Friday, 8 April 2011

Song of The Day #8 - Neil Young - 'Philadelphia'

"Hi! Just so you know - I go mouldy within three minutes of being opened."

In 1993, 'Philadelphia' director Jonathan Demme asked songwriting giants Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to write a song each to be featured on the OST of his groundbreaking film. Now for me, that's a pretty tough gig. To give you a bit of context here in case you live under a multitude of rocks, the film's about a guy (Tom Hanks) who sues a law firm for unfair dismissal and was one of the first major motion pictures to tackle AIDS discrimination. In short, it ain't exactly squirting a quick pop song out to accompany 'Finding Nemo' or whatever. Neil and Bruce approached this task in totally different ways yet both got similarly stunning results. That's why they're both bosses. Neil, however, won out.

Neil Young - 'Philadelphia'

HD video is for pussies.

I'd like to quantify that statement up there a little further actually. The Springsteen song from this film, 'Streets of Philadelphia' is amazing as well. Please don't get that twisted. It's just this song from old shakey here is a stone cold wounder. It's just so delicate, so unsure of itself in its beauty. It assumes nothing and doesn't ask for much more. I've played it seven times in a row now and each time I've heard a new favourite part. I've now settled on the very start when the main piano part comes in after the sweeping 'Phhillaadeeellphhhiaaaaa...'. That piano can roll on forever as far as I'm concerned.

Obviously that video of Neil up there is a live take. You should've guessed that by the fact that its taken from an awards ceremony with an audience and tuxedoes and is introduced by Johnny Depp, you idiot. Still, I think it kinda suits. It's clearly ripped from a VCR which is cool with me. Songs like this weren't made to downloaded as FLAC files from iTunes and played through your HD stereo system you "hi fidelity" geek.

City of brotherly love
Place I call home
Don't turn your back on me


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