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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Rare Electric "Pocahontas" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse - 1996

Yesterday, we featured a unique, rare electric version of the standard acoustic "Natural Beauty" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse from the 1996 tour.

So one unique, rare electric version of a standard acoustic song deserves another, right?

From the live album "Year Of The Horse" (1996), here is a rare electric version of "Pocahontas". (Thanks Tom!)

A powerful, yet melancholy performance of the song. Spot the lyric change anyone?

This version is "supposedly" from October 1996 at the Agridome in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

 Year of The Horse poster
Year of The Horse
A Neil Young & Crazy Horse Concert Film
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

A concert film-group portrait that captures as well as any other music movie the natural, untethered essence of live rock."

-- John Anderson, LOS ANGELES TIMES

The concert film "Year of The Horse" from the 1996 tour, directed by Jim Jarmusch, is certainly a worthy successor to the classic "Rust Never Sleeps" with the addition of interviews and behind the scenes footage along with the raging, stomping, raw Crazy Horse style. Featuring a several epic jams including "Slip Away" and "Big Time" which clock in over 15 miutes each, the live material reveals the magic nature of what happens onstage in the "huddle".

In an interview with Crazy Horse and Neil Young:

    Neil Young: I love that movie and I think it is a perfect add-on for the "Year of The Horse" record. 
    You can really feel the personal view of a film maker, and above all the movie is about the band. It's more than a simple story, it's an impression, a succession of feelings. I had the idea of doing this movie - I like this kind of stuff and I like to have a camera with me, but Jim made it possible.  
    Poncho: I always thought that that the story of Crazy Horse was less interesting than his music. It's certainly the more successful movie on Neil Young and Crazy Horse, but for me, this film is just touching on this topic. With all due respect to Jim and his work, I think that the first song in the movie shows more than what you can see in the following hour. So I liked this short movie, but I wouldn't like people to stick to this cinematographic view. 
    It happened so many things in that band, that no one, as a movie maker, will be able to relate."

In an interview with film director Jim Jarmusch on making the "Year of the Horse":

    "Neil's incredible," recalls Jarmusch. 
    "I remember we didn't want to edit down any of the songs in the movie without Neil's help, because it's his music. "So he came to New York to help cut, because the songs were all, like, 14 minutes long. We showed him the Like A Hurricane number, which right in the middle of the song cuts from him now to him 20 years ago. "Neil jumps out of his seat. I thought, 'He's going to say something about how different he looks.' Instead, he says, 'Look at Old Black!' which is the name of his guitar. 'She looks so new and shiny! She was so young back then.' 
     "We were laughing so hard, but he was deadly serious. He wasn't self-conscious about his own image changing, just 'Look at Old Black. I haven't taken good care of her.'"

More on Neil Young & Crazy Horse's 1996 tour and the "Year of The Horse".

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At 6/08/2017 05:59:00 AM, Blogger ViP said...

I loved "Year Of The Horse" of course. Turns out that Roger Ebert named it "the worst film of 1997". That same year, he gave 3.5 stars (out of 4) to the first "Anaconda" movie (yes, the one with Jennifer Lopez). And this is why you kids should not take drugs, ever.

At 6/08/2017 10:37:00 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Wow, what a great version, what a great tune. There are radio stations that don't play as many great songs in a week as you get in the 9 songs from Rust Never Sleeps. And that's counting My, My, Hey, Hey twice!
It would be cool to compare song versions from the RNS tour to the YOTH tour to the Alchemy tour. I could be totally wrong but I feel like the tempos drop off, while the distortion increases and the vocals become a bit more relaxed going from RNS to YOTH. Mind you, in making that assessment I'm just going from memory of the single recorded versions of the RNS and YOTH live albums. I'd have to listed to youtube versions of the Alchemy stuff, but I think I remember being surprised at the song tempos (I saw the London, ON show, which was the 2nd or 3rd in the tour so they could have been just getting going and not comfortable with each other and the songs enough yet to drop back into that more relaxed Crazy Horse groove which is so prevalent on YOTH).
In any case, great stuff!

At 6/08/2017 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Wait, I completely forgot about the Weld Tour when making that comparison. Maybe the Weld versions have an even greater intensity than the RNS versions, with similar distortion to YOTH, but none of the laid back vibe. I don't know, I'll have to listen to it tonight... Something to look forward to.

At 6/08/2017 12:05:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ VIP - Well, as with most things Neil, YotH takes an acquired taste to appreciate.

That said, Director Jim Jarmusch's film Dead Man with a Neil Young soundtrack is considered by Greil Marcus in Salon Magazine to be "the best movie of the end of the 20th century." Among reasons that Marcus cites are: "For a film set more than a century ago, an electric guitar, playing a modal melody, surrounded by nothing, sounds older than anything you see on the screen."

take that Roger Ebert (RIP)!

@ Tom - you're onto to something here. The epic mix tape of all time would be to run versions of all the RNS songs through the WELD tour and to the Alchemy tour.

It would be trilogies of songs across the decades.

So if anyone comes up with such as mix tape, sign us up!

At 6/08/2017 06:09:00 PM, Blogger herbsworld said...

Totally, Completely and Fully Agree w/ Neil. This movie is the PERFECT accompaniment to the YOTH cd set. Loved all of these songs, Loved Broken Arrow, Loved Jim Jarmusch filming/editing, Loved Dead Man, Loved Pancho's Drummer Jokes. Didn't love Neil ragging on Billy on the tour bus (but loved that "behind the scenes" moment).
And I abso-freakin'-loutley LOVED the German fans intro to like a Hurricane.

At 6/08/2017 08:48:00 PM, Blogger Paul OnTheBeach said...

This live take of Pocahontas was an interesting idea, but pitched way too low, much like Barstool Blues from the same time period. The almost desperate reaching for the high notes of Neil mid 1970s adds incalculable drama to the performances of both songs.

At 6/11/2017 04:46:00 PM, Blogger John said...

He also did a cool version with The Electric Band that starts off kind of like "Fuckin' Up":

Was really surprised when it turned out to be "Pocahontas" when I heard it first.


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