Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Colorado: incensed yet infinitely vulnerable

Neil Young and the old posse saddle up in some style on Colorado

Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Colorado
(Image: © Neil Young & Crazy Horse)

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Neil Young has tended to use Promise Of The Real as his backing band of choice recently, but Crazy Horse are evidently never too far from his thoughts. 

Coming after a series of US shows last year, Colorado (his first album with the Horse since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill) is notable for the reintroduction of original guitarist Nils Lofgren to the lineup, replacing the departed ‘Poncho’ Sampedro. 

It kicks like a bastard too. She Showed Me Love is the customary concession to a ragged Horse jam: 13-plus minutes of distorted fury, guitars lurching and crashing as Young delivers an incensed eco missive that’s not without humour. No longer on the run, Mother Nature is instead ‘pushing Earth in a baby carriage’. 

This recurring theme in Young’s work is echoed in the equally powerful yelp of Shut It Down and the altogether more downtempo Green Is Blue.

At other times he appears infinitely vulnerable, his faltering voice a plaintive husk on the gentle I Do and coming over all wistful on the moving Olden Days, which pays tribute to loved ones he’s lost along the way.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.