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Friday, May 25, 2012

VIDEO DEBUT: "God Save The Queen" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

UPDATE: See more reaction and discussion @ God Save The Neil Young Fans (& Thrasher's Wheat).

Here's the video debut of "God Save The Queen" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse from Americana.

From the Liner Notes for Americana by Neil Young & Crazy Horse:

God Save The Queen

Written in the 18th century with possible melodic roots in the 17th century, this anthem has been sung throughout the British Commonwealth and may have been sung in North America before the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence in 1776, which rejected British sovereignty. The Americana arrangement draws from the original melody and changes some melody and lyrics in the folk process, also adding lyrics of the same melody taken from “My Country ’Tis Of Thee”, in recognition of the war of Independence and America’s transition to freedom.

UPDATE: See more reaction and discussion @ God Save The Neil Young Fans (& Thrasher's Wheat).

"God Save The Queen"
Art by Gary Burden and Jenice Heo

Set for a June 5th release, you can now pre-Order "Americana" on (Thanks! You'll be helping to support us here at Thrasher's Wheat.)

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At 5/25/2012 11:25:00 AM, Blogger BecauseSoundMatters said...

Oh my God!

At 5/25/2012 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you keeping score it's now bad NY&CH 3, good NY&CH 1. I hope they're holding onto better tracks. It's been all downhill since OS.

At 5/25/2012 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horrible. Sorry Neil, love ya n all...but that is horrible.

At 5/25/2012 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

I think a cover of "Whispering Grass" would have been the better choice.
In fact, my stash right now is whispering to me sayin'.."Come over here and have a little "time out" with me."

(ten minutes later...)

Ok, now that the grass is greener, it seems to me this song is not a glorification of English rule, but a blatant put down of the pomp, circumstance and utter ridiculousness of English hierarchy. Given the current state of affairs in Europe and people on the street rioting for a better way of life, this whole pompous splendor for a select few is way out of date for these times. It should have been shelved years ago. Especially in a western country.
I'm looking at this song as a call for an "English Spring". There needs to be a change NOW!
This is a somewhat sly and very politically hinged song with an underlying message for change.

Maybe they all just need a "time out." Just to see themselves as they really are....outdated.

At 5/25/2012 01:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this could have been a good track with some spirited, more ambitious drumming, but sounds like Ralphie smoked a big one and got stuck and didn't want to take chances.

At 5/25/2012 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that's a bomb. Agreed, the drumming seems to be the main problem. Not a fan of marches. I think the only way to save that song, and it's actually a simple fix, is to break down the suffocating walls of the beat and make it more fluid and freeform. The Horse doesn't fit well in a box.
Still really enjoying the other three songs. Hopefully Oh Susannah on the road will loosen up as well. The Bridge version with Dave Matthews had better timing, less rush to it. Three keepers and one still salvagable.

At 5/25/2012 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Joe Yankee said...

Sounds like some of the Queen's loyal subjects are taking out their frustrations out on The Horse.

Let them eat cake.

At 5/25/2012 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Plus you're all aware of the Aussie radio station that played "This Land is Your Land" (at around 1:22 of the May 19 broadcast), "Get a Job" (2:25) and "Wayfaring Stranger" (2:58), right? (See Seven out of 11 is a pretty good sample size to start drawing conclusions, one way or the other.

At 5/25/2012 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

I can change my mind here, right?
(change your mind,change your mind)

This song, out of all the others viewed,really needs the video to get it's point across.
The main reason America exists at all was to get away from English rule and good ol' King George.
Apparently, this song was still being sung here in the colonies,with added verse, like what we hear with NY&CH? If not, it shoulda' been!
The way it's delivered here (sans the sedan) musically by CH, isn't the point at all. It's the message. We're a nation, forged in blood and treasure, to live with the inherent and inalienable right to liberty and freedom. That's what this is about.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse are going to the TOP of the mountain with AMERICANA, and screaming it!

So turn it up folks!

Let 'em ALL know what we're about!

At 5/25/2012 02:48:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

My scorecard reads good NY&CH: 3, bad NY&CH: 0.

We'll have to see what this sounds like when I get near some speakers.

I am loving these tracks so far. They have far exceeded my initial expectations.

