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Clip: On His New Album, Neil Young Calls for Bush's Impeachment

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  • Carl Z.
    On His New Album, Neil Young Calls for Bush s Impeachment By JEFF LEEDS Published: April 18, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 18, 2006

      On His New Album, Neil Young Calls for Bush's Impeachment

      Published: April 18, 2006

      LOS ANGELES, April 17 — Neil Young, who has periodically touched on
      political themes during a four-decade career, plans to release a
      hastily recorded new album ruminating on the war in Iraq and directly
      calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

      The 10-song album, "Living With War," will probably represent Mr.
      Young's most overtly partisan work since the song "Ohio," recorded and
      quickly released by the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as a
      response to the Kent State shootings in 1970.

      Elliot Roberts, Mr. Young's longtime manager, said the album would be
      "more about soldiers" and "what it's like to all of a sudden be 18 and
      on the line."

      The titles on the album include "Let's Impeach the President," which
      features Mr. Bush's voice overlaid above a 100-voice choir singing,
      "Flip flop." Another title is "Lookin' for a Leader." The album also
      includes an a cappella version of "America the Beautiful," sung by Mr.
      Young with the choir.

      Mr. Roberts said that he did not know exactly what had inspired Mr.
      Young to record the new songs, which were written and recorded in a
      span of roughly two weeks, but that "I know he watches the news." He
      added that he believed the album's sentiments would resonate broadly,
      adding that "it's not a political, Democratic versus Republican feel."

      The album comes at a time when major record companies and radio
      stations appear to have developed a degree of comfort with bluntly
      political material. The latest song from the band Pearl Jam, "World
      Wide Suicide," which accuses the president of taking soldiers'
      sacrifices for granted, recently logged three weeks at No. 1 on the
      Billboard modern-rock airplay chart. And Green Day's 2004 album
      "American Idiot" which addresses themes of alienation but also
      includes lyrics like "Sieg Heil to the president gasman," has emerged
      as a blockbuster, selling more than 5.4 million copies so far,
      according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

      Mr. Young has expressed varying views on politics over the years. In
      the 1980's he openly supported Ronald Reagan, but he has since become
      a fairly consistent critic of Republican administrations.

      His 1989 song "Rockin' in the Free World" implicitly criticized the
      first President Bush. In "Greendale," a film he directed to accompany
      his 2003 album of the same name, Mr. Young sings lyrics nodding to the
      Patriot Act — "We'll be watching you/ No matter what you do" — against
      images of former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

      Mr. Roberts said that he had not yet played the new music for
      executives at Mr. Young's record label, the Warner Brothers/Reprise
      unit of Warner Music Group, but that he expected the album to be
      released as soon as June. Mr. Young's last album, "Prairie Wind," has
      sold about 452,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

      On his Web site (neilyoung.com), Mr. Young describes the recording as
      "a metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. ... Metal folk protest?"

      The site also displays a scrolling sample of lyrics from the album:

      And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man

      And on the flat-screen we kill and we're killed again

      And when the night falls, I pray for peace

      Try to remember peace.
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