Wednesday, September 11, 2019

NOW STREAMING: “Rainbow of Colors” from Neil Young & Crazy Horse Album “Colorado”

COLORADO: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
via Song of the Week | NYA

“Rainbow of Colors” from the upcoming Neil Young & Crazy Horse album “Colorado” is now streaming on Neil Young Archives as Song of the Week.

In Neil Young's post on Times-Contrarian | NYA, he says that the idea behind the song is "that we all belong together. Separating us into races and colors is an old idea whose time has passed."

We couldn't agree more Neil.

The divide and conquer approach by leaders has been quite effective over the millennia. Only now has the technique been perfected by social media tools that allows for precise profiling in order to optimize fear, distrust and anger. A new civil war for the mind if you will.

RAINBOW OF COLORS -- on our 1st listen -- seems to be a perfect song for this date today: September 11, 2001. While many are unable to re-visit this anniversary and what those events unleashed, there are many more who will never forget and continue to seek justice. But just because the truth is ugly and very hard to handle, so it will be that the truth will ultimately prevail.

COLORADO by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Release Date: October 25, 2019 - Pre-order now
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  1. living with war' that feeling, sadly another (yet beautiful) critique of our current times

  2. Another simple and to the point addition to the Neil Young canon. Love it.

  3. piece o crap.
    this isn't crazy horse

  4. Idealism.
    Unforunately, not much of that around anymore.
    We need more of it.
    Similar in sentiment to "Stand Tall".
    The live performance of that song from "Hometown" was a knockout.
    Neil has still got it. Oh yes he has.

  5. neil is still speaking truth to power

  6. Neil, please come to Red Rocks Colorado. Anthony

  7. "I'm singin' this borrowed tune
    I took from George Harrison..."

    (It's strangely similar to "Behind That Locked Door")

    1. That was my first thought as well

    2. Just heard this Neil song for the first time and the similarity was haunting me and then I realized the Harrison song and I googled them both back to back. It’s just nice to know that other people noticed and I’m not the only one. My mental health thanks you

  8. @ ChasA - yes, we can hear the similar tones of LWW in RoC. and the "Stand Tall" sentiment, as well as, speaking truth to power.

    @ Greg - now that's interesting on similar to "Behind That Locked Door". How about Dylan's "With God On Our Side"? Hear the sonic mashup?

    well, as we say way too often ... it's .... all ... one ... song ...

    somewhere over the rainbow of colors,

  9. a) it's not very good. I prefer Milky Way
    b) it's VERY similar to behind that locked door (which interestingly is about harrison's friendship with Dylan)

    Hoping the longer songs on colorado will be more in the vain of Ramada Inn/Walk Like A Giant

  10. the song got a pretty nice reaction when I saw him play it solo earlier this year. that said, yeah, it ain't that great. I've got "Colorado" preordered, of course, but i'm thinking the chances that this will be a return to form for the horse are pretty slim.

    bring on the tour!

  11. So far this album seems closer to an Americana than a Psychedelic Pill. Neil says he feels like there will be another album with the Horse so maybe we have to wait til then for a nice hard rock album. But it's only 2 songs so far. I'm keeping an open mind though. Any Horse is better than no Horse

  12. @ SHIELDagent - well, the things you learn?! interesting about harrison's friendship with Dylan. need to listen more closely perhaps.

    @ Biteme - smell the horse

    @ Shakey - more Americana than a Psychedelic Pill, agree. if we recall, Americana was just a warmup to Psychedelic Pill. perhaps similarly, Colorado just a warmup to next CH album that will bring out Ramada Inn/Walk Like A Giant monster epic stompers.

    we can dream on this harvest Moon eve...