At 5/25/2012 05:41:00 PM, Blogger La Johnson said...

Why are we trying to read meanings into Neil's recording of GSTQ? Stop all the pretentious meanderings about Neil is making a point about colonial days! This is a just Neil & The Horse working out and by the sound of this teading in some heavy manure -it sounds awful. I think Neil is a Royalist and he's celebrating the Diamond Jubilee!

At 5/25/2012 06:09:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Sounds great to me, La. And hey, if you don't want to read between the lines and see the quite obvious social comments he's making, that's entirely up to you. I'd say those who do have an intelligent point to make, though.

At 5/25/2012 06:10:00 PM, Blogger woodrow said...

It amazes and saddens me that sooooo many people take the time and trouble to negatively comment on Neil and his music. This site provides a selfless, priceless forum for us Neil fans. Neil has provided us with countless soul enriching art gems over like 50 years. Have the negative nay sayers ever heard..."If You Have Nothing Positive To Say Add Or Contribute...SHUT UP for Gods Sake"! I can only encourage all the Neil fans who have a good open heart to keep the faith. Some of us still do "get it"!

At 5/25/2012 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Though I like it, this one definitely doesn't hit me with the raw intensity and transcendent power of the other three - I'd have to agree with Anon 1:07, it's in the drums. Ralph could have been a bit more experimental.

I guess it is a march, however, and is played like one, so that's kind of the way they want it.

I'll take it though, in context with the other 3.

At 5/25/2012 07:39:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Hey woodie- having an open heart can also mean having an open mind. Someone posted a quote here a couple years ago from Stephen King saying that an artist (my words, not his. Steve King would never refer to himself as an artist) has to listen to his fans and when they're telling you you're full of crap they're usually right. There are a lot of people on this site who agree with you, that it should be one big happy campfire populated by groovy folks wearing goofy smiles,lost in the wonder of Neil. There are others who believe that the artist actually pays attention to the conversations posted here and that we are doing him a disservice by failing to hold him to the highest artistic standards. I'm a fan. I've followed and loved him since 1969, but I'm not going to lie and say that I think things like Fork in the Road are worthy of his talent. He may, obviously, choose to ignore or disagree. And you may continue to worship every note that he plays. And Thrasher, who has always been conflicted by the choice between operating this strictly as a fan site or encouraging an open exchange of opinion, may someday grant your wish and expel all but the Eternally Faithful from the campfire. Ultimately "time will tell just who fell and who's been left behind. When you go your way and I go mine."

At 5/25/2012 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

I was going to post in reply to Woodrow as well but just noticed that "no one" made the point more eloquently and more diplomatically than I would have. Ultimately, of course, it is Thrasher's site and he can do with it what he wants (including, I see, banning anonymous comments again to keep things more tidy) but I hope he would recognize the value of intelligent, informed debate. It may all be one song, but that doesn't mean we all have to be of one mind.

At 5/25/2012 08:48:00 PM, Blogger feelyourlove said...

I'm hearing a song for the queen as in knights in armor saying something about a. Or working for the..I sang this song a lot growing up too. It's good to sing for the queen. The reverence toward a female royal doesn't have to be ironic or political even. It's archetypal. She's lady liberty now anyway and what's not to love? sounds great too. I just wish I could hear it on something other than an iPad. Also..when Neil hears some guys on the Internet think he's gonna tarnish his reputation putting out a book he's gonna order a bunch of fifty gallon drums of tarnish and dump em over everything..archives trunk show..everything. And it'll probably be pretty cool.

At 5/25/2012 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Like they say, tarnish never sleeps.

At 5/25/2012 09:14:00 PM, Blogger woodrow said...

To: No One...You put forth well thought out points. I see Neil Fans as two basic camps. One, comments on Neil's output in a poitive way or not at all. The othe, comments in a positive or negative way, depending on the topic at hand. Ather differences are that the 2nd group feels the 1st give blind uncondittional love. That may be partly true, in the same way that if you truly love someone you will not point out or critisize each and every mistake or error they make. 1st group see 2nd as...being unjustly & needlessly critical & petty. More thoughts to come...

At 5/25/2012 09:23:00 PM, Blogger CCTB said...

