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Neil Young — Cortez The Killer
Album: Zuma
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2105









Released: 1975
Length: 7:20
Plays (last 30 days): 0
He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
And that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wandered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

And they carried them to the flatlands
But they died along the way
And they built up with their bare hands
What we still can't do today.

And I know she's living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can't remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.
Comments (430)add comment
 cc_rider wrote:
I still love this song, even if it is not entirely accurate. Cortez certainly was a killer - as was that Columbus fellow - but the indigenous folks were no angels.
c.
 
Yes, no angels, nasty wars and raids, but they understood nature, had an affinity with it, lived with it and revered it, in a way far deeper than we collectively have not learned five whole brutal goddamn centuries later.  And whether that is a definitive threshold or not, the irrefutable fact remains that it was their land.  And if in alternative history the Natives had mounted a lethal campaign of conquest, pillage and genocide, and justified it in the name of their gods, what would have been the Spanish (or other Eurotrash) reaction? 
I still love this song, even if it is not entirely accurate. Cortez certainly was a killer - as was that Columbus fellow - but the indigenous folks were no angels.
c.
My favorite Neil song on my favorite Neil album.
WOW....more Outstanding "9" Classic Rock....
 haretic wrote:
<snip, snip, snip> 

Oh, BTW: this song is certainly one of my least favorites from Neil Young.
At best, it just reminds me of my own naive and stubborn adherence to a sentimental kind of denial-fantasy at that age. 

Yes, indeed: a "sentimental kind of denial-fantasy" that began to crumble during my late teens in the mid-1970s.  Life became so cold, cruel, and loveless; not at all like the small-town family life I had enjoyed up until then.

Hard to let go of the lofty ideals that had been rules for navigating everyday social interactions.  For many years (ten? twelve?) I was also a cold, cruel, and loveless man.

Having babies changed that, and the dozen nieces and nephews that followed.  I rediscovered the goodness in humanity, however small it may be, and worked hard to nurture the generation following me in the ways of living in harmony with nature and other humans.

These days, as glimpses of retirement shine in the near term, three new grandsons have rekindled love for nature, family, and the simple glory of a heartfelt grin.

Cortez was a killer, but we don't have to be.
perfection
 Otomi wrote:

Díaz's lengthy chronicle is indeed highly readable. Another well-written and thoroughly researched account is William Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843). For the Aztec side, read Miguel León-Portilla's book The Broken Spears. It has some minor translation problems (from Nahuatl to Spanish then into English), but you can get a good idea of how the Conquest was seen and felt from a native perspective. If you can get your hands on the Dibble & Anderson translation of book 12 of the Florentine Codex, you can see a transcription of a Nahuatl text regarding the Conquest, including illustrations drawn by native scribes, with an English translation.
 
One of my favorite novels is Aztec by Gary Jennings. I cannot testify as to its historical accuracy, but certainly the author was aiming at authenticity. Written from the POV of one Aztec man over the entire course of his life, it is a vivid portrayal of life as an Aztec noble during the Spanish/European conquest. I found it just riveting.
(I must mention: Aztec describes some gory events in disturbing detail).
Based on your recommendation, I may try to read Prescott's history; but my track record for finishing purely factual histories is poor.
Thanks, Otomi.
Oh, BTW: this song is certainly one of my least favorites from Neil Young.
At best, it just reminds me of my own naive and stubborn adherence to a sentimental kind of denial-fantasy at that age.
Dropping this to a 5, although I'm not clear why anyone would care.
Egods: how I do love Radio Paradise! Thank you, Bill and Rebecca.
I always forget how much I like this song , until I realize it was the Dave Matthews version that I adore. Anything by Neil Young I turn off .. but this one .. gets a pass. 
Neil is positively tone-tastic on this one! 
It's amazing to me how much Wilco's current guitar work resembles what you hear on this song.
 alexandersmcmillan wrote:
This song always makes me recall the haunting ending of Mel Gibson's film "Apocalypto" when the protagonist and his attacker are stopped dead in their tracks on a beach as Spanish ships loom in the distance across the water.
 
