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Thursday, August 29, 2019

STREAMING PREVIEW: "Milky Way" on COLORADO, New Album by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

COLORADO by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Release Date: October 25, 2019 - Pre-order now
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"Milky Way" -- the first song to emerge from COLORADO, the upcoming album by Neil Young & Crazy Horse -- is now streaming on NYA and YouTube (see below).

"Milky Way" runs just under six minutes and is listed as Track #7. (See complete track list for COLORADO) Upon listening to "Milky Way" , some feel that the song "has a Sleeps with Angels era feel to it". Some hear a Cowgirl in the Sand jam. Others hear "a slow Dangerbird meeting tunes from AYP, SWA or maybe On The Beach." (Thanks DREman, RedSun Dunn & Phil!)

Billy, Neil, Nils, & Ralph - April 2019

via Neil Young Archives | Times Contrarian
photo: dhlovelife

In other news, ‘Mountaintop Sessions’ -- a documentary film about the making of COLORADO -- has been delayed and being re-scheduled for viewing at a future date on NYA.

Also, see A MESSAGE FROM NEIL YOUNG - COLORADO: "new album.. new movie.. new video..:" | NYA .

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At 8/29/2019 06:26:00 PM, Blogger windsaloft said...

mountaintop sessions was never scheduled, only an excerpt from them (milky way).

gotta say, after viewing "muddy track" again the other night, some of that shit hasn't aged well. the homophobia in particular. neil was in a weird fuckin' place back then.

At 8/29/2019 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Shakey said...

Definitely heard Words in the opening 5 seconds and guitars were very reminiscent of the Are You Passionate album

At 8/30/2019 01:01:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

The exclusive NYA preview is over now and Milky Way can be streamed and downloaded at all the usual places (plus the Colorado album is available for preorder in advance of a scheduled Oct. 25 release). It's also on YouTube:

At 8/30/2019 01:08:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What muddy track you referring to?

At 8/30/2019 05:57:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

What connects Neil's most exciting albums? I think they are the ones that take us on the most exciting journey.

Within the word "emotional" is "motion". A listener who shuts her eyes and listens to Greendale, Earth, Weld or Sleeps With Angels will be at a completely different spiritual place at the end of the album to where she was at the beginning. And too much production or saturated instrumentation is like a traffic jam: a lot of noise, a lot of horn, but no one is going anywhere.

Neil and Crazy Horse remain the masters of keeping the traffic moving. And it's not only true love that travels on a gravel road, but great music, too. Even on first listen, Milky Way took me somewhere. And it's one of those tracks that only comes half way to meet you. So it's definitely a grower, one you'll give a few listens to before it really sinks in.

It opens tentatively and fades out just as it reaches a peak. I love the ghosting echo which comes out of nowhere on the words "night" and "ladder". Nils Lofgren on guitar is perfect, just as Poncho was (and maybe will be again in future). Nils is the kind of guy can play everything, and he's also the guy who understands that "everything" isn't usually what is required. That's a great combination. A master of his art. And what a treat to hear him on a Neil record again.

Milky Way might not possess what you'd call "wow factor", but it has the spook, more so than just about anything in recent memory. You feel it in your spine or soul as much as your head.

It stays with you and plays on your soul after it's finished, and there's a word for that: haunting. This is the most haunting Neil Young track since the last Horse album.


At 8/30/2019 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Mark from T.O. said...

Gotta love it...and judging by the comments spilling out on the Youtube version of the song so do most listeners, who I'd surmise are plugged-in fans given that it has just been released. Link provided again below...

At 8/30/2019 10:39:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Thats the best version Ive heard yet. At least the vocals are not as shrill and tin-y. I like the meandering hollow body sound. I think it has a chance to beat PP which is a high bar (easy) to limbo under. If it means a tour thats whats most important to me. Like I always say hes the shark that must keep moving to stay alive. If he couldnt continually write new music he would just give it up altogether. We take the good w the bad and our opinions vary widely.

At 8/30/2019 11:14:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

In short, I hear many of the echoes or referents that others are picking out. A listener could, if they were so inclined, "read" or analyze the track as a musical pastiche of sorts to previous NY & CH songs and sounds. I think that would be a little unfair, painting with a broad brush so to speak. However, an interesting angle nonetheless.