Cheese Whiz!

At 5/25/2012 09:25:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Of course, Thrasher could just decide to ban all idiots and drunks . Unfortunately that would leave him sitting alone by the campfire.

At 5/25/2012 09:26:00 PM, Blogger CCTB said...

He has a card up his sleeve...

At 5/25/2012 09:37:00 PM, Blogger feelyourlove said...

Yeah that's all just bunk about holding the artist to the highest standard and doing a disservice to the artist and all that crap. Bunk and more than a little solipsistic. I'm counting on Neil to hold to hold to his own standard. So far that's pretty much a gold standard. Step away from the coffee and step down off the soapbox. Neil is already in the next town wowin em.

At 5/25/2012 09:40:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

This is amazing. It ROCKS. Ralph's drumming is just fine, IMO.

I think this is my favorite of all the songs released so far...:D

At 5/25/2012 10:13:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

If you've ever been in a position of power - for instance, a manager who has the authority to change lives by reward (raises or promotions) or punishment (getting fired) you find that, magically, everyone seems to agree with you, even if you decree that it's a good idea to wear green on Fridays. Neil Young is surrounded, inevitably, by acolytes whose proximity and power is defined by their perception that he possesses Godlike traits. (There is no one but Briggs referenced in Shakey who seems to have the stones to say no to the master.) then there are the professional critics who are corrupted by the cultural trend to tear down their idols. That leaves us, Nril's friends, to gently tell the truth. Good or bad.
Do you have a friend who will tell you when you're being an asshole? If so, you should treasure him like gold.

At 5/25/2012 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/25/2012 10:20:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Ps - you're not out if line with the solipsistic argument and I'd discuss it if it weren't so hard to type solipsistic on an iPod. Suffice it to say I've read Zphil Dick and I know what you mean.

At 5/25/2012 10:32:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

God Save Neil Young!! Wow what a ride!! Are we having fun yet?!!

Did I just hear no one say something? Nah, I didn't think so!

Steven James

At 5/25/2012 10:44:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Refer to earlier comment re: idiots and drunks... I'm sure you'll be welcome in either camp.

At 5/25/2012 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

okay no one, now you're being an asshole. Are we BFF's now?!

Steven James

At 5/25/2012 10:50:00 PM, Blogger woodrow said...

Fans speak fine but remember comments are directed to a human being by the name of Neil young let us not forget.! Be mature about it as well repectable he has feelings without Neil Young there is no web page or fan club or music to view opinons if he does not exist. One day the sad reality is he won't so appreciate him while we have him not when he is gone he is a free man enjoy his music for what it is whatever it may be.! love him its that simple.

At 5/25/2012 11:03:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Neil Young doesn't give a crap what you or I or anyone else on the Internet thinks about what he should be doing, not to mention most of the people he actually knows, given all his maneuverings over the years. We're talking to each other here (or, more accurately, at each other).

At 5/25/2012 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

God save the Queen
We mean it, man
--Sex Pistols

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?
--Neil Young

We can't return
We can only look behind
From where we came
--Joni Mitchell

At 5/26/2012 01:44:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Could people please refrain from using "Fork in the Road" as the low water mark... I happen to see some good stuff in there.... Also .... Some of you just need to chill.

At 5/26/2012 01:51:00 AM, Blogger La Johnson said...

Of course, ole Neil doesn't care what is posted here he'll do as he pleases but this song has raised some good & funny points. But please let's not get caught up with the idea that this has a bigger message. Neil is having some fun with his mates that's all it is. And I don't like it.

At 5/26/2012 05:51:00 AM, Blogger BecauseSoundMatters said...

Really like this song. Just played all 4 songs available in a row and liked it a lot. She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain is still my favourite. That song rocks like six wild crazy horses. Ralph's drumming is fantastic on all 4 songs and I really like the choir in combination with the horse. Can't wait to have Americana on my old turntable.

There is nothing in this world that sounds like Crazy Horse !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 5/26/2012 08:05:00 AM, Blogger no one said...

Sorry, you're mistaken. I turned 60 a couple months ago and officially transformed from garden variety asshole to loveable old coot. Please calibrate your responses accordingly.

