Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Why the G chord at the beginning of Neil Young and Crazy Horse's "Powderfinger" is the greatest sound in the history of the universe

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. But still.

That excerpt I posted earlier this week was from the intro to the song as performed on the live Weld collection. I love the kerranngg! sound and how the chord seems to hang in the air for lifetimes as it decays over the arena crowd. It's ideal rock'n'roll minimalism: one chord that tells you all you have to know. One of the pleasures of hearing Neil and the band play "Powderfinger" over the years has been hearing the song go deeper and deeper: more solos, longer solos, all of them unlocking another tiny piece of the mystery suggested in that opening chord. He's still got more to find.

Am I reading more into this than a normal person should? Of course. But that's part of what makes listening to great music so fun: It inspires you to make wild extrapolations without logic getting in your way.

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