Recording Studios Sydney: Meanwhile, Young had reconnected with Stephen Stills, who had formed a new group with David Crosby of the Byrds and Graham Nash of the Hollies. Young joined the trio, which was renamed Crosby, Still, Nash & Young and they began to perform and record, playing the legendary Woodstock Festival in August 1969. The band’s subsequent tour and album release, 1970’s Déjà Vu, catapulted them to fame—so much so that they were at times referred to as the “American Beatles.” However, Young’s relationship with his bandmates quickly became contentious, and he left the group to focus more exclusively on his solo work
Recording Studios Sydney: The Loner
The move quickly paid off, with his 1970 album After the Gold Rush breaking into the Top 10 and featuring such Neil Young classics as “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Tell Me Why” and “Southern Man.” (The latter, a condemnation of racism that angered many Southerners, would inspire Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” in which Neil Young is called out specifically.) Young outdid himself the next year with Harvest, a hallmark work that contains the songs “The Needle and the Damage Done,” “Old Man” (inspired by the aging caretaker of the ranch he had recently purchased in the Santa Cruz mountains) and “Heart of Gold,” which is Young’s only No. 1 hit to date.
Recording Studios Sydney: Difficult times
But just as he reached this early peak, Young was faced with one of the more difficult periods in his life. At the end of 1972, Young and his girlfriend, Academy Award–winning actress Carrie Snodgress, had a son, Zeke, who was born with cerebral palsy, and Snodgress had to set aside her acting career to care for him. A few months later, shortly after being fired by Young before their upcoming tour, Crazy Horse guitarist Dan Whitten died of an drug overdose. These events were compounded by a string of relatively unsuccessful projects, including the 1972 film Journey Through the Past, the live album Time Fades Away and 1974’s On the Beach. Young and Snodgress split up in 1975, the same year that Young released his album Tonight’s the Night, which had been recorded shortly after Whitten’s death and reflected Young’s frame of mind with its dark character and themes, as well as Zuma, a hard-edged album featuring Crazy Horse’s new lineup, with Frank Sampedro replacing Whitten on guitar.