At 5/26/2012 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Well, this has certainly gotten lively.

just fyi. We've always been very open and tolerant of dissent. That's cool.

If someone wants to post a well argued rebuttal of Neil's work, fine. But we do have a bit of a problem when folks drop in and offer up a sentence or 2 of negativity without any supporting arguments or context. i.e., "FITR sucks".

We encourage healthy, civil debate.
We want healthy, civil debate.
We need healthy, civil debate.

If you need to know more about how we handle all of this, see TW's Comments Policy.

" O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save the Queen. "


At 5/26/2012 11:59:00 AM, Blogger feelyourlove said...

Yeah man that verse is a kicker alright...dissent is certainly good and often useful. What is less useful to me at least is some sort of blanket magisterial critical edict like the writing has no artistic merit or Neil hasn't done a good record since... The thing is that they are ALL pretty f@&$in cool. Even the turkeys whichever ones are turkeys for you are just part of a bigger picture. The guy works harder than any 2 or three other artists and has been on a roll lately like for 40 years. The roll out for this record has been so cool and fan friendly and so far there is brilliant stuff and everyone has been screaming for ch since last time and wow it couldn't be better from where I'm sitting.

At 5/26/2012 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

"How could people get so unkind?"

Boy, am I ever glad Neil never listened to his detractors- or his admirers, when putting out his music over all these years, and now a book- perish the thought, of his own musings. We never would have gotten the brilliance of his artistic vision, or the glimpses of the world as seen through his eyes he has so often shared with us. TW has never, ever, been a place where people have not been allowed to voice their opinions one way or the other, but it has also always been, first and foremost, and unapologetically, a Neil Young appreciation site. And yet, the people who come here to appreciate and acknowledge Neil’s output, in all its variations, are too often put into the position of defending what doesn't need defending- Neil’s decisions to do whatever the hell he wants, in whatever the hell way he wants, for his own reasons. We “get it”, and lament the fact that so many don’t.

And for all his efforts, Thrasher is too often put into the unfair position of refereeing bouts of snarkiness from people who seem to derive some sort of weird pleasure out of coming to a Neil Young appreciation site to trash Neil Young. People who in their wildest dreams could never approach the passion and commitment underlying A Fork In The Road, the poignancy of a Prairie Wind after a brush with death, the experimentation and righteous indignation of the Geffen years, or any other in their eyes ill-conceived effort on Neil’s part. And then those of us who do appreciate these things are denigrated as mindless worshipers, who have cravenly elevated Neil to God status, or who don’t respect the fact that this or that thing is simply not any given Neil fans cup of tea. We sometimes go a little overboard ourselves in trying to make sense of all the negativity. We have to sit idly by while people casually beat the drum of repeating for the umpteenth time the shallowness of the idiot reviewers who seem unable to survey Neil’s career without the obligatory mention of his “career turns”, as if Neil plots these out of a sense of perversity, rather than as fidelity to muse and unvarnished honesty. We have to listen to the drone of disrespect for Are You Passionate, Trans, and now Americana, etc. ad nauseum, because they don’t “sound” the way the arbiters of how Neil should sound think they should. The golfer, Jack Nicklaus, said it all- “It’s amazing what people think you “should” do.” No, Neil must conform to his critics views, otherwise he is diminishing his talents, and depriving the world of another On The Beach or Zuma.

I tried mightily to keep my mouth shut here, and probably should have, but I guess I’m just as flawed as anyone else, and unable to rest in some of the most sublime words Neil ever uttered: “So all you critics sit alone, you’re no better than me for what you’ve shown. With your stomach pump, and your hook and ladder dreams. We could get together for some scenes.”

Oh, and “Walk On”.

A Friend Of Yours

At 5/26/2012 12:49:00 PM, Blogger bigjohn said...

I think the song fits perfectly into the album. As Neil states it was the defacto National Anthem of the USA for years. It is a march, and Ralph has stayed true to that. It also tips it's hat to the patriotic song America. In the context of this cd it fits perfectly. People are reading way too much into this. Neil is probably sentimental in that he sang this before school every day in his elementary and highschool days. He has probably sang this song more then Heart of Gold. If you dont like skip the track and "Walk On" What a great alternative to be played for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I think the Royal Family and even old Victoria would be amused.

