Neil Young has released a new version of “Shut It Down” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The track, originally released off last year’s Colorado with Crazy Horse, has been renamed “Shut It Down 2020.”
Young and his wife, actress Daryl Hannah, made a striking new video to accompany the song. It features clips of the band at Colorado’s Studio in the Clouds — where they shot the Mountaintop documentary — interspersed with scenes of the world in crisis.
Healthcare workers are seen wearing masks and stacking boxes of medical supplies in England, as packed beaches in Florida flash across the screen. “People tryin’ to save this earth/from an ugly death,” Young warns. “Have to shut the whole system down/all around the planet.”
The “Shut It Down 2020” video was made “as a document of Earth’s reaction to 2020’s pandemic,” Young wrote on his Archives site. It was inspired by fans, who submitted letters to the site to express that the track has taken on a new meaning in this difficult time.
“Ignore the actions of world leaders who are too vain to wear masks,” Young wrote. “They are not leading. Put your own vanity away for the good of your fellow man; wear a mask in public to stop the spread.”
Thanks, Neil. We’ll follow your example and keep on rockin’ in the free world for the duration of the lockdown.