100 Greatest Singers of All Time

Aretha, Elvis, Lennon, Dylan and many more

Neil Young
Persson/Redferns37/100

37. Neil Young

Born November 12th, 1945
Key Tracks "Heart of Gold," "Powderfinger," "Rockin' in the Free World"
Influenced Jeff Tweedy, Wayne Coyne, Conor Oberst

An engineer at an early Neil Young studio session told him, "You're a good guitar player, kid, but you'll never make it as a singer." But Young soon proved himself able to convey emotional truths with a sound no one else could produce — a quavering, lonesome tenor that works equally well over the crazed distortion of Crazy Horse and the acoustic chords of his ballads. "It's very difficult for anyone else to sing his stuff," says David Crosby. "You go somewhere when Neil sings — you definitely don't just stay in your seat." Says Lucinda Williams, "That voice summons up something. It's ethereal, spooky, soulful, and completely unique to him."

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