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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Complex Sessions: Neil Young & Crazy Horse "Change Your Mind", Director Jonathan Demme

Neil Young and Crazy Horse's "Change Your Mind" from the Complex Sessions masterfully captures the group in all their power and beauty.

Recorded at the Complex Studios in Los Angeles, where Neil Young and Crazy Horse had recorded Sleeps With Angels, director Jonathan Demme filmed them performing four songs from the album. Shot over two nights on Oct. 3-4, 1994, the 30-minute video contains "My Heart," "Prime Of Life," "Change Your Mind," and "Piece Of Crap."

In this 15-minute "Change Your Mind," with its lengthy instrumental passages, Demme varies the lighting from near darkness to excessive brightness.

(Thanks Keith W!)


From NEIL YOUNG'S - and Rock n' Roll's - Finest Moment (Fi - The Magazine of Music & Sound, June, 1996) by Paul Williams:
At my local record store, I recently came across a videocassette which apparently had been available for a year, but which I'd never heard about, called Neil Young and Crazy Horse: The Complex Sessions. Bought it, brought it home, watched and listened and was absolutely astonished.

Don't fall into the trap of believing that the great moments in rock and roll history are all in the past. This twenty-seven minute performance by one of rock's greatest and most enduring artists and bands is headline news. What rock and roll has always tried to achieve has never come any closer than this, or Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," or Janis and Big Brother live in 1967, or Springsteen and E Street in 1975.

You shoulda been there.

And in this case, thanks to the miracle of recording technology, you can be. This videotape will wear out no faster than your all-time favorite 45, it is just as deserving of repeated plays, just as possibly able to continue to deepen its resonance through the rest of your lifetime. The best argument I've ever heard for owning a "home theater" setup with superior audio capabilities.

The mix on this tape is so brilliant it even sounds good on a damn TV set, but I keep wanting to turn it up louder than the TV will go.

The Complex Sessions seems to me to represent a pivotal moment in rock history (as, say, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" did), not only because it's so good but also because it is a breakthrough in the creative use of a medium (the long-form rock video as a work of art) that has defeated most supplicants, including Neil as often as not. On the other hand, it isn't selling many copies, and in our increasingly corrupt pop culture, that and inches of press coverage are the only measurements of "significance." Oh well. Great music is still great music.

If a tree falls in the forest but nobody writes a review, did it make a sound?

Complete article on Complex Sessions NEIL YOUNG'S - and Rock n' Roll's - Finest Moment (Fi - The Magazine of Music & Sound, June, 1996) by Paul Williams.

More Jonathan Demme and Neil Young, Sleeps With Angels reviews, and "Change Your Mind" lyrics analysis.

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At 2/04/2012 08:29:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

a taste of things to come in 2012?
can't get that equine taste out of my mouth now!


At 2/04/2012 09:21:00 PM, Blogger Kimball said...

Oh yeah! I love this cut. I picked up this video tape from ebay last year and hold it in the top tier of my Neil collection due to it capturing such a magical energy. I like the part in the review from '96 about wanting to turn it up louder than the TV will go!
With all this talk of the Neil with Crazy Horse reunion, I bet there are alot of people "occupying thrashers wheat" these days. This video delivers to goods. But between Horse Back Neil and Change Your Mind (Complex), which are 2 absolutely top notch performances, I hope that we don't get our expectations set to high for the new record(s). They've got to be evaluated with a clensed palate when they do come out.

At 2/04/2012 11:42:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

I love Neil's wry smile of approval at the end.
It must be really hard to follow Neil as a musician.... ya just can never be too sure when he is going to end a song, especially for a drummer....and playin' live!


At 2/05/2012 12:03:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I love record shops. Not many around but the one's that can keep their business going, I LOVE YOU!

At 2/05/2012 12:19:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

just listened to "piece of Crap" on youtube from the complex sessions..if this doesn't get you rockin the horse nothin' will!


At 2/05/2012 07:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own this, and many other Neil Young videos on Laserdisc. They aren't even on DVD and I am hoping Neil puts them out on Blu-Ray soon in 192/24 resolution. My laserdisc player did not survive its last moves.

At 2/05/2012 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous LRR said...

I remember thinking how tired Neil looked in this video...

At 2/05/2012 09:15:00 AM, Anonymous Brent said...

Wish they would release all of the officially released video's/movies on Blue Ray: Weld (original David Briggs mix please), Trunk Show, Complex Sessions/Rust Never Sleeps/ Year of the Horse etc. I would buy them all.


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