This album acted as a musical expression of grief for Young, who wrote and recorded it in 1973 after the deaths of two close friends who overdosed on heroin. His emotional tone and hoarse voice soar on Tonight's the Night; World on a String; Tired Eyes; Roll Another Number (for the Road); Speakin' Out; Borrowed Tune , and six more.
By 1975 Young had written some of the most enduring anthems in rock history. But from the slow, tension-building piano opening of "Tonight's the Night," he downshifts into darkness and Crazy Horse's folk-country melodies take on a guttural hum that would eventually speak to generations of punk and grunge musicians. Inspired by the overdose deaths of two of Young's friends, roadie Bruce Berry and guitarist Danny Whitten, the title track (and its closing reprise) is a hypnotic cry of "why?" Even the relative party songs, "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown" and "Roll Another Number," fit the album's bus-to-nowhere resignation. --Steve Knopper