Monday, February 21, 2022

50+ Reasons Why Neil Young's Music Matters

Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Eric Clapton,
Madison Square Garden, New York City - 1992

Not that we really needed any proof, but here are 50 reasons why Neil Young is the second most influential singer-songwriter of the 21st century still performing today.

Hopefully, you'll find it interesting. It's been a lot fun. Enjoy!

(Note: See methodology approach at bottom of post) 

  1. Bob Dylan and Neil Young
  2. John Lennon and Neil Young
  3. Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young
  4. Pearl Jam and Neil Young
  5. Joni Mitchell and Neil Young
  6. Paul McCartney and Neil Young
  7. Keith Richards and Neil Young
  8. Jimmy Page and Neil Young
  9. Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young
  10. Buddy Miles (Jimi Hendrix drummer) and Neil Young
  11. Pete Townshend and Neil Young
  12. John Entwistle and Neil Young
  13. U2's Bono and Neil Young
  14. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young
  15. Elvis Presley and Neil Young
  16. Booker T. and the MG's and Neil Young
  17. Willie Nelson and Neil Young
  18. The Monkees and Neil Young
  19. Kurt Cobain and Neil Young
  20. Carlos Santana and Neil Young
  21. Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young
  22. The Allman Brothers Band and Neil Young
  23. Led Zeppelin and Neil Young
  24. Stevie Nicks and Neil Young
  25. Dave Grohl and Neil Young
  26. Emmylou Harris and Neil Young
  27. Johnny Cash and Neil Young
  28. Patti Smith and Neil Young
  29. Clarence Clemons and Neil Young
  30. Buffy Sainte-Marie and Neil Young
  31. Sonic Youth and Neil Young
  32. Jackson Browne and Neil Young
  33. Jerry Garcia and Neil Young (Search)
  34. Grateful Dead and Neil Young
  35. Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young
  36. Elton John and Neil Young
  37. Jerry Lee Lewis and Neil Young
  38. Van Morrison and Neil Young
  39. Tom Waits and Neil Young
  40. Ben Harper and Neil Young
  41. Levon Helm and Neil Young
  42. Warren Zevon and Neil Young
  43. David Bowie and Neil Young
  44. Tony Bennett and Neil Young
  45. Lucinda Williams and Neil Young
  46. Miles Davis and Neil Young
  47. Leon Russell and Neil Young
  48. Diana Krall and Neil Young
  49. Donald "Duck" Dunn and Neil Young
  50. Johnny Rotten and Neil Young
  51. Sid Vicious and Neil Young
  52. Phil Ochs and Neil Young
  53. Leonard Cohen and Neil Young
  54. Los Lobos and Neil Young
  55. Nils Lofgren and Neil Young
  56. Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders and Neil Young
  57. David Byrne (of Talking Heads) and Neil Young
  58. Lou Reed and Neil Young
  59. Randy Newman and Neil Young
  60. Roger Waters and Neil Young
  61. Sheryl Crow and Neil Young
  62. Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young
  63. Wilco and Neil Young
  64. Nels Cline (of Wilco) and Neil Young
  65. Jay Bennett of Wilco and Neil Young
  66. Jay Farrar and Neil Young
  67. Les Paul and Neil Young
  68. Richard Thompson and Neil Young
  69. Bert Jansch and Neil Young
  70. Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) and Neil Young
  71. Beck and Neil Young
  72. Rick James and Neil Young
  73. Kathleen Edwards and Neil Young
  74. Brian Wilson and Neil Young
  75. Merle Haggard and Neil Young
  76. Bob Mould (Husker Du) and Neil Young
  77. The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson and Neil Young
  78. Norah Jones and Neil Young
  79. Jakob Dylan and Neil Young
  80. Gov't Mule and Neil Young
  81. Ron Sexsmith and Neil Young
  82. Devo and Neil Young
  83. Jewel and Neil Young
  84. Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Neil Young
  85. Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Neil Young
  86. Nirvana and Neil Young
  87. Red Hot Chili Pepper's Flea and Neil Young
  88. Paul Simon and Neil Young
  89. Randy Bachman and Neil Young
  90. Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Neil Young
  91. Matthew Sweet and Neil Young
  92. Jonathan Richman and Neil Young
  93. The Cowboy Junkies and Neil Young
  94. The Everly Brothers and Neil Young
  95. Dan Fogelberg and Neil Young
  96. David Grohl and Neil Young
  97. Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood and Neil Young
  98. Dave Matthews and Neil Young
  99. Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Neil Young
  100. Phish and Neil Young
  101. My Morning Jacket and Neil Young
  102. Ryan Adams and Neil Young
  103. Nicolette Larson and Neil Young
  104. Elvis Costello and Neil Young
  105. Merry Clayton and Neil Young
  106. Chris Cornell and Neil Young
  107. Ryan Adams and Neil Young
  108. Jimmy Buffett and Neil Young
  109. Bettye LaVette and Neil Young
  110. Jack White and Neil Young
  111. White Stripes and Neil Young
  112. Gram Parsons and Neil Young
  113. Ed Robertson (BareNaked Ladies) and Neil Young
  114. Billy Corgan and Neil Young
  115. Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and Neil Young
  116. Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon and Neil Young
  117. Nick Cave and Neil Young
  118. Drive-By Truckers and Neil Young
  119. John Mayer and Neil Young
  120. Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla and Neil Young
  121. Ben Folds and Neil Young
  122. Grace Potter and Neil Young
  123. Lukas Nelson and Neil Young
  124. Joe Satriani and Neil Young
  125. Lady GaGa and Neil Young
  126. Everest's Russell Pollard and Neil Young
  127. Scott McCaughey and Neil Young
  128. Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters & Sun Kil Moon) and Neil Young
  129. Kim Richey and Neil Young
  130. Crowded House and Neil Young
  131. Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold and Neil Young
  132. Dala and Neil Young
  133. Davy Jones (The Monkees) and Neil Young
  134. Bobby Darin and Neil Young
  135. Cher and Neil Young
  136. Lee Harvey Osmond and Neil Young
  137. Kurt Vile and Neil Young
  138. Mark Lanegan and Neil Young
  139. The Psychic Ills and Neil Young
  140. Smoke Fairies and Neil Young
  141. Adam Sandler and Neil Young
  142. Jimmy Fallon and Neil Young
  143. Will Ferrell and Neil Young
  144. Dana Carvey and Neil Young
  145. Justin Sullivan (New Model Army) and Neil Young
  146. Axl Rose (Guns n Roses) and Neil Young
  147. Courtney Love and Neil Young