Holy Cow!  I saw Apocalypto last night -- first time.  Unbelievably incredible movie, with the equally powerful ending you describe.  Cortez the Killer, indeed.

By the way, this song is pure emotion, isn't it?  Anybody that thinks rock'n'rollers are a bunch of dimwitted stoners ... well, these lyrics are proof we aren't. 
Nobody plays guitar like Neil Young. Fantastic!
 chyk5 wrote:
Built to Spill recorded an amazing 20 minute version of this on their 2000 live album. 
 
Who do they think they are? The Allman Brothers?
love the live in New York version by Dave Matthews too
Fond memories of live band playing this at my 9th grade dance in 1981, and slow dancing with my date to it.
This song always makes me recall the haunting ending of Mel Gibson's film "Apocalypto" when the protagonist and his attacker are stopped dead in their tracks on a beach as Spanish ships loom in the distance across the water.
I love this song, but like it better on Live Rust.  The flow of Powderfinger -> Cortez The Killer is awesome back-to-back.
Built to Spill recorded an amazing 20 minute version of this on their 2000 live album. 
 Highlowsel wrote:
I like this song but must admit it's becoming a classic example of an artistic mis-interpretation of the history of a region. 
 
"Hate was just a legend.  War was never known."
 
Really?  History says it was just as blood-soak as the history of those who went on to conquered them was.  It's the legacy we humans carry with us every where we go. We are one hellaciously murderous species ain't we?  Not only with each other, but with damn near everything else on this planet.  It seems our nature.  So it goes...
 
My thoughts, exactly. I've struggled with those lines before, though I love the tune. When I look at the date the album was released, I have to cut Neil some slack, though. We know so much more about the grisly history of colonization than we did in 1975, when Neil wrote this revelatory piece on the killers who came to these shores—and kill they did. Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States wasn't published until 1980 and we had all been fed pap in school about the travels of explorers (conquerers) such as Columbus, Cortez, and Pizzaro who claimed the lands they "discovered" for the King of Spain.

Neil gets the big picture when he names Cortez "the killer." The Indigenous peoples Cortez conquered (the Aztecs) were also human, as you point out, and did their share of killing. However the blood and iron warfare the Europeans had developed was on a different plane than that of the Aztecs whose wars were ceremonial in nature and aimed at taking sacrificial captives. Cortez applied a European dominator value system to a people who lived in harmony with the land and were completely unable to withstand the onslaught of the conquistadors.
3 chords, weird voice, mediocre guitar skills. Only Neil could make it so great!
Neil's dirty guitar sound here is perfect!
Love, love, love this song and all of this ilk of Neil Young's style!
 
"The woman all were beautiful and the men all were strong." Yup, and the children were all above average. 
The live version on Weld is really good.
 Highlowsel wrote:
I like this song but must admit it's becoming a classic example of an artistic mis-interpretation of the history of a region. 
 
"Hate was just a legend.  War was never known."
 
Really?  History says it was just as blood-soak as the history of those who went on to conquered them was.  It's the legacy we humans carry with us every where we go. We are one hellaciously murderous species ain't we?  Not only with each other, but with damn near everything else on this planet.  It seems our nature.  So it goes...
 
Point taken. I write this knowing I really like this tune, but ...
I suppose real conflict and past suffering is rendered more palatable when set to music with compelling lyrics...?
I like this song but must admit it's becoming a classic example of an artistic mis-interpretation of the history of a region. 
 
"Hate was just a legend.  War was never known."
 
Really?  History says it was just as blood-soak as the history of those who went on to conquered them was.  It's the legacy we humans carry with us every where we go. We are one hellaciously murderous species ain't we?  Not only with each other, but with damn near everything else on this planet.  It seems our nature.  So it goes...
As close to "colonialist" history a lot of folk will ever get. Neil would have been a good prof too. The kind kids would flock to his classes to hear the stories told. Oh wait...
Not a Neil fan but this song is great.  Built to Spill does a killer version of it.  {#Bananajam}
 idiot_wind wrote:

Low...you are absolutely correct!