At 5/26/2012 01:00:00 PM, Blogger bigjohn said...

Great timing on this also, since this is the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812. Troops would have been singing this then, as well as American troops in the Civil War and both sides during World War One. Too bad old Levon could not have sat in on this one..

At 5/26/2012 01:08:00 PM, Blogger La Johnson said...

'We have to listen to the drone of disrespect for Are You Passionate, Trans, and now Americana' - no disrespect intended just an opinion - it's not about respecting his music - but let's not defend his forks in the road that have been mistakes. I love his music but it needs a balance - Are You Passionate doesn't have the songs and I never thought we'd have a covers record from Neil. I respect his music full stop but this is the forum to be critical surely?

At 5/26/2012 01:41:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

"Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies even closer."

I'm not sure exactly where that quote comes from but it came to mind to me anyway. Especially this week end. It comes to me every Memorial Day week end.
If you reside in England, I can only imagine how your reaction might be to NY&CH version of GSTQ, let alone my comments about it here.

I'm a veteran, and this Monday I'm going to place flags on some friends graves. Guys who were just as passionate as me about music and the whole scene created my our musical heroes.

"Americana" brings up a whole shitload of emotion for me and I try to find humor in just about anything, just for the sake of sanity I guess.

What I've learned so far, is if you get too heavy with things, it'll drag you down...way down. So I'm keeping things light and breezy in just about everything I do...and say.

It's like John Lennon said in the Beatles and solo:
"Love is the answer! That's for sure!"
Well, he ain't here anymore and neither are a lot of other people.
But some of 'em are and I'm glad for that.

So turn it up!

At 5/26/2012 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Gassy Jack said...

Neil's recorded some awful stuff in his time but this is a career low. He'll get bottled off stage if he plays this song in Scotland any time

At 5/26/2012 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Craig Leavitt said...

Neil sure is gettin weird in his old age, ain't he? It wouldn't be so bad except the children's choir is just dreadful. Laugh-out-loud bad choice. Briggs, we miss ye.

At 5/26/2012 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Worthless Recluse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/26/2012 04:56:00 PM, Blogger Worthless Recluse said...

I don't really like the track, but so what? The other songs I've heard from the album sound great. Neil can do whatever he wants, and doesn't owe me or anyone else anything. Also, as ever, many of the naysayers seem to have a problem distinguishing between personal opinion and fact.

One good thing about the GSTQ cover is how the reactions reflect on the listener. A sensible person can take it in its intended historical context, whereas others will put an unpleasant sectarian slant on it. How odd for a Scot to find Neil's version of the song offensive, while it's effectively your national anthem, and the song's subject your head of state! If you're not happy with that situation (and why should you be), better to find an effetive solution rather than one that merely reinforces national stereotypes.

At 5/26/2012 07:29:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

I think you're mistaken when you state that people in their wildest dreams could never approach the passion and commitment of "Fork in the Road." Talent does not include, by its nature, portions of passion and commitment greater than those given to ordinary mortals. Most people I know have ample portions of passion and commitment and I would argue to the end of time that it takes more commitment for a guy to get up seven straight days to go to his shift at the paper mill than it does for a lazy rock star to toss off a bunch of hastily written and recorded songs about cars. It's the lack of passion and commitment evidenced in albums like Fork and the samples of the memoir that bring those that love the artist to state opinions that run contrary to the adulation that characterizes most of the comments on this site. There's no need to post more adulation- you and the bulk of the members posting here have that handled. But, as well written and, yes, passionate and committed as your comment was, it leaves no room for honest criticism.

At 5/26/2012 07:54:00 PM, Blogger SullenUncomunicativeMoroseGit. said...

@Worthless recluse.....

I think you'll find that the Scots have very good reason to dislike the national anthem, although rarely sang anymore (if at all), I don't think this verse is too popular over the border......

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

To be fair to Neil though, he hasn't included it he should hopefully be safe from a bottlin'!

At 5/26/2012 08:30:00 PM, Blogger Mark Settings said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/26/2012 08:31:00 PM, Blogger Mark Settings said...

Finally I got it!
He is trying to piss off the record company again...

