Update 10/14/2008: Fixed links, removed dead links.
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On May 2nd, Neil Young will release “Living With War” — a 10-song collection that the artist describes as a “metal folk protest” — as a digital download album. The full release will be made available for streaming at Young’s website — www.neilyoung.com — on April 28th. In addition, the lyrics to a different song are being posted each day on the website through April 27th.
In an unprecedented release pattern, the compact disc will be sent to retail outlets as soon as copies can be manufactured in early May. Young feels the best way for this music to be understood is to be heard in its entirety.
“This album is about exchanging ideas,” Young told CNN in a live interview last week on the steps of Warner Bros./Reprise Records in Burbank. “It’s about getting a message out. It’s about empowering people by giving them a voice. I know not everyone believes what I say is what they think, but red and blue is not black and white. We’re all together. It’s a record about unification.”
“Living With War” has already set fans and the media abuzz over the Internet due to its reflections on the Iraqi war and the turmoil in this country. It was written and recorded in two weeks with Young on electric guitar, vocals and harmonica, Chad Cromwell on drums, Rick Rosas on bass, and Tommy Bray on trumpet, along with a 100-member choir. One choir member, speaking to a British newspaper, said the recording session was “like being at a 12-hour peace rally.”
It is not the first time the 60-year-old Canadian has touched on current events in his songwriting. In 2002, Young released “Let’s Roll,” a tribute to the passengers who died taking down the hijackers on United Flight 93 over Pennsylvania on September 11, and in 1970 wrote and recorded with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young the song “Ohio,” after four students were killed by the National Guard during a peace rally at Kent State University.