This is the first installment of what I intend to make a weekly feature on A Crock of Schmidt. Each Friday afternoon I’ll share a great song to kick off the weekend. These songs will range from well known classics to obscure oddities all having one thing in common; I like them. Some are just great tunes that, frankly, anyone who does not like them is well deserving of a raised eyebrow. Others have sentimental meaning evoking memories of special and sometimes not so special moments and people in my life. These songs are presented randomly save for the occasional matching of specific tunes with milestone dates. They are the songs of my life. This is not a countdown.
Greatest Song Ever
Having said that, however, the very first song I give to you is bar none my absolute favourite song of all time. I am a huge Neil Young fan. Like most I discovered Neil through Harvest and then later Freedom as those seem to be the primary sources of his material played on the radio. From those two stellar bookends I began exploring his music library and found an almost endless catalogue of amazing (and, yes, sometimes bizarre) songs. I could easily fill a year’s worth of Fridays with awesome Neil Young tracks. Luckily for you I can easily trim such a list down to one fantastic song that I love more than any other Young tune and more than any other song ever recorded. It is the greatest song ever.
It’s a long song, something that Neil has become renowned for over the years, but this must have been one of his first epics. It’s a grungy rocker with Crazy Horse from their first recording together establishing one of the great collaborations in rock history. Lyrically it’s dark and the chorus is certainly blunt yet there’s a disturbing sense of romance in the song. As if it was trying to be a love song but ultimately failing in an outburst of violence. And the single note guitar solos throughout the song are haunting in their simplicity yet capture the emotional turmoil of the lyrics.
No other song moves me, reaches me, controls me like this one. It invades my soul for 9 minutes and 13 seconds of auditory ecstasy. From the 1969 Neil Young and Crazy Horse album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere I’m kicking off your weekend with the extraordinary “Down By The River”. The greatest song ever. I may have mentioned that already.