Once again proving that he’s literally so good he can make great music out of anything at all—and that he doesn’t really give a shit about what his audience wants–alternative rock czar/demigod Neil Young has rewritten a bunch of common childhood and public domain songs into gritty grunge rockers.
Amongst others, the classic ‘oh my darlin’ Clementine and Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ have gotten this treatment.
Stream them here or check them out embedded in Rolling Stone’s writeup.
Good news- all of these songs have been completely rewritten, and the album SOUNDS like a Crazy Horse album. They’re rough and raucous and ready to fight. This creates the hilarious situation of finding yourself rocking along to a tune, only to realize it’s an extensively Frankenstein’d version of something you sang while skipping rope as a child.
This, of course, begs the question: why not just write new songs? The conceit of taking childhood songs as a jumping-off point for material seems ridiculous—especially when you consider just how ‘Crazy-Horse’d up these tunes have become.
Of course, Neil Young is no stranger to controversial choices made in his recording process. Remember ‘Everybody’s Rockin’?