Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mr. Soul 1967 Style

One of the original super groups was Buffalo Springfield--- Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and Richie Furay amongst others. Check this out.


Krissi said...

Nice. Are you going to walk around campus with that haircut? You should.

Marc Axelrod said...

Can't bring this up on my cellphone, so I'll try it later at church. I like BS (the band, that is). Neil Young's Decade is one of my favorite LPs of all time. It spoke to my spirit at a lonely time in my life. Long live Mr. Soul!

MWT said...


Could you comment on reconciling Christian faith with rock music? For instance, I'm a big fan of the Grateful Dead's music AND I'm a Christian. I sometimes have heartburn about this because of their association with the drug culture. What would you think if I showed up to church Sunday morning with a Dead sticker on my car???


Cary said...

@ mwt:
I think you can appreciate music as an art without "tainting" your faith as a follower of Christ.

For instance, since we're discussing Neil Young, there is a song by him on the album "Rust Never Sleeps" entitled "Thrasher". I think it could, if you read a bit deeper into the lyrics, easily be a metaphor for the Christian walk towards the truth of Christ. It is one of my very favorite songs and has been personally representative of my life as a Christian.


I actually wrote a lot about it on my blog, newcoats.blogspot.com. No pressure to read it. Just sayin'. It's the third or so post down.


Cary said...

this is only a comment so i can get the follow-ups e-mailed to me. so, you don't have to approve this one :) i ALWAYS forget to click that little button.

Ben Witherington said...


The issue I would have with almost any sort of music is--what is its lyrical content. I do not think there is a particular style of music or musical sound that is somehow less or more holy, less or more secular. Rock music is no more or less holy than classical music or jazz, and so on. If you are actually a student of music in the Biblical period, you discover that it sounds more like Middle Eastern music today, or George Harrison playing a sitar, than it sounds like modern church music. So, I do not think there is a problem with enjoying the musical sound of rock music. Where one has to be critical is the lyrical content, which ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime and from the blasphemous to the divine. I would evaluate the words the same way I would evaluate, say the words of an opera. Critical sifting is required, being wise as serpents, whilst innocent as doves.

Of course it is true that there is the ethos question, and some people have a hard time separating the milk from the cow it came from. I am not one of those persons. For example, my great love of Mozart's magnificent music in no way led me to admire or try and emulate some of the profligate aspects of his life. Music is a gift from God, whatever vessel it may come from. The problem with rock music more many is that it comes in a context with endorsement of immorality, debauchery, drugs etc. I have severe problems with all of that, but that didn't cause me to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water. I agree that there are some highly impressionable weaker and often young Christians who are unable to make such distinctions and get sucked into the whole vortex of the lifestyle of various musicians. You see this in the way kids dress emulating rappers and hip hop stylists. It was no different in my youth with kids emulating rock stars in the way they dressed.

So I think caution is advisable with the young and young in faith. You need to train such persons anyway to critically evaluate their culture and world, and you might as well use popular music as a tool to help them gain such critical skills. One thing I enjoy doing is taking some popular songs and sitting down with youth and evaluating the lyrics, presentation, etc. and asking the question--- What's wrong (and possibly what's right) with this picture?


Marc Axelrod said...

Yes, Neil Young has that bowl haircut thing going on. His mom must have cut his hair.

I've always wondered if Neil stole that lick for "Mr. Soul" from the Stones' "Satisfaction." The similarities are more convincing than the famous "She's So Fine/My Sweet Lord" lawsuit.

dwk said...

Or did Larry Norman have it the back of his mind when writing "Ha Ha World"?