Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

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Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Studio album by Neil Young with Crazy Horse
Released May 14, 1969
Recorded January & March 1969
Studio Wally Heider Recording, San Francisco, California
Length 40:29
Label Reprise
Producer Neil Young, David Briggs
Neil Young chronology
Neil Young
(1968)Neil Young1968
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
After the Gold Rush
(1970)After the Gold Rush1970
Singles from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
  1. "Down by the River"
    Released: May 14, 1969
  2. "Cinnamon Girl"
    Released: April 20, 1970

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is the second studio album by the Canadian musician Neil Young, released on Reprise Records catalogue RS 6349. His first with his longtime backing band Crazy Horse, it peaked at number 34 on the US Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The album is on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[3]


The album contains four songs that became standards in Young's performance repertoire: "Cinnamon Girl", "Down by the River", the title track, and "Cowgirl in the Sand", all of which were written in a single day while Young had a 103 °F (39.5 °C) fever.[4] In 2003, the album was ranked number 208 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Young's lead vocal track on the song "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (on the original album) was actually a temporary scratch vocal he sang through the low quality talk-back microphone on the mixing board, with no effects such as reverb. Young liked the stark contrast to the rest of the recording, which became one of his many innovations.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere was remastered and released on HDCD-encoded compact disc and digital download on July 14, 2009, as part of the Neil Young Archives Original Release Series. It was released on audiophile vinyl in December 2009, both individually and as part of a box-set of Young's first four LPs available via his official website. (This box set was limited to 1000 copies. A CD version of 3000 copies exists, too.) A high resolution digital Blu-ray disc is planned, although there has been no release date set.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media (10/10)[6]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[7]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau B+[9]

Upon its release, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere received generally favorable reviews from critics. Bruce Miroff of Rolling Stone wrote a favorable review, describing Young's voice as "perpetually mournful, without being maudlin or pathetic. It hints at a world in which sorrow underlies everything [...] because that world is recognizable to most of us, Young's singing is often strangely moving." Despite stating that "in several respects [the album] falls short of his previous effort" and that "the lyricism of the first album can only be found in faint traces," he went on to state that the album "offers ample rewards. Young's music partially makes up for its lack of grace by its energy and its assurance."[7] Robert Christgau rated the album a B+, stating that "Young is a strange artist and I am not all the way into him yet, but this record is haunting."[9]

However, later reviews have been more positive. William Ruhlmann of music database website Allmusic rated the album five out of five stars. Ruhlmann stated that "released only four months after his first [album], [it] was nearly a total rejection of that polished effort." He noted that "Cinnamon Girl," "Down by the River," and "Cowgirl in the Sand" were, "useful as frames on which to hang the extended improvisations Young played with Crazy Horse and to reflect the ominous tone of his singing." He concluded that the album "set a musical pattern Young and his many musical descendants have followed ever since [...] and a lot of contemporary bands were playing music clearly influenced by it."[5]

Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media rated the album 10 out of 10 points, stating that, "the opening riff to 'Cinnamon Girl' erases the memory of Neil Young completely in about five seconds" and that "Crazy Horse were loose and sloppy, privileging groove and feeling above all." He also said that "Young sounds comfortable and confident, singing with the versatile voice that has changed remarkably little in the 40 years since" and concluded that it "was a sort of big bang for Young, a dense moment of creative explosion that saw possibilities expanding in every direction."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Young.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Cinnamon Girl" 2:58
2. "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" 2:26
3. "Round & Round (It Won't Be Long)" 5:49
4. "Down by the River" 9:13
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "The Losing End (When You're On)" 4:03
6. "Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)" 5:30
7. "Cowgirl in the Sand" 10:06


Crazy Horse


  • Home studio engineers: Henry Saskowski, David Briggs, Kendal Pacious
  • Recording equipment rented: Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood



Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums 34


Year Single Chart Position
1970 "Cinnamon Girl" Billboard Pop Singles 55


  1. ^ "20 Best Second Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. March 24, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ Daniel Durchholz; Gary Graff (2012-11-05). Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, Updated Edition. Voyageur Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7603-4411-8. 
  3. ^ "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-04-03. 
  4. ^ Neil Young. Decade. 1976: Reprise 3RS 2257, liner notes.
  5. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - Neil Young & Crazy Horse at AllMusic. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (December 11, 2009). "Neil Young: Neil Young / Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere / After the Gold Rush / Harvest". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Miroff, Bruce (9 August 1969). "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (39): 36. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 425.
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: Neil Young". Retrieved March 2, 2012.