Tuesday, August 19, 2008

neil young: down to the wire #2

down to the wire.

In 1977 Reprise Records released the triple LP "Decade" to celebrate Neil Young's ten years in the recording business, from 1966 - 1976, charting the uneven road followed between his time as part of Buffalo Springfield through to his commanding role centre stage with Crazy Horse. Compiled by Young himself, complete with hand written notes on the provenance of those thirty-five songs featured, it quickly became a ubiquitous purchase for Young diehards everywhere on account of the inclusion of five previously unreleased numbers.

Of those five, covered famously from Linda Ronstadt to the Pixies, "Down To The Wire" - performed with Buffalo Springfield with additional piano from Dr. John - is the one which I've never shaken out of my head. Recorded for the prematurely shelved "Stampede" sessions in New York with Buffalo Springfield collapsing as a functioning unit in 1967 under the weight of drug busts, deportations and heated internal bickerings, "Down To The Wire" is a surprisingly upbeat account of the circumstances which led Young to drop out of the band prior to their hugely successful appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, only to replaced to great applause by David Crosby guesting for the show.

Two months of relentless negotiation later, Young returned briefly to cement the recording and release of their second album, "Buffalo Springfield Again", having successfully ousted the domineering Charlie Greene and Brian Stone from bitterly contested management duties. The reprise, last time around, was - as we see in hindsight - short lived. A second honeymoon of sorts before a briefly reconciled relationship finally flounders in the shallows.

When there's nobody left on the margins to blame, the only reasonable thing to do is bail.

"All the hurt you thought was gone
has now returned,

And every thing she's laughing at
is all you learned.

And you let go, let go, let go,

'cause you know you're getting tired.

Can you feel it getting
down to the wire?" 

NEIL YOUNG: DOWN TO THE WIRE from "Decade" 3 x LP (Reprise) 1977 (US)



Anonymous said...

Nunca había escuchado esta canción.Y es sin duda maravillosa...Many Thanks.

ib said...

Usted es muy agradable, Germt. Thank you for the comment.