Sleeps With Angels

Album: Sleeps With Angels (1994)

Songfacts®:

  • Most of the album was recorded before the event, but Neil Young wrote this song after Kurt Cobain's death. Cobain quoted Young's lyric, "It's better to burn out than fade away" (from "My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)") in his suicide note. This affected Neil, who was inspired musically by Kurt Cobain and Nirvana on Sleeps With Angels. Young, in turn, was an influence on Nirvana and the whole Grunge scene, as loud, distorted guitars were his thing in the late '70s.
  • Neil had been trying to reach Cobain by phone in the weeks leading up to his suicide. Although he refused to talk about Cobain's death for years, Neil opened up a bit in a 2002 interview with The Guardian: "I like to think that I possibly could have done something. I was just trying to reach him. Trying to connect up with him. It's just too bad I didn't get a shot. I had an impulse to connect. Only when he used my song in that suicide note was the connection made. Then, I felt it was really unfortunate that I didn't get through to him. I might've been able to make things a little lighter for him, that's all. Just lighten it up a little bit."

Comments: 2

  • Danny Ross from Atlanta, GaThe magnum opus on this album is "Change Your Mind", a 14 minute guitar epic along the lines of "Powderfinger", "Down By The River" etc. The alternating ostinato bass is straight from Chopin's famous "Funeral March" but this song manages, like most of Young's music, to bring light out of darkness. It is a magnificent song.

    -drl
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaWasn't that the other way around... Neil Young (The Grandaddy of Grunge) affecting Kurt Cobain and Nirvana?
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