  13. Every song, especially this sort of song (kind of a waltz or anthem) sounds like others. Like many kinds of art there is striking overlap without redundancy. In my judgment, this song is very good. It sounds a bit disheveled in the best Crazy Horse ways and Mr. Young has written lyrics that fit the tone of the song very well. More importantly, the lyrics and overall feel is empathetic rather than angry. There may be anger within but it is more like solidarity of purpose and predictive outcome for the best that comes through (unlike Rockin in the Free World or Ohio). I said in an earlier post that we should try to think about what being 73 could mean for the music. I think this is what it might mean. Less anger, more empathy as finally anger cannot be the leading emotion.

  14. Yup, several folks have nailed it. Well said, Abner.

    And Thrasher said it too, it's all one song. Mr. Soul sounds like Satisfaction, Harvest Moon sounds like Walk Right Back... it's one big cycle.

    I actually really like what Abner said, it's a protest song of hope, that isn't angry. After all, we live in an Angry World, so who needs more anger? Throw Your Hatred Down has made a return, and I don't think that's a coincidence either.

    Give me those raggedly wonderful Horse harmonies any day. If it's a warm-up of things to come, even better. Jam on, love on.

  15. Enjoy this if you can. I only lasted 30 seconds. So much other music out there that I'd rather hear filling the little time I have left.

  16. Neil's best song for 30 years ! or maybe not.

  17. I liked "Milky Way" much better. This is one of those newer Neil songs that makes me want to yell "Where's Briggs when we really need him?"

  18. To me, when it comes to protest songs, Dylan has always seemed to be the willing judge in his songs. Happy to hand out the sentence or declare one's life forfeit "..and I hope that you die and you're death will come soon.."
    Neil has seemed the unwilling jury empathizing, sympathizing, weighing the evidence, yet determined in the end to do his duty."..what if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?.."
    Recently, however, I have heard more hate in Mr. Young's lyrics and voice when it comes to these protest songs and this has turned me off. This song seems to be a return to the former for which I'm glad. It is admonishing yet hopeful. Classic Neil. It's not Ohio, few things are, but to my ear it's a solid CH tune...beautiful, ragged, sad, yet uplifting. Based of the first two tracks I'm hopeful this will be a solid record.
    You gotta crawl to be tall.

  19. I love this song and I love Neil's protest songs. Unlike Dylan Neil names names like he always has, whether it be Nixon, Bush or Judge Clarence Thomas, or even taking aim at an entire corporation. And I think these songs are going to live a long time and be important to people beyond the hardcore Rusties of the early 21st century. Neil's songs are just different, like they always have been.

  20. @ Abner - hmm, a waltz? really? a bit disheveled, yes, but it is CH.

    for us, the CH metric is "The Spook Factor". Elusive to describe but can be felt deep in the bones.

    As others get to here, the and the empathy balance is key to effectiveness and longevity.

    @ RTG - there really have been quite a few protest/anti-protest songs like AW & TYHD over the years.

    and there are no coincidences either...

    @ Art - don't despair. we'll ses you on the rail again someday my friend.

    @ Richie - Briggs is probably laughing it up with Elliot right about now. With Brother Ben nearby. pegi? she was an unknown legend.

    @ Sancho - we really find your comment here to be one of the most perceptive we've come across in awhile here on TW.

    And your thoughts really lineup with where we've been trying to take this blog for the past 20 years or so.

    Not so much to take Dylan down from the throne but to elevate Neil as a worthy peer.

    Your points on successful protest music is truly worth heavy consideration. Similar to Abner just now, the balance of anger and empathy is paramount to making the delicate job work.

    Might you have seen our recent article "Why is our protest music stuck in the past?"

    Would really like your reaction.

    This has always been the challenge with artist and their art of striking the proper balance. We maintain that much of the best art is rooted in protest. But in order to resonate with the listener/viewer, so many elements have to come together just right in order not to come off as shrill/offensive/insensitive, etc.

    As wee discuss in the blog post last week, wee consider Ohio to be a pinnacle. Magic lightening in a bottle. The timing, lyrics, rhythm, message all perfectly synced up.

    yes, you do have to crawl to be tall.

