Like Neil Young’s best distortion-filled rock, “Cortez the Killer” is sloppy, melodic, and beautiful. When he plays with Crazy Horse, this is often what you get.
From the 1975 album “Zuma,” this signature song is ranked #39 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos, a pretty amazing considering that it flies in the face of what most guitarists would consider technical proficiency.
My choice for this week in The Great Songs series is one of those signature numbers that define an artist. I’ve included two embeds this week: The studio version and the live version from 1979′s “Live Rust.” Read about and listen to both versions here: The Great Songs: Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Cortez the Killer.