I was thinking J.S. Bach's Fifth Brandenberg Concerto has a lot in common with Neil Young's Change Your Mind, in their shameless (and very enjoyable) displays of virtuosity for its own sake.

The Fifth Brandenberg has this very long harpsichord cadenza that goes on and on and on, with variations that get flashier and flashier and eventually dip into Liberace-style hit-all-the-keys-in-order runs. Gotta love it.

I recall this hard-partying evening in the seventies when I told a friend "hey, you gotta hear this piece of the Brandenbergs" and turned it way up, and as the harpsichord flourishes started to get really extreme, my friend guffawed and laid on a couple of flashy air-guitar moves. Exactly.

Well, Change Your Mind is a 14-minute epic, with typically cloudy hippie-esque Young lyrics:

The morning comes... there's an odor in the room/ a scent of love... more than a million roses bloom

And so on, but then Neil keeps dropping into these long, flashy, and then longer and flashier, and then even more extreme guitar breaks, that eventually dip into Hendrix-style bend-a-low-note-till-it-bleeds moans.

Dunno, sounds just like Brandenberg #5 to me.

author · Dad
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February 20, 2003
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