500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Neil Young, 'Cortez the Killer'

329. Neil Young, 'Cortez the Killer'

Writer: Young
Producers: Young, David Briggs
Released: Nov. '75, Reprise

"It’s weird," Young mused to Rolling Stone in 1975. "I’ve got all these songs about Peru, the Aztecs and the Incas. Time travel stuff." Over a slow, rambling Crazy Horse guitar jam, he mourns the Aztec civilization destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors. The song ends after seven and a half minutes, onlybecause a circuit blew on the recording console. The band went on for another verse.

Appears on: Zuma (Reprise)


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