Hello, my baby! Hello, my darling! Hello, my… “Cinnamon Girl?”
With Neil Young’s and Joni Mitchell’s official catalogues removed from Spotify, there’s still at least one way fans can hear the famed songwriters’ tunes on the streaming service. Stephen Colbert tapped barbershop quartet the Chordon Bleus to reimagine some of the singers’ most famous works on The Late Show.
In the clip — the second fake Spotify ad created by Colbert this week — fans are encouraged to enjoy Young’s and Mitchell’s music as “covered by the bands who haven’t left” Spotify. The Chordon Bleus showcase their takes on “Cinnamon Girl,” “Old Man,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” and “Both Sides Now,” with the announcer boasting, “It’s the Joni Mitchell no one asked for!”
Last week, Young became the first high-profile artist to demand his catalog be removed from Spotify. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Mitchell joined Young in protest Friday night, with Crazy Horse and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren also removing his music from the platform over the weekend. Since then, singer-songwriter India Arie has also left the streaming platform.
“Neil Young opened a door that I must walk through,” Arie wrote on Instagram. “I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews. For me, it’s also his language around race.”
Spotify recently announced its plans to add content advisory warnings to podcasts featuring Covid discussions. “There are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly… [But] it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a post on Spotify’s for the Record blog.