Albuquerque

Album: Tonight's the Night (1975)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • "The most noticeable feature of this track is how disciplined Young's vocal sounds," Johnny Rogan writes in The Complete Guide to the Music of Neil Young. "It's as if he's sobered up completely, even though the lyrics would have sounded equally appropriate if he had sung them completely out of tune."

    Rogan's comments are looking at the the song within the context of the rest of Tonight's The Night. Most of the album is filled with rough instrumentation and angry, grief-filled vocals - that's the album's cherished calling card to this day. Compared to those other roughhewn tracks, "Albuquerque" is clean and measured.
  • The song sees Young returning to a theme that has filled his music from very early on: the vapidity of fame. It's something he seems to struggle with even more than most other musicians. Or, at least, it's something he's chosen to sing about more often than most. It may in fact be the most common theme of all his music, besides obvious stuff like heartbreak and love.

    In "Albuquerque," Young is thinking about renting a car and driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Santa Fe, just to be alone and "independent from the scene." He never tells us why he's in Albuquerque to begin with, but he does tell us he wants to roll a joint and rent a car and stop to eat some "fried eggs and country ham."

    The "country ham" bit is kind of interesting, because country ham is a food popular in the southeast, not so much in the southwest. It's probably just a simple oversight on Young's part, but it may also reveal another common thread in Young's music: the escape into rural simplicity as a cure for the craziness and fakeness of modern day life.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.