At 5/26/2012 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Worthless Recluse said...

@SullenUncomunicativeMoroseGit - the fact that he omitted that verse underlines my point. Also, I'm Irish, so half the Scots hate me as well as the English ;) What I was getting at was: Neil OBVIOUSLY doesn't mean the song as an offence against Scots / Irish / whoever, nor as a celebration of monarchy, any more than he's waiting for someone to be 'comin' round the mountain'.

I love Fork in the Road - it's a FUN, ROCKIN' album. I like a lot of stuff that could never be described as 'fun' or 'rockin' but I loved FITR. Neil doesn't have an obligation to deliver After the Goldrush or Zuma on an annual basis, and anyone with an understanding of creativity will get that.

At 5/26/2012 08:55:00 PM, Blogger Worthless Recluse said...

PS, I love that there's a conversation between SullenUncomunicativeMoroseGit and Worthless Recluse :D

Love & peace to ye all x

At 5/26/2012 09:44:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Fair and objective criticism is always welcomed, by me and by this site, and opinions are just that, but it’s not unreasonable when stating either an opinion or criticism to know what you are talking about, or to demonstrate a basic knowledge of Neil’s modus operandi when it comes to the execution of his ideas. A “lazy rock star”? You must be kidding, right? Right? I’d like to know how many people are out there working at Neil’s pace on so many simultaneous projects, in such single minded fashion. And I wasn’t referring to people in general when I brought up passion and commitment, many of whom are living their passions. I was referring to people who “derive some sort of weird pleasure out of coming to a Neil Young appreciation site to trash Neil Young.” Of course, it’s true that even these people can be living their passions, but then if that were true they would probably be able to recognize it in the case of Neil.

There is more to Neil’s projects than lyrics and music, or even simple musicianship. For instance, Fork is not merely an album full of “songs about cars”. It references Neil’s passion for developing an energy alternative to existing technologies which are harmful to both human health and the environment. It references the effort it takes to pursue practical steps in this direction, as is the case with the team of techs working on Linc Volt in Wichita (Johnny Magic). It references the fact that “just singing a song won’t change the world”- it takes committed action. It references the notion that it is more constructive to “light a candle in the darkness”, rather than battering away at an entrenched darkness, i.e. the prevailing paradigms that are in the process of destroying this world and its peoples. It references all these things, and more. Furthermore, to imply that Fork is a work “hastily written and recorded” is to display a basic ignorance (ignorance, not stupidity) of Neil the artist, and the immediacy that he adheres to over slick production values. Living With War came out of Neil’s heart, not some sound board. Campaigner was sung for the first time live before a concert audience mere hours after it was written. We all know the story of Ohio. Numerous songs and albums represent first takes before the band ever had a chance to really learn them well. On and on it goes all through Neil’s career. So you don’t like it this time, o.k., no one is forcing anything on anyone, but because you don’t like it and/or don’t understand it, does not give you carte blanche to tear it down and ride roughshod over a labor of love, or conclude that Neil is like a leopard who somehow lost his spots along the way. An intelligent guy like you should know these things. Likewise, I take issue with the sentiment that we should not “defend his forks in the road that have been mistakes.” Mistakes in whose eyes? Neil’s? I don’t think so. People like me, who enjoy any number of things about what some consider to be missteps? No again. Do some choose to take a pass now and then? Absolutely, and that is their prerogative, but this does not equate to a mistake on Neil’s part.

Arthur, I wish I had your wisdom more often. You are right to remind us to keep things “light and breezy”. I’ll calm down eventually and regret the broadsides I’ve taken. We're talking opinions here, not the essential worth of anyone. Unfortunately, my stridency gets the better of me sometimes. I just wish people were more understanding, me included, and not so willing to be so dismissive. End of rant, and respects on Memorial day.

A Friend Of Yours

At 5/26/2012 10:26:00 PM, Blogger duck said...

Well that was dreadful, sitting here by myself I was actually embarrassed to be listening to it.

Yeah yeah, appreciation site, neil is god, whatever. I love and adore Neil as much as anyone here. But this sucked, there is no defending this song.

I really worry about his upcoming shows, sure Neil can do what he wants I guess, but when he's got a packed audience expecting the classics and he play this instead...