It's just that we don't hear enough from them (I would add Joe B) compared to hearing too much from mediocre RnR bands with mediocre guitar players that do a lot of posing and get annointed as a great RnR band. This is because there is such a void today of great RnR bands.       

 
Yes and it always baffled me as to how or why there is no Gov't Mule/Warren Haynes on RP. Surely Bill & Rebecca must have heard of them. A great band and some of the best musicians alive today. But they wouldn't play the record company sell-out routine so maybe that's it. (?)

HEY BILL —




{#Dance} soooooooooooo good ! one of my favorite neil albums, evert song so good / thanks bill
 Bert7 wrote:
While this is just as fabulous Warren Haynes plays a wicked guitar with Dave Matthews on this song... Really worth a listen.

 
True, dat!
really nice guitar.... classic Neil.... there are definitely great guitarists today....Gary Clark Jr..... but the guitar doesn't speak out like the masters of "a few" years ago.... and the greatest had their own style that can be identified instantly which I don't really find today.....just my opinion
 
While this is just as fabulous Warren Haynes plays a wicked guitar with Dave Matthews on this song... Really worth a listen.
beautiful, poignant. always a place in my heart for this. 
 jbuhl wrote:
fckn galactic

 
great post dude
fckn galactic
 h8rhater wrote:

Sure... Dave Grohl, although Pat Smear does a lot of the heavy guitar lifting in the Foos. 

The proposition that somehow no one today can play the guitar as well as past masters would seem to fall flat on its face at utterance.  That being said... if it's a list you want, a list you shall get.  These guys/gals can get me "high" just like the names in your list:  Derek Trucks, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Jimmy Herring, Jack White, Pat Smear, Warren Haynes, Taylor Goldsmith, Brittany Howard, Al Schnier, Dave Auerbach, Luther Dickenson, Joe Bonamassa, Ben Harper, Tom Morello... I could go on. 

There are many more.

 
Well said, H8rhater.  A good list for sure.  I can think of a few adds, but that's really not the point.  This notion that RnR guitar attained perfection decades ago and no contemporary can come close, is ridiculous.  
got bored after the first hour or so... PSD saves the day again.
 idiot_wind wrote:


Hey h8rhater, 

Please name some of today's best guitar players; that showcase guitar playing, like this. Or can get you "high" like Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Neil Young, Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Beck, Steve Howe. etc. etc. etc. 

Who they be? Dave Grohl? 

  

 
Sure... Dave Grohl, although Pat Smear does a lot of the heavy guitar lifting in the Foos. 

The proposition that somehow no one today can play the guitar as well as past masters would seem to fall flat on its face at utterance.  That being said... if it's a list you want, a list you shall get.  These guys/gals can get me "high" just like the names in your list:  Derek Trucks, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Jimmy Herring, Jack White, Pat Smear, Warren Haynes, Taylor Goldsmith, Brittany Howard, Al Schnier, Dave Auerbach, Luther Dickenson, Joe Bonamassa, Ben Harper, Tom Morello... I could go on. 

There are many more.


Along with Trucks and Haynes, I would add Sonny Landreth and Nels Cline. Masters all.
 LowPhreak wrote:

I can name two that also happen to be among the best in the world today: Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

 
Grohl? Cripes....great drummer, shoulda stuck to the skins and kept away from the douchejuice. Can rp gimme some J Mascis howbout? Dinosaur Jr just sold out 7 nights at the Bowery Ballroom and covered Cortez every night, with fantastic guests shredding the shit outta this....check the interwebs.
 LowPhreak wrote:

I can name two that also happen to be among the best in the world today: Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

 
Low...you are absolutely correct!

It's just that we don't hear enough from them (I would add Joe B) compared to hearing too much from mediocre RnR bands with mediocre guitar players that do a lot of posing and get annointed as a great RnR band. This is because there is such a void today of great RnR bands.       
 idiot_wind wrote:


Hey h8rhater, 

Please name some of today's best guitar players; that showcase guitar playing, like this. Or can get you "high" like Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Neil Young, Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Beck, Steve Howe. etc. etc. etc. 

