This year, Neil Young reunited with his legendary backing band Crazy Horse for Americana, his first album with the band since the soundtrack to Young’s film Greendale. The album will consist of the band’s interpretation of traditional songs and American standards, and Young has released a preview track that seems like a curious choice at first: “God Save The Queen.”
Yes, the British national anthem (not the Sex Pistols song of the same name) gets the Crazy Horse treatment on June 5th. In an interview with Q, Young explained the reasoning behind performing the song: “Written in the 18th century with possible melodic roots in the 17th century, this song was sung throughout the Britsh Commonwealth and would have been sung in North America before the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which rejected British sovereignty.” As such, Young called the song a “de facto” national anthem for the country before the adoption of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song also serves as the melodic base for the American standard, “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.”
The album will also contain standards such as “Oh Susannah!” and “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain,” among others. Americana is due out June 5th on Reprise Records.