Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Neil Young: Heart Of Gold



Written by: Neil Young  
Recorded: Quadrafonic Studios, Nashville, TN: February 8, 1971
Released: 1972
Album: Harvest
Label: Reprise Records

This video clip is live from 1971. Here are some background notes on the song from Wikipedia:
"Heart of Gold" is a song by Neil Young. Released from the 1972 album Harvest, it is Young's only #1 single so far. Rolling Stone ranked it #297 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It features the back-up vocals of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.
The song is one of a series of soft, acoustic pieces which were written partly as a result of a back injury. Unable to stand for long periods of time, he could not play his electric guitar and so returned to his acoustic guitar, which he could play sitting down.
The song was taped during the initial sessions for Harvest in early 1971 at Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Ronstadt and Taylor were in Nashville at the time for an appearance on Johnny Cash's television program, and the album's producer Elliot Mazer arranged for them to sing backup for Young in the studio.
Originally, this song was meant to segue with the song "A Man Needs a Maid," and was therefore played on piano. It was played in this manner during Young's solo shows in 1971, but he abandoned this approach midway through the tour and began to play it on guitar as it is now known. Additionally, one line that was cut when the two songs became separate entities was "Afraid/A man feels afraid." An example of the segued version appears on Young's Live at Massey Hall 1971 release.
Young wrote in the liner notes of his compilation album Decade: "This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there." This statement was in response to the mainstream popularity that he gained as a result of Heart of Gold's number-one status.
In 1985, Bob Dylan admitted that he hated this song, despite always liking Neil Young:
The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about '72 and the big song at the time was "Heart of Gold." I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to "Heart of Gold." I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I'd say, "Shit, that's me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me."


Heart of Gold
By Neil Young

I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.
It's these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold
I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

Keep me searching for a heart of gold
You keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.