Neil Young has given his track Shut It Down a 2020-appropriate remodel, documenting the events of the coronavirus pandemic and reminding people to keep the faith. Shut It Down 2020 layers the song’s original message about the world’s systemic marriage to environmental destruction, with a warning to listeners about the necessity of social distancing to conquer the pandemic.
Neil Young Archives has announced that the new version of the 2019 song was inspired by fans “reaching out to Young expressing the elevated poignancy the song has come to represent during this pandemic”.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse have given his 2019 track Shut It Down a poignant redesign to document the themes of social ignorance, environmental sustainability and personal sacrifice that have painted the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally released in his last full length album Colorado, Young sets the song against powerful, yet apocalyptic images of the pandemic. Shots of abandoned airports, overflowing hospital wards and empty streets, interspersed with footage of people ignoring social distancing laws, accompanies his repeated lyrics “have to shut the whole system down…that’s the only way we can all be free.”
“Never before in human history has our planet come together in this way, utilizing modern communications to ensure everyone understands that responsibility to our fellow man and the continuing life of Humanity depends on each persons actions,” Neil Young Archives stated about the project.
“Only selfless human behavior can stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus at this point. Ignore the actions of world leaders who are too vain to wear masks. They are not leading. Putting your own vanity away for the good of your fellow man, wear a mask in public to stop the spread.”
The clip finishes with hope affirming images of people rallying together from their windows, of animals flooding abandoned streets and dolphins returning to Italy, reminding listeners to keep the faith. “These are uncertain times,” Young told fans in a statement about the song. “I wish you all the best as you care for our sick, the young and old who we love so much.”
Check out the Young’s powerful tribute below: