Young vows to take his music off “all streaming services” due to issues he has with their sound quality, Young’s PonoMusic claims downloads CD quality (1,411 kbps) or better (9,216 kbps for ultra-high resolution recordings), but most streaming music, such as Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music, downloads at 320kbps. Tidal’s hi-end plan’s 1,411kbps is close to CD-quality.
Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans. It’s not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent. It’s about sound quality. I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music. For me, It’s about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that. When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never.
In a follow-up message, Young criticizes streaming further:
I was there. AM radio kicked streaming’s ass. Analog Cassettes and 8 tracks also kicked streaming’s ass, and absolutely rocked compared to streaming. Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history. If you want it, you got it. It’s here to stay. Your choice. Copy my songs if you want to. That’s free. Your choice. All my music, my life’s work, is what I am preserving the way I want it to be. It’s already started. My music is being removed from all streaming services. It’s not good enough to sell or rent. Make streaming sound good and I will be back.
Trump says that, despite Young’s call for him to not use Rockin’ In The Free World, that the artist had recently come to him for funding for his streaming music service, Pono. He also says the song was just one of 10 songs used as background music. and that he “Didn’t love it anyway.”
Young’s management confirms that the photo was taken during a meeting when Young was trying to raise funds for the music service.
Young writes on Facebook (text) that he objects to Trump using his song, Rockin’ in The Free World, in his presidential run announcement.
Yesterday my song Rockin’ in the Free World was used in an announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission. A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but It was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service. Music is a universal language. So I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don’t share my beliefs. But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate – I would have said no….I am Canadian and I don’t vote in the United States, but more importantly I don’t like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests…I do not trust self-serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.
Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.
Through a license agreement with ASCAP, Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young’s recording of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ at today’s event. Nevertheless, we won’t be using it again — there are plenty of songs to choose from. Despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much.
Cooper performs air guitar to Young’s solo Down By the River on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
When I was a kid I had a lot of time on my hands and there’s this one song by Neil Young. I don’t know if everybody knows this, and I’m sort of proud that I know it. It’s just the guitar solo from Down by the River, to air guitar to it is so meaningless, but I’d love to give you a little taste. It’s long!
Starbucks responds to Neil Young’s boycott of their products by denying that they are involved in a lawsuit against Vermont over new laws governing genetically engineered foods. Starbucks statement:
Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law. The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their description of our position.
Young boycotts Starbucks due to their involvement in a lawsuit by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, of which they are a member, against the state of Vermont’s new law that requires all foods containing GMO’s to be labeled as such.
I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one. Starbucks has teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling. Monsanto might not care what we think — but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure other companies to do the same.
Young is a Grammy nominee for Best Rock Album for Psychedelic Pill.
Young wins Grammy for Best Rock Song for Angry World.
Thank you to the Grammys…this is my first Grammy for music.