March 20: Neil Young recorded Cinnamon Girl in 1969

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Neil Young opened up his second long-player Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969) with this concise, yet hard driving love song. It also effectively began his relationship with the backing combo Crazy Horse. Musically the track is an uncomplicated three-chord rocker and shows off Young’s infamous one-note solo motif during the instrumental ‘middle eight’ bars between the chorus and verse. ..
~Lindsay Planer (


Released April 20, 1970
Format 45 rpm Record
Recorded March 20, 1969 at Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, CA
Genre Hard rock
Length 2:58
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Neil Young
Producer(s) Neil Young
David Briggs

Cinnamon Girl” is a song by Neil Young. It debuted on the 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, which was also Young’s first album with backing band Crazy Horse. Released as a single the following year, it reached #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

neil young cinnamon girl

Like two other songs from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Down by the River,” Young wrote “Cinnamon Girl” while he was suffering from the flu with a high fever at his home in Topanga, California.

This song displays the very prominent role played by Danny Whitten in the sound of Young’s early recordings. The vocals are a duet, with Whitten singing the high harmony against Young’s low harmony. (The 45 rpm single mix of the song, in addition to being in mono and cutting off the guitar outro, features Whitten’s vocal more prominently than the album version.) Young performed the song on his then-recently acquired Gibson Les Paul, “Old Black”.


I wanna live with a cinnamon girl
I could be happy the rest of my life
With a cinnamon girl

A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night
You see us together, chasing the moonlight
My cinnamon girl

Ten silver saxes, a bass with a bow
The drummer relaxes and waits between shows
For his cinnamon girl

A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night
You see us together, chasing the moonlight
My cinnamon girl

Pa sent me money now
I’m gonna make it somehow, I need another chance
You see your baby loves to dance, yeah, yeah, yeah

Live versions

From “Live At The Cellar Door” (November 30 – December 2, 1970):

Cincinnati – Feb 25, 1970:

Live At Fillmore East 1970:

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Cinnamon Girl (Live at Farm Aid 2000):

Hyde Park, London – 27th June 2009:

Cover versions

Wilco & My Morning Jacket – Americanarama (2013)

Smashing Pumpkins – Reel Time Studio’s in 1989

Radiohead (live)

Type O Negative

The Dream Syndicate

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One thought on “March 20: Neil Young recorded Cinnamon Girl in 1969”

  1. Neil Dung laid -off Lionel Train factory workers in the mid-nineties and sent the factory out of the country. The Mitt Romney of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Keep on rockin’ in the free market world.

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