Heart of Gold (1971) – Neil Young

My estimation of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell (who are good friends) has plummeted since their active-promotion of cancellation culture recently; in particular objecting to a certain commentator appearing on Spotify. Even Springsteen’s E Street guitarist Nils Logren went along with it. See more here. This song by Neil is in some sense diametrically opposed to how these older singer-songwriters acted in recent times.

I always thought these artists would have been pro-free speech considering how they were glorified by ‘western-culture’ which represented above all-else free expression. Resentment can be truly ugly. Joni was reported by the LA times for saying Bob Dylan was a plagiarist, then in a later interview she denied having said it. But she did say that Bob just pulled songs out of a box and that he was ‘a bad guitar player and he’s got a lot of borrowed things’.

I had to get that off my chest before presenting today’s song. Leaving all that aside, I was a great admirer of this track. Surprisingly in 1985, Bob Dylan said here he disliked hearing the song, despite always liking Young – ” Dylan said, ‘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.‘ That sounds in jest to me.
Heart of Gold was the title track of the documentary directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) about Neil Young’s Prairie Wind concert at the famous Ryman Auditorium also known as Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. This documentary showcased Neil Young’s comeback performance after brain surgery.

Heart of Gold was from his fourth album Harvest is Young’s only U.S. No. 1 single.  Rolling Stone ranked it No. 297 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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 searchin’ for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keeps me searchin’ for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
5 comments on “Heart of Gold (1971) – Neil Young
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Thanks for this Matt! I would love to see this. I’ve gone to the Ryman many times and you can feel the history. I do like this song.
    Yea don’t know whats up Mitchell….I heard her say that a while back…I was pissed…what good did it do her to say that?

    • It’s a wonderful concert beautifully presented by Jonathan Demme in his documentary. You’re a lucky man to have been to the Ryman. It looks pretty legendary.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I need to see it Matt. You can feel it when you walk in…plus they have exhibits.
        I posted a song yesterday you might like…or not but check out a song by the Grateful Dead called Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo

        Don’t worry about my post…check the song out with lyrics… Robert Hunter did a great job with it.

      • Sorry, I haven’t checked my WP reader for a few days. I look forward to reading the article and listening to the song and the lyrics. Today, I downloaded two of your previous recommendations to add to the collection – Fire on the Mountain and Sugaree. Cheers.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Ok Matt!

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