What others term "the spook", or journey, I think I'll be so bold as to specify as tension. The title songs of "On the Beach" and "Are you Passionate?" deliver this with gusto, and this new "Milky Way" is approaching the same territory. The gradual but persistent rhythm in tandem with Neil's vocals, which I think have grown more edgy as he now must stretch farther for the upper register, reflect perhaps an emotional push-and-pull in both the author and the listener, a mixture of apprehension and giddy anticipation as to where it all will go.

In fact, that's the question I found myself when the vocal started: where is this leading, structurally--the melody and the lyric? NY's lyrics are certainly a grade more prosaic in the past (if I said that he occasionally gets slightly wordy, I'd sure be one to talk!), and one curious facet is to see how the music keeps pace with this challenging departure from a tighter poetic approach grounded in meter and verse.

Since I'm not and rarely have been a student of music theory, my impressions are... well... impressionistic. But then, if NY&CH have any music theory themselves, I'm fairly certain it's of an unorthodox flavor. The music and words drift and even wander a bit, before tautening and leaving this listener's initial questions only partly answered. Which, to be fair, is about the most one can expect from any piece of music, particularly on first encounter.

Above all, I suppose I'm curious to see and hear how "Milky Way" plays into the greater fabric of "Colorado". Am I the only one to notice the word "color" embedded in the name "Colorado"? (Apologies to readers in non-US English-speaking regions; unfortunately, the connection doesn't work perfectly outside of American English.) I'm sure not, but the fascinating counterpoint is that the Youtube video shows what appears to be the album cover, with images presented only in B&W. We know NY is to some extent colorblind, something I in fact didn't learn for some time. Again, not certain of where these connections are taking me, but something is afoot.

Although Oct. 25 is not showing up significantly on the lunar calendar, there will be a new moon due on Oct. 27th. The full moon, one may note, appears on the morning of Nov. 12th.

At 8/30/2019 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Tamara in Montana said...

Heard Neil play it solo in Portland and with POTR in Seattle. Haunting and lovely both times.

At 8/30/2019 08:04:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I definitely got a "Cowgirl" vibe from the song, there were a couple of bars that sounded exactly like it. The song felt old and new at the same time, a feeling that seems to creep up in great Horse tunes.

As much as I enjoy POTR, and would have no problem with Neil playin with them forever, just this six-minute song is far more powerful than anything Neil has done in the studio with Lucas and the boys. Call it the spook, the mystery, the moon cycles,'s just Neil Young and Crazy Horse doing what they've been doing for a half-century. And it's wonderful to hear.....

At 8/31/2019 12:47:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

A 'Cowgirl' vibe ? Really ? lyrics poor a meandering mess.

At 8/31/2019 01:12:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Andy, I don't particularly here "Cowgirl" myself, except for maybe the opening riff and licks.

I did mention that Neil's lyrics have been growing more prosaic. However, I find the message(s) and vibe almost startlingly clear and to-the-point. In that sense, meandering wouldn't apply. Just gave another listen and, for me at least, structure and arc increasingly apparent. Shakey's voice is a bit shakier these days, but the guitars (both Neil and Nils) are in fine form.

At first glance, perhaps not equal to the strongest moments of "The Visitor"--but I found that one, at its best, to be stratospheric. Patience will reveal where "Colorado" rests in the Neil library.

At 8/31/2019 03:37:00 AM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Hey, Andy Walters is bringing his usual positive energy to the conversation, always a treat.

A Cowgirl vibe most definitely, the chords during the verses are Am-F, listen to the first solo starting at 1:12 and the beginning of the second solo at 3:06 and tell me that doesn't sound like Cowgirl. Not saying the whole song sounds like that, but that's what my ears heard.

I just noticed the lyric about the mermaid, perhaps a nod to DH's most famous movie role.

At 8/31/2019 05:51:00 AM, Blogger Robi666 said...

"Cowgirl"? "Sleeps with Angel"? This song seems to come out straight from "Are you passionate?". More so now than live. Another fail, sorry.

At 8/31/2019 01:48:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Flyingscotzman and Ian Kertis : As usual, you both communicated my reaction to Milky Way perfectly. I couldn’t have said it better, so I won’t say anything else. Thank you both for your insightful comments.


