Deja Vu All Over Again
When it was released in 2006, it was easy to dismiss Neil Young's hastily assembled "Living With War" for not being all that tuneful, despite its admirably rebellious intentions.When it was released in 2006, it was easy to dismiss Neil Young's hastily assembled "Living With War" for not being all that tuneful, despite its admirably rebellious intentions. But when Young reunited with Crosby, Stills & Nash to play the balance of the disc live, "War" came alive.
And thanks to Young's new documentary of that tour, "Deja Vu Live," and the soundtrack of the same name, songs like "Let's Impeach the President" and "After the Garden" have justly gained new traction.
Against epic renderings of old favorites like "Wooden Ships," "For What It's Worth" and an especially spirited rendition of Graham Nash's great "Military Madness," they form the emotional core of this rousing and accurate representation of the supergroup as it is today -- sonically nudged in the direction of Young's ragged work with Crazy Horse, but still compelling and potent when not even plugged in.
"The basic mixes are the mixes that people heard when we were playing it," Young says. "So it's got rough spots all the way through it, which I think is refreshing, especially considering the subject matter. Why should we polish? Why polish this? Who gives a shit whether it's polished or not? It is what it is, and that's the message of the music. It's what we're doing. If you don't like, you don't like it. If you like it, you like it. But it is what it is. Chroming it is not going to help it."