Who they be? Dave Grohl? 

  

 
I can name two that also happen to be among the best in the world today: Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.
 coloradojohn wrote:
I can never forget how TFG sat me down in the armchair between Conehead's massive speakers at a raging E-school Windowpane Party at The Brown Hole in Rolla, MO, cranked this up, and commanded me to sit there until it was done... It was ENLIGHTENING...

 
{#Cool}
I can never forget how TFG sat me down in the armchair between Conehead's massive speakers at a raging E-school Windowpane Party at The Brown Hole in Rolla, MO, cranked this up, and commanded me to sit there until it was done... It was ENLIGHTENING...
First heard this in college in 1976.

It still blows me away.

(lyrics are a little iffy on the facts)
 
 h8rhater wrote:

You had me believing that the usual wind wasn't blowing... until you had to write the second paragraph indicting all 21st century guitar.  Know when to stop.

 

Hey h8rhater, 

Please name some of today's best guitar players; that showcase guitar playing, like this. Or can get you "high" like Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Neil Young, Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Beck, Steve Howe. etc. etc. etc. 

Who they be? Dave Grohl? 

  
impeccable
Bliss!
 idiot_wind wrote:
Here's the thing. There was a time when guitar playing was a big part of every RNR song and people kept experimenting and pushing the envelope. That's what ole Neil is doing. And he's doing it as the something authentic and he doesn't give a shit what people really think. HE IS TREATING IT AS ART!

But in the 21st century, guitar playing is pretty much dead as an art form. None one is pushing boundaries. They are following a formula...mostly a "thud and drone" formula.  It ain't art no more!

    

 
You had me believing that the usual wind wasn't blowing... until you had to write the second paragraph indicting all 21st century guitar.  Know when to stop.
"A little bit of historical revisionism from Neil Young"

Hilarious.   No kidding, eh?  
Fuggin CORTEZ!
Yes.!
I think everytime I listen to this song on RP I vote again and again and my score incresases. It is a dirty, pure, honest feeling sound perfectly tailored with the smashing lyrics. As a Spaniard I am not particularly proud of the way the Americas were conquered ...
 idiot_wind wrote:
Here's the thing. There was a time when guitar playing was a big part of every RNR song and people kept experimenting and pushing the envelope. That's what ole Neil is doing. And he's doing it as the something authentic and he doesn't give a shit what people really think. HE IS TREATING IT AS ART!

But in the 21st century, guitar playing is pretty much dead as an art form. None one is pushing boundaries. They are following a formula...mostly a "thud and drone" formula.  It ain't art no more!

    

 
While I get the sentiment I've got to point out that 'ol Neil might be treating it (guitar playing) as art when he's doin' his "thang," but sometimes  that "thang" he achieves just ain't art.  Sometimes it's...."Oh Neil...just put it away and stop already...." 

Treating something as Art does not make it so. 

This takes nothing away from the man and his creativity.  It's only to say I'm not gonna bow when he craps and call out "Hallelujah ART!"  Nope..sometimes it's just a big steaming heap of.....stink.   But hey...with creativity sometimes that's what you get, eh?

As for guitar playing in today's world....well....that's a bit harsh ain't it?  My views a bit different.  Yes what passes as music in todays world of homogeneity is musical pap exuding from the guitar.  It's a prime reason why I keep listening to RP.  But even so t there's some good stuff going on out there today, too.  You just got's to poke around to find it sometimes.  Commercial music can be bleeech!  But not all of it is so, nor the musicianship either. 

Just sayin' is all.

Highlow
American Net'Zen
Here's the thing. There was a time when guitar playing was a big part of every RNR song and people kept experimenting and pushing the envelope. That's what ole Neil is doing. And he's doing it as the something authentic and he doesn't give a shit what people really think. HE IS TREATING IT AS ART!