At 5/27/2012 02:49:00 AM, Blogger La Johnson said...

"Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies even closer."

Comes from The Godfather.

At 5/27/2012 03:40:00 AM, Blogger Jan the Lazyman said...

Eh ... I don't understand this song on the record a skip and delete moment. I like the other songs so far. God save the Neil.

At 5/27/2012 06:57:00 AM, Blogger Sleevefacer said...

The main problem with this, for us English fans, is that, despite Neil's intentions, we can never listen to this song as 'folk' or 'rock' music. It is the song that footballers sing before an international match. It is a tune ingrained on our national consciousness. The majority of Brits I know find it faintly embarrassing and refuse to sing along. But that is beside the point. For us, God Save The Queen is beyond objectivity, no matter how "well" or "badly" it is played. As a result it just sounds weird and wrong coming out of Neil's mouth as any sort of artistic statement.

Glad that it comes at the end of the album - I just won't rip it to my iTunes, just like I cut off America The Beautiful from Living With War.

At 5/27/2012 08:05:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

I'm not sure Americans can understand. I spent fourth grade in a small Canadian town in 1961. They called us, U.S. military kids, Americans. Never could understand why... and every morning the teacher would enter the room snd we would all stand and sing. We alternated between "Oh, Canada" and "God Save the Queen." it was an odd group of kids - a couple military brats, six or seven Canadian Indians from a local reservation, and a couple dozen white Canadians. There was never any discussion of the significance of the songs, we just stood snd sang them. I think the ritual was similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, but, obviously, there is nowhere in the Pledge where you're imploring God to save an elderly English woman with a Crown and bad taste in hats. This all occurred in the days before irony became the emotional currency of the times, but I'm remembering that the solemnity of the recitation would have defeated irony anyway. The point being, I would only trust a Canadian to interpret Neil's interpretation of the song.

At 5/31/2012 10:08:00 PM, Blogger D. I. Kertis said...

To be technical, they'd probably have been singing "God save the king" during the early colonial years, assuming we're not stretching back to the Elizabethan years or the reign of Bloody Mary here! Maybe I'm historically challenged, but I can't think of any female British monarchs between them and Queen Victoria.
But that's a nitpick in this context.

As to the track itself, although I haven't of course heard it in context of the album yet, I think can understand what Neil was going for. It's the last track on the listing, and seems to be designed as a musical and thematic denouement. It's over-the-top possibly, but certainly sounds like authentic Neil Young to me. I have to say that, even with the marching drum, even with the zany, ersatz quality that sometimes comes from this track, I do love the overall sound of the 'Americana' tracks thus far. There's something very cool about the musical/sonic result of transplanting antique folk songs into Crazy Horse rock. The sound reminds of Neil's '70s CH albums: the vocal harmonies, the texture of the electric guitars--"groovy" is the word that comes to mind. It's as though 1800s folk music has met aesthetics and sensibilities of mid-20th century protest rock, both of which kinds of music Neil carries in his creative idiom and has maintained throughout his artistic evolution.

The idea to juxtapose both sets of lyrics is clever and, I think, works on its own. It's something I'm glad *someone* did at some point anyway. It touches on both the musical and political evolution found in these songs.

So far I've heard 'Oh Susannah', 'Jesus' Chariot' , and now this track. Although the comments make clear that several others have been released in various places, I think I'll limit my preview to these three, as I want to have somewhat of a fresh experience with the full album next week. And I'm certainly waiting until I've heard the entire album in context, in sequence before I make any sort of judgement on it.

At 6/01/2012 10:58:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

Long been a fan of Young's music , fovourites , Reactor , Trans and the Pinks , music beyond expectations .
This song is a " Piece of Crap "
Never the words I thought to say in mention of a Neil song .

A Dinasour in stone !
Time to hang up old black and go out with some grace .

Shame ! Shame ! Shame ! Neil , and I know you don't give a damn .

Our Gracious Queen of the Commomwealth , which includes Canada , his birthplace , seems to be fergodden !

He dare not show his face in Canada and sing this song in her Diamond Jubilee

Your Yankee country circles the drain
Our Gracious Queen , Long may she Reign ! EH !


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