Comment of the Moment: Diehard Fans Stuck in the Past
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Once again, we find ourselves in that weird, disorienting place between the announcement of a new Neil Young album and a release date in the not too distant future.
Such a strange, odd territory.
Many, many fans hail the prospects of the first full band studio collaboration between Neil Young and Crazy Horse since the 20th century release of Broken Arrow.
Yet, other fans, have reservations about the reunion for a variety of reasons.
Thus far tho, no one has complained that they want a solo Neil acoustic album (or a Shocking Pinks Volume #2)... yet.
And as we try and balance these competing factions of opinion, we here at Thrasher's Wheat often find ourselves getting caught up in a debate that -- to us -- just doesn't seem to be necessary whatsoever.
Hey, what's that sound? Look at all the faux drama going down.
So the Comment of the Moment is from Billy Corgan: "My diehard fans are stuck in 1993." by BIGCHIEF:
As lifelong fans of Neil Young, we're always waiting for the next classic 'anthem' as Ralph Molina likes to refer to them.
Sometimes it takes a decade or so, but we know that he has another one in there somewhere. Beginning with Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and 'Down By The River', Cowgirl In The Sand', and 'Cinnamon Girl', it took several years for Zuma to come along offering 'Cortez The Killer'as the next 'anthem worthy' song. Shortly thereafter came 'Like A Hurricane'. A few years later, Neil once again delivered with 'Rust Never Sleeps' which consisted of multiple 'anthem worthy' songs including 'PowderFinger' and 'Hey Hey, My My ( Into The Black). Then came Freedom with probably the most popular, radio friendly 'anthem' of all time, 'Rockin' In The Free World'.
Since then, nearly 23 yrs have past and while Neil has been diligently receptive to the 'muse' whenever it calls upon him, there has not been anything as 'anthem worthy' of the aforementioned songs.
While I'm certain that radio friendly, commercially successful songs would be a goal of most artists who have enjoyed the notoriety and the resulting glory that proceeds such success, it's obvious by the distinct differing personalities of each song that Neil doesn't follow a formula as such in an attempt to duplicate a follow up to any particular song just for the sake of commercial success. Most artists would be grateful to have written and recorded any one of Neil's classic recordings.
Rarely does a Neil Young album consist of what would be considered as 'filler'. The only other artist that I'm aware of besides Dylan who was capable of recording a complete album of quality songs to that degree would be the Beatles, and those records were a concerted effort of four individual songwriters. Among the so called anthems, there were also 'Southern Man' and 'Ohio'.
There have been several bands who came out of the chute with such great success like 'Boston, for example, that fell into the trap of capitalizing on the success of their winning formula only do succumb to an early death by not challenging their audience to accept innovation and growth. If anything was to be learned by the success of the Beatles, it was that they were constantly changing and evolving.
Most bands lifespan is maybe three albums if their lucky without innovation and growth in their creative process. Most bands who have been fortunate to be accepted by their audience while duplicating their past success's are now relegated to the 'oldies circuit' of a nostalgia act.
Those who are expecting a new 'anthem' on the next 'Crazy Horse' release are missing the point entirely. Whether there is another 'Cortez' or 'Rocking In The Free World' in Neil's future is irrelevant. The fact that he has evolved and hasn't adhered to a predictable 'sure thing' formula is what has kept his music fresh and keeps his audience anticipating his new releases for over 40 years.
And as long as he continues following the path of his 'muse', it's almost certain that when the time is right, an 'anthem' is sure to surface once again when least expected.
Thanks -- as always BIGCHIEF! Well said.
It's easy to get buried in the past, when you try to make a good thing last.
A crazy horse can only go so fast... like the dinosaurs in shrines.
Americana... we await its arrival upon our shores.
More on diehard fans stuck in the past.