Downtown

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • "Downtown" is either set in the 1960s or is an invitation to mentally travel back in time to that era. The song invites listeners to go to "a place called Downtown" full of hippies and psychedelic imagery. It was written and performed by Neil Young, with members of Pearl Jam, his backing band for the Mirror Ball album, playing behind him. The only Pearl Jam member not on this song is Eddie Vedder, who missed most of the Mirror Ball sessions because he was dealing with the stalker detailed in the song Lukin.
  • The last verse mentions Led Zeppelin ("Led Zeppelin on stage") after the line, "Jimi playin' in the back room" (referring to guitarist-extraordinaire Jimi Hendrix), and "a note from Page," referring to Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
  • This was nominated for Best Rock Song at the 1996 Grammy Awards, but lost to "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette.
  • This isn't the first time Young wrote a song with a chorus with the words "let's go downtown." The song "Come on Baby Let's Go Downtown" from the 1975 Tonight's the Night album says the same exact thing. There's a big difference in tone, though, as "Come on Baby Let's Go Downtown" is a dark song about scoring smack, while "Downtown" is more of a fun, wistful tune.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.