    @ Syscrusher - singing truth to power in the 21st century.

  21. Thrasher, ha ha... I don't really know much or anything about formal musical terms. I don't really understand why I called it a "waltz"- something came up in my mind. And I am right there with the group. First time I heard Zuma, when I was 16, I clearly remember saying to myself- what the hell is this?" And, "this is truly the best electric guitar I have ever heard." Something about Crazy Horse settled into my musical mind at that point and has stayed there. I thought Americana was just plain amazing.. with Clementine being wildly subversive and insanely beautiful/tragic. Thanks for your comment. I'm not any sort of expert or something. I really like this group and it is the first time I have joined in the conversation. Thanks for having me.

    1. Abner: although not a traditional waltz as such, the song is in waltz timing (though the band seem to be discovering this at the same time as the listener). So you were on the right track.

      ..Probably the most disheveled-sounding "edge of collapse" Crazy Horse performance ever, though Nils' guitar holds it together (just about).


  22. Thank you for your kind response to my inane musing.
    I only speak from my own perspective, but I find the most powerful protest music provokes and advances a debate. You are correct, I feel, in your assessment that Ohio is the paramount of the protest song along with Dylan's Blowing in the Wind and Lennon's Imagine (both of which Neil has covered not, I think, by accident) they don't pass judgement so much as elicite from the listener answers to questions. "We're finally on our own" Now what?? Neil names Nixon which is brave and direct, but he never says Nixon is a bad President or even that you shouldn't trust him. He does what a good poet should and makes us view the events from another perspective....look beyond the tin soldiers. The Campaigner for me is another of Young's great works of protest "the speaker talks of the beautiful saves, that went down long before he played his roll" Again he doesn't paint in black and white but instead even offers empathy "even Richard Nixon has got soul". It's a beautiful and sorely underrated imho. "One more kid that will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool" again no conclusion. Is it the parent's fault, society's, the government's? It's up to the listener to find out for themselves. To think about the problem and what it might mean to them. Great poetry. Today's protest music, including most of Neil's recent work, has been less about forcing debate more about pressing an agenda. I might agree with that agenda, but I did or didnt before i listened to the song and that opinion informs my reaction to the song. It also makes the song seem boring and unimaginative because there is nothing new contained within. I have not heard the Swift song the article refers too but i suspect this to be the case. Everyone knew of the events at Kent State by the time they heard Ohio, what they reacted to was the unique interpretation contained within Neil's words. Few people have simplistic opinions usually they are more complex and a truely good protest song capitalizes on this by making us challenge our perspective. Neil at his best does this perhaps better than anyone. I heard screaming and bullwhips cracking. How long? How long?

  23. @ Abner - really do appreciate your sharing thoughts here.

    a waltz. a jig. an anthem. it's all good.

    As for Americana, good to see appreciated here. Like so much of neil's vast back catalog, over looked, misunderstood, neglected. The videos, like for Clementine are quite essential.

    Certainly the Americana vids are due for a retrospective in Hearse Th.

    thanks for joining our little conversation here. we realize that things can get rough and ugly from time to time. it's an angry world and we try and do our best to navigate the delicate line of freedom of expression. sometimes we fail spectacularly, often in our hast to post, edit, moderate, curate, upload, download, index, proof, spellcheck, etc

    so apologies to all who have been offended by our brusqueness in attempting to crowdsource the wheat. so much chaff, so little truth.

    we try, we do. try.

    @ Sancho- hey, like w/ Abner, welcome to our little conversation.

    Please try and drop by again.

    As for your comment here, we'd like to make a comment of the moment sometime. When we get back to the subject again, we'll re-visit.

    in the meantime -- peace

    1. Thrasher: I think Americana is a rare case of the music videos actually adding something special to the experience. The "vintage" footage they dug up and very creatively edited together fits the music like a glove. For this reason the Americana blu-ray is a must-watch for those who only have the audio. They tried to repeat the formula with the Psychedelic Pill videos, but it didn't work quite as well second time around.