But in the 21st century, guitar playing is pretty much dead as an art form. None one is pushing boundaries. They are following a formula...mostly a "thud and drone" formula.  It ain't art no more!

    
get on with it! {#Lol}
Most of Neil Young seems to work much better for me if stoned out on something—anything—the key being stoned out.
Around 2002 heard Neil play this at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, CA and I wept. "She's still loving me ..." yes, I am.
Like songs on 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,' this is classic thought-fodder Rock. Always takes me to another level! Really tasty!
 EdmoJoe wrote:
Neil is no Hendrix when it comes to guitar, but man can his sound burrow deep into you! The lead on this has so much intensity and honesty! Fantastic.

 
Wonderfully put.  Neill has indeed burrowed his sound, his guitar, his voice, his words deep into my soul.  A true genius artist- a word thrown around a little loosely but not in this case.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

See ya!
Don't let the door hit your self indulgent, turgid, miserable ass on the way out!

 
but how do you really feel
PockettVenus wrote:
Goes on forever. Self indulgent, turgid, miserable. 1 Actually had to turn radio paradise off. 
 

We get it, out of the almost 1000 ratings you've given, you don't like Neil Young and he is literally the only artist you give a "1" to.  Why not just say that instead of trying to critique the song itself?
 SuperWeh wrote:


Joe Satriani is a good guitarist but his music is pretty boring.

 
Agreed.
So glad to hear this or powderfinger on this rainy blue-gray slow-mo day. Great seg-away
Neil is no Hendrix when it comes to guitar, but man can his sound burrow deep into you! The lead on this has so much intensity and honesty! Fantastic.
 PockettVenus wrote:
Goes on forever. Self indulgent, turgid, miserable. 1 Actually had to turn radio paradise off. 
 
See ya!
Don't let the door hit your self indulgent, turgid, miserable ass on the way out!
Goes on forever. Self indulgent, turgid, miserable. 1 Actually had to turn radio paradise off. 
  Just changed it from an "11" to a "12"   {#Notworthy}

{#Dancingbanana_2}

I still can't remember when, or how I lost my way...

--wow-- 1300+ votes, and only 10 score it below a 5...  that's pretty amazing...
This one's for you Brian McCandless, wherever you are.
 sirdroseph wrote:
Is this song historically factual in any way? Nooooooooo. However, I do not remember any law instituted that states that it needs to be. Great song. 10

 
 
Indeed noooo to the historical aspect.  But then again this was written in 1975, a time when the hippie love "quotient" was high and there was this fanciful belief that other so-called "primitive" civilizations were peaceful, utopian achieving, bunches of folk.  Better than the civilization that supported the "hippies." 

I generalize, of course.  This idea completely ignored the fact that those "peaceful" types were human beings.  Civilization building and hierarchy structuring humans with ambition and ideologies.  No different in that regard from anyone else.  Mel Gibson's little movie foray into Latin civilizations with his Apocolypto certain disabuses one of the idea that they were a particularly peaceful bunch.  That and the historical record that's been revealed since 1975 shows they were a blood-thirsty bunch, too.  Human beings...it seems you put us all together and eventually a great many of our worse aspect percolates to the top.

So it goes.  (Still a great song, though - heh)

Highlow
American Net'Zen
  rdo wrote:
Yeah, those peaceful Indians...NY ought to learn about the Comanche...
  Sloggydog wrote:

Yeah those damn disrespectful New Yorkers.  Neil Young wouldn't generalise like that - just ask anyone from down south.  Seriously though a great tune.

 
Seriously!  Talk about human sacrifice.  Try getting over the bridge from Jersey these days.
 bb_matt wrote:
Surprised at the high rating. This is pretty dire at the beginning - second rate guitar noodling at best.
don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Neil Young, but I ain't gonna say somethings good just because of that. 

 
Pearls before swine.

IMO this is EPIC.
 Hungerdunger wrote:
I have to agree with bb_matt.  Whatever good qualities he possesses, he's really not a very good lead guitarist.

