Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is the second studio album by the Canadian / American musician Neil Young, released in May 1969 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 in August 1970 during the 98 weeks it spent on the charts[3] and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The album is on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[4] In 2003, the album was ranked number 208 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and at number 407 in the 2020 edition.[5] It was voted number 124 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[6]

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 14, 1969
RecordedJanuary and March 1969
StudioWally Heider Recording, Hollywood, California
ProducerNeil Young, David Briggs
Neil Young chronology
Neil Young
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
After the Gold Rush
Singles from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
  1. "Down by the River"
    Released: May 14, 1969
  2. "Cinnamon Girl"
    Released: April 20, 1970


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.[7] 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.

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 1000-copy box-set of Young's first four LPs available sold on his website. A CD version of 3000 copies also exists. A high resolution digital Blu-ray is planned, although no release date has been set.


Retrospective reviews
Review scores
AllMusic     [8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [9]
Music Story     [9]
MusicHound Rock5/5[9]
Rolling Stone     [11]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide     [12]
Spin Alternative Record Guide6/10[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 concluded that the album "offers ample rewards. Young's music partially makes up for its lack of grace by its energy and its assurance."[13] Robert Christgau wrote in The Village Voice that "Young is a strange artist and I am not all the way into him yet, but this record is haunting."[14] The original review was printed with a grade of "B+", but Christgau later said he would have changed it to an "A–".[15]

In a retrospective review in Rolling Stone, Greg Kot called the record "raw, rushed, energised", and the band's interplay "at once primitive and abstract", a "gloriously spontaneous sound" that "would endure, not only as a blueprint for Young...but as an influence on countless bands."[11] William Ruhlmann of music database website AllMusic said of the album, "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."[8] Mark Richardson of Pitchfork wrote, "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."[10]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 208 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and 210 in a 2012 revised list, and number 407 in the 2020 edition.[16] In 2018, the album won the Polaris Heritage Prize Audience Award in the 1960-1975 category.[17]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Neil Young.

Side one
  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
  1. "The Losing End (When You're On)" – 4:03
  2. "Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)" – 5:30
  3. "Cowgirl in the Sand" – 10:06


Crazy Horse

Additional musicians


  • Henry Saskowski – engineer
  • David Briggs – engineer
  • Kendal Pacios – engineer


Weekly chartsEdit

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. ^ "Neil Young Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  4. ^ "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
  5. ^ Stone, Rolling; Stone, Rolling (2020-09-22). "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  6. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 81. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  7. ^ Neil Young. Decade. 1976: Reprise 3RS 2257, liner notes.
  8. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - Neil Young & Crazy Horse at AllMusic. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Greg Kot (August 19, 1999). "Review". Rolling Stone. p. 118.
  12. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 425.
  13. ^ Bruce Miroff (9 August 1969). "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (39): 36. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  14. ^ Robert Christgau (July 31, 1969). "Consumer Guide (2)". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  15. ^ Anon. (April 25, 2002). "Nitpicking Issues With the Lists". Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  16. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "Rush, Alanis Morissette, Kid Koala Among Polaris Heritage Prize Winners". Exclaim!, October 23, 2018.