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  25. Re: Rainbow Of Colors. Commendable "message" aside, it does feel somewhat pedestrian musically and lyrically.

    And as with Milky Way, there's that familiar sense the band are learning the song at the same time the listener is; the "first take" principle taken to its (not entirely flattering) extreme.

    Neil's best songs tend to be those that have grown from their (non-GMO) seeds of inspiration into something special, and Milky Way feels like a song branching out more confidently and more inventively than the agreeable-but-not-particularly-riveting (and very straightforward) Rainbow Of Colours.

    So overall I found Milky Way the more interesting and enjoyable of the two we've heard so far. I noticed with The Vistor that the two preview tracks really didn't really represent the colourful, sprawling, spaghetti-western feel of the album as a whole, and from the previews this time around it's still unclear what direction Colorado is going to gallop in. The eerie, multi-layered album cover art seems more closely matched to the dream-like Milky Way than it does to Rainbow Of Colors.


  26. PS

    If I were going to pick a record to show someone how great a band Crazy Horse are, I might well pick something from Zuma or Ragged Glory or Psychedelic Pill. I don't think I'd pick this version of Rainbow Of Colors.

    But the hilarious thing is that Crazy Horse can put across the most shambolic performance imaginable and it still works, and sounds more engaging than what a group of pro session musicians could do with the same raw materials.

    In 2019 they are the rock 'n' roll equivalent of an old stone-built farmhouse. There might not be running water or an indoor toilet, but the property itself was constructed with pride to weather the storm; built to last. It's been standing 75 years and likely will be for another 700.

    And as any builder will tell you, the crucial thing is to build on a solid foundation. Crazy Horse have long since mastered the pure fundamentals, the foundation of Neil's art, and from there it's very hard to go wrong.

    (Check out Trans Am and it's flipside Piece Of Crap from Sleep With Angels for a musical exploration of the same concept).


  27. Scotsman made me search my memory for the word "waltz" in relation to this new song. I think I read it in some review, the same one that he refers to when he says the band is close to falling apart. Sorry about that everyone. I can't remember what review.

    By the way, as far as rough comments go and so forth, I am done with putting anyone down and I don't like sarcasm as responses to serious ideas. I have spent a lot of time dealing with harsh debate in my career and generally I find that the best outcomes are the result of cooperative and engaged discussion. This does not rule out tough criticism, but it means that we are all working together.

    Scotsman, where did I get "waltz"? JP

    1. ...although not a traditional ballroom piano waltz, Neil's new song (and George Harrison's Behind That Locked Door) does have 3 beats to the bar which is the same as waltz timing (as also heard on Only Love Can Break Your Heart and The Old Country Waltz). So you are very much on the right track JP.


  28. Rainbow of Colors = redundant lyric

    Doesn't the word 'rainbow' imply colors by definition?


  29. I found it, somebody from "Spin" magazine called Rainbow of Colors are "waltz" and I repeated the word (I did not intend to lift it from the reviewer). Scotsman, I am glad to know it is not far from the truth, especially for the person who actually reviews songs and records! Something else Scotsman said that reminds me of a crucial aesthetic point. These first two songs might become something else entirely depending on what surrounds them. I am more inclined toward narrative art and fiction than I am to music, but in the best art it is generally true that parts are not separable from the whole. Art as ecology. I have been most disappointed by Neil Young when he makes albums where there are two or so great songs that don't work well with the other songs or where, I think, the songs could be that much greater if they were surrounded by different songs. Frankly, I thought this was true about Walk Like a Giant and Ramada Inn. I did not care much for the other songs and had a hard time seeing how they really contributed to a whole. One other point made by Scotsman that seems right on target- those videos from Americana make me think that Neil had a much larger and frightening set of ideas that never quite came through. The Coming Round the Mountain video scared the hell out of me as did the music. Nightmare sequences.


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