 

Joe Satriani is a good guitarist but his music is pretty boring.
Is this song historically factual in any way? Nooooooooo. However, I do not remember any law instituted that states that it needs to be. Great song. 10
 rdo wrote:
Yeah, those peaceful Indians...NY ought to learn about the Comanche...
 
Yeah those damn disrespectful New Yorkers.  Neil Young wouldn't generalise like that - just ask anyone from down south.  Seriously though a great tune.
Love it.
I have to agree with bb_matt.  Whatever good qualities he possesses, he's really not a very good lead guitarist.
Yeah, those peaceful Indians...NY ought to learn about the Comanche...
Check out Built to Spill's Live version of this song sometime.  Mind-melting.
 bb_matt wrote:
Surprised at the high rating. This is pretty dire at the beginning - second rate guitar noodling at best.
don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Neil Young, but I ain't gonna say somethings good just because of that. 

 
What are talking about? This is a Neil classic, of which he has many. 
Surprised at the high rating. This is pretty dire at the beginning - second rate guitar noodling at best.
don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Neil Young, but I ain't gonna say somethings good just because of that. 
I absolutely love long winding guitar intros before the the lyrics! When your song is song good you can rock out for a while before you sing...Brilliant.

Ten.  'Nuff said.


This must be his best, but hey, you can´t just ignore Psychedelic Pill. There are some marvellous tracks on that CD as well.
 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
No one quite manages to take you away into the dreamy spheres of the netherworld like Neil. Might have helped that I was 14 when this came out, but, man, did the world seem so rich and full of mystery back then. I just wanted to explore everything and this was the soundtrack to it.
OK so I came an awful cropper two years later and spent the next ten years listening to Gregorian chants but, hell, I'd do it all again.
 


the live versions of this song i like better including Gov't Mules version
Lots of guitar...Not-so-much Nasal-Neil whining like a drunk with sinus issues... He has the permanent "Been drinking for 8 hours; time to go home alone" voice...

capandjudy wrote:
Zuma is a great Neil Young and Crazy Horse album. Why is this the only song that gets played?
 


Zuma is a great Neil Young and Crazy Horse album. Why is this the only song that gets played?
I'm sorry, but I still just don't get it.  I still feel like I hear better in my local "open mic nite" towards the end of the evening.   a generous 4
 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
No one quite manages to take you away into the dreamy spheres of the netherworld like Neil. Might have helped that I was 14 when this came out, but, man, did the world seem so rich and full of mystery back then. I just wanted to explore everything and this was the soundtrack to it.
OK so I came an awful cropper two years later and spent the next ten years listening to Gregorian chants but, hell, I'd do it all again.
 
I love this post, was also about 14 when I first heard "Cortez," and felt exactly the same way about the rich and mysterious world back then.  Don't forget that the world is still rich and full of mystery, no matter what age you are!  Not to sound too cheesy—I know exactly what you meant.  Great comment!



No one quite manages to take you away into the dreamy spheres of the netherworld like Neil. Might have helped that I was 14 when this came out, but, man, did the world seem so rich and full of mystery back then. I just wanted to explore everything and this was the soundtrack to it.
OK so I came an awful cropper two years later and spent the next ten years listening to Gregorian chants but, hell, I'd do it all again.
I always hated the fade out at the end of the song, because I felt that the guitar solo did not just reach the climax.. I always turn up volume to get the last notes... {#Music}
...i think anyone assessing this song's historical accuracy is missing its overt metaphor entirely; this is myth, not fact...
God almighty....this is a trip!

And this is 35 years old!

What the @#$%^ happened to rock n roll during that time?

No one is even trying to go off and explore...to just jam any more.   