At 8/31/2019 03:16:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thank you Dan! It's good to hear from you and Ian.


At 8/31/2019 06:42:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Just listened to the song again. Sounds ok to me not a great song. Can't understand why hole in the sky is not on the album, maybe it's on the 2 song 7'' who knows. When I first heard hole in the sky I was completely blown away, I thought it was an old song I had missed somehow.

At 8/31/2019 08:20:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Scotzman, Likewise. "I've been down the endless highway. I passed on the solid line. Now at last I'm home to you, I feel like making up for lost time."

The "Cowgirl" motifs are definitely present, as Richie mentions. However, the overall flavor of the song is different and, for me, that absorbs the passing resemblance. I wouldn't describe the song to a casual or middling fan as being "like Cowgirl", because I think it would set up the wrong expectation.

I do also hear the echoes of AYP?(another song built on tension), but for me that's not an inherent "fail". AYP? the album has its issues--I think I've expounded enough on that in the past, the whole saga from Toast on down. AYP? the song, however, was one of the album's more successful moments and, imho, is quite unfairly overlooked and discarded. It may be one of the neglected gems of NY's latter day catalogue. So, yeah, I don't mind feeling that slow burn again.

Another progenitor, I'd suggest, is "Trans Am" from SWA for its tempo and mood. Which in turn owes something to the winding, lumbering grind of "Danger Bird". None of these touchstones are direct paralleled by "Milky Way". They are more like scattered associations, flashes of the familiar. The kid got his nose from this grandfather, hair like that cousin, etc. Talk of family resemblance shouldn't be taken too literally or precisely.

Maybe we benefit from the occasional cynicism of an Andy or a Robi, balancing out the open-ended appreciations and musings to which some of us are apt. Certainly, it's not infrequently eye-opening to take in everyone's widely variant responses to the same input.

At 8/31/2019 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

One of the great things about Neil fans is that, like the man himself, all of us can view the same song in totally different ways. Reminds me of passionate discussions amongst my fellow Deadheads abouts songs, shows, and how we all individually felt about the direction of the band. It's part of the fun of a site like what Thrasher has set up here.

And when I say that this tune is like "Cowgirl", don't take that as if I'm thinking this is a total replay of that classic. Like I said in my original post, great Horse songs feel old and new at the same time. Such is the case with "Milky Way", which I feel is a strong tune.

"Change Your Mind" has the same Am-F chord progression, so that song reminds me of "Cowgirl". And "Are You Passionate?" is also a heavy Am song, so once again I can see a similarity. Let's face it, Neil has gotten a lot of mileage out of those minor chords!

As far as occasional negative comments here, there is nothing wrong with that. I got no problem criticizing Neil sometimes (don't get me started on The Visitor, ha ha), but there does seem to be a few folks here that do nothing but criticize Neil, which honestly can get pretty annoying.

At 9/01/2019 02:45:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Not being negative just my opinion that's all and thanks for not banning me. Allowing for Neil's age I agree with everyone here, but please don't tray and convince me this is Neil at the top his game. He may not reach those peaks again. His song writing style has changed he always was rather sloppy but recent releases sound very lazy.

At 9/01/2019 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Δ.Δ. said...

I really like Milky Way, it distills what I love in Neil Young with Crazy Horse sound. And I enjoy the calidoscopic quality of the song; to my ears what it resembles more (one more family resemblance, so well put by Ian Kertis) is the emotionally magnificent "You Never Call" performed in the twisted road tour.

Check the music in the verses "The starry night
with no moonshine
The day without a cloud
A long ladder
but no one climbing
A stranger in the crowd" and "You're in heaven with nothing to do
The ultimate vacation with no back pain
And all we do is work, work, work".

It's all one song, of course, a song that I always love to hear, that has accompany my whole teen and adult life, a song I am grateful beyond words that Neil Young continues to write...

At 9/01/2019 08:22:00 AM, Blogger Happy Andy said...

Andy Walters I cant recall reading any positive that you’ve said. I put you in the category of an old fool i.e., nothing is as good as Harvest wringer.

Who do you think you are? Who died and made you King? Who lied an told you you know everything?

Please go and be a Bob Dylan fan.