Six degrees of separation from Neil Young.

(NOTE on methodology to compile listing: This listing does NOT include musician in the core bands  , , or .  See those links for more details on band's musicians.)

And Neil has some pretty cool friends, too.

UPDATE: Over on Far Out Magazine, the editors have compiled a list of every musician to appear on Neil Young's studio albums. (Thanks Alan!)

While we did not do an exact count, it looks like well over 50 musicians.  In a similar vein, we here at Thrasher's Wheat started a similar endeavor 25 years ago and this is what we came up with above on 50+ Reasons Why Neil Young's Music Matters.

Every musician to appear on Neil Young studio albums:

  • Ry Cooder
  • Jack Nitzsche
  • Jim Messina
  • Carol Kaye
  • Earl Palmer
  • Merry Clayton
  • Gloria Richetta Jones
  • Danny Whitten
  • Ralph Molina
  • Billy Talbot
  • Nils Lofgren
  • Stephen Stills
  • James Taylor
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • David Crosby
  • Graham Nash
  • Ben Keith
  • Tim Drummond
  • Kenny Buttrey
  • Rusty Kershaw
  • Tim Drummond
  • Rick Danko
  • Levon Helm
  • Frank Sampedro
  • Russ Kunkel
  • George “Chocolate” Perry
  • Joe Vitale
  • Joe Lala
  • Nicolette Larson
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Spooner Oldham
  • Rufus Thibodeaux
  • Joe Osborn
  • Larrie Londin
  • J. J. Cale
  • Johnny Christopher
  • Ray Edenton
  • Shelly Kurland
  • Bruce Palmer
  • Larry Byrom
  • Anthony Crawford
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Ralph Mooney
  • Hargus “Pig” Robbins
  • Gordon Terry
  • Terry McMillan
  • Béla Fleck
  • Bobby Thompson
  • Gove Scrivenor
  • Marty Stuart
  • Gail Davies
  • Janis Oliver-Gill
  • Kristine Oliver-Arnold
  • Steve Jordan
  • Danny Kortchmar
  • Chad Cromwell
  • Rick “The Bass Player” Rosas
  • John Fumo
  • Tony Marsico
  • Astrid Young
  • Maria Newman
  • Israel Baker
  • Donald Dunn
  • Wayne Jackson
  • Curtis Wright
  • Lukas Nelson
  • Micah Nelson
  • DRAM
  • Nico Segal
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Stan Szelest