 
Cortez Cortez.....what a killer. {#War}
Neil's fantastic guitar far outshines the sometimes oddly revisionist lyric.  Still filled with a number of gems in it like:

"I still can't remember when I lost my way" (me neither)

If you are getting your history from rock songs you will likely be misled or at the very least misunderstood.
 That_SOB wrote:

I know this may be a revelation but,  Neil is a musician and entertainer and a damn good one to boot.
Young is however, not a history prof at "Yale." The beauty of music is it can go anywhere at anytime in the
mind of the singer/songwriter, and that fantasy is what can endear us to their songs. Musicians have
been storytellers for thousands of years, and believe it or not some of their lyrics were not written for historical
accuracy. Crank it waaaaaay up and relax, the test isn't until Friday.
 
AMEN brother - Crank it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 That_SOB wrote:
I know this may be a revelation but,  Neil is a musician and entertainer and a damn good one to boot.
Young is however, not a history prof at "Yale." The beauty of music is it can go anywhere at anytime in the
mind of the singer/songwriter, and that fantasy is what can endear us to their songs. Musicians have
been storytellers for thousands of years, and believe it or not some of their lyrics were not written for historical
accuracy. Crank it waaaaaay up and relax, the test isn't until Friday.
 
Exactly. (Apparently aelfheld doesn't want us to forget what a kind, loving humanitarian Cortez was.)
So incredible.  Neil kowtows to no one.
 meadowwoods wrote:

{#Yes}
 
Agreed!!!!{#Bananajam}
 ckcotton wrote:
JUST HANDS DOWN AWESOME!
 
{#Yes}
I love to come here and read what all Neil's personal friends have to say {#Angel}
 aelfheld wrote:
 Young's revisionist claptrap.

 
I know this may be a revelation but,  Neil is a musician and entertainer and a damn good one to boot.
Young is however, not a history prof at "Yale." The beauty of music is it can go anywhere at anytime in the
mind of the singer/songwriter, and that fantasy is what can endear us to their songs. Musicians have
been storytellers for thousands of years, and believe it or not some of their lyrics were not written for historical
accuracy. Crank it waaaaaay up and relax, the test isn't until Friday.

I use to fly a small plane alone, a lot. I always dreamed of listening to this ( live version ) while gently plowing through low cloud layers, busting out to see from ground to sky.  Well, that didn't work out, but I still think of it every time I hear this song..
Killer, Killer, Killer.

Got to see and meet Neil (w Jonathan Demme)  at his documentary premiere at Slamdance this year. Lotta inside information in that film, fans should see it. 
Crazy Good!
Bought this album in 1975 while living on the land in southern Oregon.....around the firepit we would all sing with Neal....and imagine such a time and place that might of been.  Of course we knew it was a bit fictitious but still the same..I truly enjoy this song...yeah, I gave it a 10.   
 keenevision wrote:
Here's a song that has just grown on me over the years. I have always liked Young's style of a 2 minute intro. Flew in the face of corporate radio "Hit Song" formulae.
 
Neil has never ever given into the record labels and their desire for pop pablum for the masses. Neil continues to hold true to his core morals and desire to produce his music and not what some marketing firm says should be produced. Extremely few rock n' roll artists can claim such, especially when one considers how long Neil has been at it!
JUST HANDS DOWN AWESOME!
The Best
If you like this (and if you don't, I don't know what to say...) you simply have to hear the live Built To Spill cover of it. Absolutely astonishing and inspiring interpretation of an already-great song. Dave Martsch is a genius. Of course NY is too.

edit: to the history buffs below, lighten up, it's a rock song. Neil is not a historian. Besides, much of it sounds ironic to my ears anyways.

One of my favorite Neil songs from one of my favorite albums.  No one does it like this.
Saw him during the summer a year back @ Hard Rock. A little disappointed he had no backing band, but any Neil is good Neil!
I still wish i could play like that.   I'm not a big Neil Young fan but who cares?  For my ears, i'd say this is 1 of his better songs... =P
Next time you are at a loss and start programming another Neil song, I suggest Motown. A wealth of material there not heard much these days.    My falsetto is a bit rusty, but I will probably sing along anyways.

cortez, cortez...
 abbey_normal wrote:

I'm guessing what most people (including myself) have a problem with, is mixing history (or fact) with fiction.

 
With this I agree.