At 9/01/2019 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

After several listens to Milky Way, I can’t imagine anyone finding the lyrics “lazy”. Neil has always been (and still is) a skilled lyricist. Sometimes very direct, other times metaphorical, but never lazy. He knows what he’s doing and what he’s saying in everything he has written.

Listen to Expecting To Fly, or The Old Laughing Lady. His first solo album is filled with metaphors. Then try Living With War, talk about being lyrically direct.

Sometimes he strips everything down to simplicity like The Needle and the Damage Done or Beautiful Bluebird from Chrome Dreams II.

As for other songs that Milky Way resembles, I can hear Are You Passionate in there but as Neil has said before, “I’ve been ripping myself off for decades”.

Maybe I’ve used the wrong comparisons here but I strongly take exception to the idea that Neil’s lyrics are lazy.


At 9/01/2019 05:19:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Dan, You're right. There's a major distinction between prosaic (as I said) and lazy. In this case, the latter is considerably wide of the mark. It seems like the discussion might take a more productive turn if Andy W. could bring some specificity into his reactions/objections, rather than dealing in broad generalities. "Lazy", "sloppy", or "meandering" don't mean that much if unqualified or not supported with details.

I know we're all speaking here about ephemera and subjective impressions, as that's the nature of appreciating and/or interpreting art.

Moreover, comparing every new thing that comes along to the halcyon days, although understandable, will result in a grading curve--and not necessarily a favorable one. At some point, one has to take in what is, rather than what was or may have been--the goal, imho, is to be neither blinded by nostalgia or clouded with disenchantment, which may just be different faces of the same coin after all.

"Watch where you're going, not where you've been" is the version I heard growing up. Nowadays, it seems relevant in more ways than one.

@Happy Andy, lol at at your handle, which I don't remember seeing before. I imagine you felt the need to differentiate yourself for evident reasons.

At 9/02/2019 01:27:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

@John: Hole in the Sky is from 2013, it's scheduled for the live Alchemy release from that tour (if and when that ever happens). The bonus single with the Colorado vinyl is the live solo debut of Rainbow of Colors in Portland, backed with the Horse version of Truth Kills (new song performed only once live, solo in Minneapolis).

At 9/02/2019 01:58:00 AM, Blogger Phil said...

Have you seen the news about Crazy Horse show at Catalyst in 1990 ? Should be released soon on NYA. Am I dreaming ????? 3 hours show including T-Bone ????

At 9/02/2019 04:26:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

I've seen brief clips of this video, had no idea whether they had more of it in the Archive. So it's a surprise and will definitely be a treat to see.

The one word that may be dreaming in your statement is "soon", however. ;-)

...its fantastic that they are now putting together a decent schedule of movie nights to get people into the habit of using the site regularly.


At 9/02/2019 04:38:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

I've seen the criticism elsewhere that the performance of Milky Way is rough. It's true that it sounds like the band are learning the song at the same time the listener is.

I think in this case the performance works, however. Which is all that matters. It's one of those songs that could easily become a little bland or too smooth, and in this form it has a bit of an edge to it; that thrill and urgency that comes from knowing it's on the precipice of collapse. It's got a bit of an attitude to it.


At 9/02/2019 05:06:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

What people hear as laziness in Neil's writing tends to be Neil's preference for taking the first idea that pops into his head.

And this is something I disagree with Neil about. His best work often tends to be when he's willing to grapple with the song a bit, to dance with it until it develops out of embryonic state.

Of course, sometimes the burst of inspiration delivers the song fully-formed in 5 minutes, and that's fantastic. But we know that many of Neil's best songs needed some extra persistence to evolve into something truly special.

It's not nothing to do with over-thinking and everything to do with giving the inspiration the time and commitment it needs to be fully realised.

Other songs, of course, become *worse* with time. And all the extra persistence does is slow down the whole project. And that's what this is all about. One of Neil's tendencies is to be a bit of a perfectionist, and the "effortless" strategy at the other extreme is his way of countering that.

But my point is that his best songs tend to be created when he's in in the middle ground, a compromise of pure inspiration and a period of intense focus and persistence. I thought The Visitor was a good project because it saw Neil expanding horizons a bit, giving his songwriting muscle a healthy work out.


At 9/02/2019 10:24:00 AM, Blogger John said...