See anyone missing?  Drop a comment below or send us an email to:

thrasher ATSIGN

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At 1/09/2007 04:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a song i wrote finished lasr week for a Iraq Vet that made it home but killed herself after she got here. I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran so Iwrite a lot of songs about this crap in the Iraqii quagmire.Hope Neil reads thisand somebody out there comes to D.C. jan. 27th with me aa whole shit load of other people to contact our congress people. Hoa Binh

At 10/25/2007 05:20:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Never seen Neil Young on concert, I was not going to see it, Neil Young tickets got sky rocked thanks to stupid brokers. But even if I had seen it, I wouldn't buy it. I'd rather wait and see it on DVD. Well suprise I changed my mind and I got 2 tix for the Neil Young show I was looking for tickets thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Neil Young Tickets . So any body going to the Neil Young concert ??

At 11/03/2007 06:06:00 PM, Blogger Snave said...

I had the pleasure of seeing Neil and the Horse at the Gorge in 1996, and it was a fantastic evening. I haven't seen Neil play since then, and had I been paying any attention at all that he was in Boise, ID I might have tried to get a ticket and driven the 2 1/2 hours to see him play. I LOVE the Heart of Gold movie, and if any of the live stuff nowadays approaches the quality of that, I'd be in heaven if given the chance to see it.

I didn't know there were links between Neil and Richard Thompson. I am a fan of Thompson's live stuff, and his site puts out a very, very good live disc called "Semi-Detached Mock Tudor" that I think is worth every cent if you like that kind of stuff!

That's a great list you posted. I would have to say that at least half of the artists on that list would qualify in my "favorites" category!

At 8/14/2008 01:58:00 PM, Blogger  Tennyson Williams said...

I've never been a huge Neil Young fan, but I will say that I do like a good amount of his music and respect him a whole lot more.

I think that he is very diverse, and most importantly, he sings about things that are important. He's not a musical parrot, like a lot of other musicians are.

At 9/11/2008 01:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally like Neil Young's earlier tunes from "After The Gold Rush" and "Harvest". He also wrote some good songs later on but as time has worn on he has become more musically inconsistent in the quality of his songwriting.

I have recorded my own version of "Don't Let It Bring you Down" which you can hear a sample of on my website.

At 3/02/2009 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a HUGE Neil and Crazy Horse fan. Everything that they did with David Briggs is so right on for me. Pure and honest and definitely NOT phony...haha...Just wanted to throw out a heads up to anyone that feels the same way about a new band that is really doing it for me right now called Blues and Lasers. They're a little bluesier, less melodic, and more rhythmic than the Horse, but they rock incredibly hard and get up into each other's faces when they jam just like the Horse. If you love the Horse and are looking for new music, look no further.

At 5/07/2009 11:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Neil Young's music and I play many of his songs on my acoustic guitar. You can hear me on You Tube by searching WSD1952.

At 3/31/2010 08:13:00 PM, Blogger Brian H said...

There's an uplifting version of "Don't Let It Bring You Down" — retitled "Castles Burning" — by the great musical interpreters Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

You can find the live video performance on along with a whole ton of Neil content.

I was happily stunned to hear this upbeat and inspiring version of the song "that's guaranteed to bring you right down." :)

Brian, fellow alumnus of Kelvin High in Winnipeg

At 5/25/2010 08:54:00 PM, Anonymous Mitch Ballings said...

Hey, this is Mitch Ballings. I live in North Dakota and I write songs for fun. I'm only 14 but i have a song on itunes called if she's got the time. I like to rock it out with my drummer jimbo and his dog. We go to his house and do pot and smoke weed trying to think of lyrics. It actually helps. I have wrote some other songs but they were fails, for examlpe, DEATH IN THE NIGHT, it was a fail. Ineeded a girl lead signeer but didnt have one so i had my gay friend do it. Anyway check out my blog if your interested.

At 12/05/2017 09:38:00 AM, Blogger RBMunkin said...

I don't understand what Neil is trying to say in these new lyrics about the USA. Let's see...
"The freedom to act and the freedom to say". Seriously? There are tons of countries this is true of, including Canada.
"You're the promised land. You're the helping hand"
This hasn't been true since the end of WWII.
"You're looking at one of the lucky ones. Came here from there to be free"
Like he wasn't free in Canada?!

At 11/12/2020 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Hammer said...

Happy Birthday Neil !


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