Listen: Neil Young and Horse’s 16-Minute Epic, ‘Ramada Inn’

The mere words ’16-minute epic’ could be enough to put anyone off this latest release by folky rock giant Neil Young and his long-time collaborators, Crazy Horse, but stick with it, and you’ve got a great experience on your hands.

My main criticism of the collaboration’s last effort, Americana was that it outstayed its welcome, but ‘Ramada Inn’ on the other hand, the first we’ve seen of the upcoming release Psychedelic Pill, manages not to mirror its predecessor’s mistakes. Unrestrained by outdated concepts, the song wisely chooses not to follow a strictly verse-chorus-verse structure, instead featuring quick verses and repeated choruses, broken up by Crazy Horse’s trademark jamming and a selection of solos, which make up the bulk of the epic, and do so hypnotically.

Frills and gimmicks also manage to remain absent, the song relying instead on creating its own sentiment – a point especially clear in Young’s vocals, which stay relatively somber, yet evocative as they tell the story, culminating in the beautiful refrain of the chorus:
And every morning comes the sun / And it goes rising to the day / Holding on to what they’ve done / He loves her so / He does what he has to.

It’s certainly a bold move, but one that I believe pays off.

If you’re not in to devoting that much of your time to a single piece however, another value behind the tune lies in its functionality as both an intent, listening experience, and a rich piece of background music (yes, equip your bean-bags, lava-lamps and narcotics). If you want to get the most out of it though, I recommend taking some time out to give it a thorough listen. You may well find yourself rewarded.

‘Ramada Inn’ will be released along with the rest of Psychedelic Pill October 30th, and if you haven’t been devoured by your bean-bag, we’d love to know what you think so far.

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About Josh Gripton

Josh is an English student currently studying English Literature with Creative Writing at University in the UK. When he's not wasting time acquiring the grappling beam in Super Metroid, you'll find him being far more productive - listening to Black Sabbath and reading comics. He hopes his work at The Silver Tongue will help him get his writing out to the public and professional world, heaven forbid.