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Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
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Friday, June 19, 2015

"The Monsanto Years" Corporate Targets Begin To Respond to Neil Young's Criticism

The corporate attack PR machine is beginning to ramp up in defense as the release of Neil Young and Promise of the Real's new album "The Monsanto Years" release approaches on June 29, 2015.

As expected, Monsanto appears to be the most nervous. News reports indicate that Monsanto is actually considering a corporate name change and leaving its U.S. headquarters to reincorporate in Europe.

Billboard sent the album's lyrics to Monsanto, Starbucks, Chevron and Walmart for a response.

“Monsanto Years”

“When you shop for your daily bread and walk the aisles of Safeway
Find a package to catch your eye that makes you smile at Safeway
Choose a picture of an old red barn on a field of green
With the farmer and his wife and children, to complete the scene at Safeway
The family seeds they used to save were gifts from God not Monsanto
Their own child grows ill near the poisoned crop
While they work on, they can’t find an easy way to stop Monsanto …
Give us this day our daily bread, and let us not go with Monsanto”

Monsanto: "Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics."

“Big Box”

“People workin’ part time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure
Might not make it to full-time at Walmart”

Walmart: "As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour. We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life."

"A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop"

“A rock star bucks a coffee shop
Yeah, I want a cup of coffee
But I don’t want a GMO
I’d like to start my day off
Without helpin’ Monsanto
Ask Starbucks if coffee has GMO…
Monsanto let our farmers grow what they want to grow
When the people of Vermont voted to label food with GMOs
So they would know what was in what the farmer grows
Monsanto and Starbucks through the grocery manufacturers alliance
Sued the state of Vermont to overturn the people’s will
Monsanto and Starbucks, mothers want to know what they feed their children”

Starbucks: "Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO [genetically modified organism] labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution."

“People Want to Hear Songs About Love”

“Don’t talk about the Chevron millions
Going to the pipeline politicians”

Chevron: "I received your media inquiry, however we are not going to participate in the interview."
More on Neil Young's preemptive communications strategy here and here.


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At 6/19/2015 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Thrasher, fwiw the reason why Monsanto is looking to re-domicle to Europe is not out of fear of Neil's criticisms but to execute a tax inversion ... 'i'e to cut their US tax bill .. another of one of the famous loopholes in our special interest driven tax code ... reading their response to Neil's stinging criticism it seems their PR people decided to embrace Neil as an artist ("many of us are fans of his music") while suggesting he (and his lyrics) are misinformed ... in others words make nice and obfuscate the issue in hopes of diverting people's attention to something else ...

At 6/19/2015 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I am a long time fan of Neil but I am long sick and tired of his rants over last 10+ years. Hasn't put out much music I really have enjoyed during that time period either.

At 6/19/2015 05:48:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@ Dan1 - funny, but yesterday we missed your subtlety and today you missed ours!? Yeah, we could've been a bit more sarcastic about it probably.

We certainly doubt that some old hippie cowboy singer would be much of a threat to a giant multi-national global corporation. They're probably having a chuckle listening to the album.

@Unknown - very odd? Yesterday, you were singing Neil's praises for speaking truth to power.

Today, the opposite.

What happened last night?

At 6/19/2015 07:14:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

How long before Neil moves on to something else? To me as a long time fan the music just isn't good enough. There's a big box looking at me and laughing..Archives Blu Ray Box Set....another project left to wither. Oh yeh I forgot we love Neil for following his muse etc etc..or in this case following his mare.

At 6/19/2015 07:22:00 PM, Blogger Old Neg said...

"Following his mare". All of you just admit it. You chuckled. Good one Andy!

At 6/20/2015 08:50:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Andy, I agree that the current music just isn't good enough (at least to my ears). Thankfully, if history is any indicator, Neil has already begun moving on. Regarding the mare you speak of, at times we all follow someone or something, or lead willingly or blindly, but in the end we are true to ourselves. Neil will find his level again, just like water. (After all, didn't he write "I'm the Ocean"?)

I'm not attending any of the upcoming shows, but I suspect they'll be very entertaining. Looks like he'll be mixing in some cool tunes from the vault, and with a good backing band, the Monsanto stuff will be much more palatable in concert. He'll have fun with it and then find something else he can fixate on for a while.

Is it strange I should change, I don't know, why don't you ask her?

At 6/20/2015 11:32:00 PM, Blogger medward said...


At 6/21/2015 12:44:00 PM, Blogger Gary Thomson said...

I doubt Neil is winning many new fans in the last few years just losing old ones.

At 6/21/2015 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Martin Barry said...

This album sounds under produced,quickly written and just not very good at all.of course Luke Nelson and his band are talking it up.they are at best a house band and will probably wish they were part of a better album.
Last night I listened to Cortez,will to love,like a hurricane and the album tonight's the night.
I can hardly listen to the new's so weak
I agree..bring out archives 2 before we all stop listening at all
This ranting about coffees,Monsanto,Starbucks etc. is quite frankly a lot of balls
Aren't there many other more pressing concerns in this world than this..?


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