Neil Young’s latest cover of “The Times They Are a Changin” revives the generational Bob Dylan track that became a musical vanguard for change in 1960’s America.
Young released the full track on his archives website, designed to resemble a melancholy and worn file cabinet hiding musical relics of days gone by. The artist’s rendition somehow tracks with a slower and more somber rhythm. All the main components of Dylan’s classic remain; isolated guitar, lyrics sung with weathered strain and that ever hopeful harmonica interlude giving the listener moments to think.
The Young cover manages to hold a mirror to America’s latest decade marred with the coronavirus pandemic, social justice protests and economic uncertainty. Looking back are memories of the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War and hope for a more enlightened country that Bob Dylan embodied recording the track back in 1964.
Neil and Bob have been busy with solo projects during this difficult year. Young released Homegown, an album of previously unheard tracks highlighting periods of his career. The album was recorded in 1974 and early 1975 and was intended to serve as a bridge between his classic albums Harvest and Comes A Time. At the last minute, Young pulled the plug on the album and opted to release Tonight’s the Night instead.
Dylan’s latest album Rough and Rowdy Ways marks his first with original songs since his 2012. Back in March, he surprised fans with a 17-minute track called “Murder Most Foul” reflecting on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
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