Is this special edition widely available or only from Neil’s site? don’t even have a standard vinyl version listed, just CD and digital download.

At 9/02/2019 11:59:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

There's been very little to be positive about in the last few years but I'm pleased Happy Andy is Mr Happy. I just think you've lowered your expectations so your'e not disappointed. At a good old age it's great Neil is still relevant but I'm not convinced any of this work will be looked back with fondness apart from the very loyal fans here. Enjoy.

At 9/02/2019 02:07:00 PM, Blogger the rider said...

I think Milky Way has a similar melody and chord progression to Cowgirl, with the bridge of the song very similar to the chorus of You Never Call. And even though I like Cowgirl and You Never Call more then I like Milky Way, I still enjoy listening to this new track. Having seen the recent solo show in Portland, and having heard all of his recent solo shows, I think there is alot to like about Neil's new songs. Green Is Blue is a very powerful/poetic pro environment number. Olden Days is just stunningly beautiful melodically and lyrically. Eternity is very catchy. I also like Rainbow Of Colors, even though it sounds very similar to the old campfire singalong "On Top Of Old Smokey". I believe that Neil's recent Portland show was the best show he ever played in Oregon! He performed my all time favorite live version of Expecting To Fly on his burnt grand piano. I think this is probably the same piano that he played Soldier on in his 1st movie. Because in the book Shakey, it says that his piano was partially melting from the intense flames.

At 9/02/2019 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Neil has admitted that his first solo album was overworked to an extent, and so he was intent on his second album being more relaxed and intuitive. He succeeded in spades. David Briggs has been the only person who was actually able to challenge Neil in the studio which resulted in a string of brilliant records. Even before Briggs passed away Neil would work with other producers and musicians in and out of the studio, but his songwriting was always uniquely Neil Young.

Many years of people demanding Harvest II would finally be answered with Harvest Moon (in a vague sort of way), but Neil has always been one to keep moving. Like a shark, he’s always in motion. Pushing himself into new and unexplored territories with mixed results. He has never been afraid of failure. Instead, he embraces failure. For him, mistakes are crucial to finding his way to the muse, that elusive entity that is responsible for beauty and meaningful work.

During the past decade I have heard him express his observations about himself and the world around him in so many different ways that I find his songs to be works of great insight and unique perspective that has profoundly influenced my life. For that I am eternally grateful.

I don’t live and breathe Neil Young like some do, but I would definitely place him in my top 5 favorite songwriters ever. He continues to release thought provoking music and always surprises me with all his unexpected turns. I think for me it’s the unexpected I enjoy the most from Neil’s music, so therefore over the years I have learned to approach each album without any expectations. I keep my mind open and allow what he releases to ferment awhile before I consider judgment on success or failure from my perspective. As we all know here on Thrashers Wheat, Neil has finished dozens of albums only to shelve them for decades. When he lets one out for public consumption you better believe that he is proud of it, and as a fan, I’m going to take it in and let it percolate before I know it. I hope that makes sense.


At 9/02/2019 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Happy Andy said...

Andy Walters, Andy, Andy, Andy. Sad Andy.

Milky Way is an excellent track and I for one are looking forward to listening to Colorado. I’m sure that there will be a few surprises as usual.

Andy Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter has nothing on you. Such a closed mind when it comes to new Neil Young music makes me wonder if you actually buy any modern music.

At 9/02/2019 08:59:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

congratulations "Dan Swan". Every point you try to make is obvious and you even plagiarized my Shark comment. Come up with something a NY fan doesn't know already. Better yet dont.

At 9/02/2019 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Wsanjjose01. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I was unaware of your shark reference, but I commend you for your creativity. As for your kind suggestion that I don’t, I will consider it. Again, thank you for being so insightful and kind. It does not go unnoticed.


At 9/03/2019 08:57:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Ian; The Metamorphic Rocker - really great observations. thanks for sharing.

re-posted as Comment of the Moment @

@ Dan & wsanjose01 - it's all one comment.

@ All - we truly appreciate everyone's thoughts and opinions who thoughtfully participated in this generally respectful discussion.


At 9/03/2019 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

2nd Row Orchestra Stage Right Aisle ticket available for Neil & the Real in Indianapolis 9/19/19. Email me at if interested.


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“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat