitten, who originally released an album while known as The Rockets, considered essential for collectors. Nils Lofgren, virtuoso guitarist, and Jack Nitzsche, Spector associate and renowned producer, joined when Neil Young recruited the band to back him on his 2nd solo album, and they were renamed Crazy Horse. Their debut is an excellent hard country rock LP that would prove the capability of the band apart from Neil Young’s lead vocal and songwriting.
This record packs a most satisfying punch. There are some bruisers on here in “Gone Dead Train” and the foot-stompin’ “Beggars Day” with its phaser/flanger effect penetrating the mix. Parts sound inspired by Young and “Dance, Dance, Dance,” under his pen, is a kickin country rock number with an old-timey feel. Arguably, the best tunes come from Whitten, like the hypnotic “Look At All The Things,” a soft and beautiful ballad, “I Don’t Want To Talk About It,” and of course the rollicking “Downtown” which would resurface on Neil’s Tonight’s The Night.
Sadly, Danny Whitten’s heroin use would lead to him being excused from Crazy Horse and he overdosed in late 1972. A major loss considering his unrealized talents, best heard on this album, and his death would partly influence the Ditch Trilogy.
Forget the whole story though. Forget Neil Young. Just get yourself some Crazy Horse and drive.
“Look At All The Things”