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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs

Pegi and Neil @ Bridge 2011
Photo Gallery by Jay Blakesberg Photography

A nice little feature on the "Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs" on Ultimate Classic Rock by Matt Wardlaw:
Neil Young love songs at their best — and they're usually pretty great — reveal his particular talent for using words to illustrate the many different emotional sides of a romantic relationship. From heartbreak to happiness, Young has captured the familiar romantic plotlines and quandaries with his music. As he celebrates his 66th birthday today, here's a look at the Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs:

So guess what Neil love song is #1?? The answer might not surprise you. ;)

And our favorite Neil Young love song at the moment? "Love In Mind" from the unreleased (on CD) "Time Fades Away".

You can leave a comment on your favorite if you'd like.


At 11/20/2011 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave from vancouver wa. says.....Harvest Moon...mine and my wifes favorite...

At 11/20/2011 12:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like a Hurricane. My wife and I saw him play before it was released. It did blow us away...

At 11/20/2011 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

comes a time !

At 11/20/2011 01:20:00 PM, Blogger riverwind said...

"Love is a Rose" sweet, catchy and simple

At 11/20/2011 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

Good List! No obscure gems but still very nice. Love and War, eh?

At 11/20/2011 02:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11/20/2011 03:20:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

motorcyle momma should have been listed.

At 11/20/2011 05:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank to hendrix,or Harvest moon this may come down to a coin toss!

At 11/20/2011 05:47:00 PM, Blogger Thos said...

Have to disagree with SONY on this one - 'Motorcycle Momma' is the single worst song in Neil's whole catalogue - worse even than 'T-Bone'!

As for best love songs, I simply can't choose between them! Not really a love song, but 'This Old Guitar' is truly amazing, been listening to it a lot lately.


At 11/20/2011 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no contest, #1 has to be "Razor Love"

At 11/21/2011 01:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bite the bullet!


At 11/21/2011 04:45:00 AM, Blogger BecauseSoundMatters said...

I do agree with this one:

There is no contest, #1 has to be "Razor Love"

At 11/21/2011 04:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11/21/2011 07:51:00 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

Hahahahaha Motorcycle Mama is a pretty sketchy song indeed. The female vocals are stunning but... thats about it.

Now let's do a different top just for fun... I'M a huge fan, i have all of Neil's albums and he might just be my favorite artist! But lets have fun and do...The top 10 worst songs by Neil Young :

1-Out of Control (Looking Forward)
2-American Dream (American Dream)
3-the Queen of them all (Looking Forward)
4-People in the Street (Landing on Water)
5-Coming Apart at Every Nail (Hawks and Doves)
6-We Never Danced (Life)
7-Fontainebleau (Long May You Run)
8-You're My Girl (Are you Passionate?)
9-Mother Earth (Ragged Glory)
10-Motorcycle Mama (Comes a Time)

At 11/21/2011 08:12:00 AM, Blogger Thos said...

Good idea Alex! Just to clarify, I love Neil Young's music more than that of any other artist, living or dead.

However, he is not infallible! My top 10 worst songs are:

'Be With You' (Are You Passionate?)
'Boxcar' (Chrome Dreams II)
'The Way' (Chrome Dreams II)
'Motorcycle Mama' (Comes A Time)
'My Heart' (Sleeps With Angels)
'Get Behind the Wheel' (FITR)
'T-Bone' (Re-Act-Or)
'Mother Earth' (Ragged Glory)
'Daddy Went Walkin' (Silver & Gold)
'Let Your Fingers Do The Walking' (A Treasure)

Would love to hear other opinions! Thos.

At 11/21/2011 08:45:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Lots of great nominations!

Thanks & peace & love t all,
t & t-ette

At 11/21/2011 08:57:00 AM, Anonymous Alex said...


Funny, My Heart is one of my top 10 BEST songs by NY. However you're def. right about Let Your Fingers Do the Walking, not a very good song! And uhhh Mother Earth, might be Neil's cheesiest song.

At 11/21/2011 09:00:00 AM, Blogger feelyourlove said...

Feel Your Love from American Dream.

At 11/21/2011 09:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thos.......... worst songs...... how about "yonder stands the sinner" from Time Fades Away ?

At 11/21/2011 09:34:00 AM, Blogger yourisaforever said...

Harvest Moon and When I hold you in my arms, love this version:

"When I hold you in my arms, it's a breath of fresh air, when I hold you in my arms I forget what's out there..."
Of course there is always more to it , when Neil writes any song...

At 11/21/2011 09:40:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Cinamon Girl, one of my all time favorites. Rossignol skis now has a model of ski named Cinamon Girl (tried to post a pic but wont let me)...Its pretty cool.

At 11/21/2011 10:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love in mind!

At 11/21/2011 10:33:00 AM, Blogger BecauseSoundMatters said...

"Daddy Went Walking" has genius simplistic Neil Lyrics that only he can write. It's very minimal but does tell a story that goes far beyond the words he is singing.
"The Way" will become a Neil classic soon. Great soul music! "My Heart" and "Mother Earth" are not that bad. I never had a problem with "Motorcycle Mama" although I don't like the song on the Red Rocks DVD. It fits on the Comes a Time album.

At 11/21/2011 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Love in mind opens with a sexual metaphore that always gave me a chuckle. I used to play it on the guitar and I always anounced the song as "Morning Wood".

At 11/21/2011 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old King-- we all love our dogs!

At 11/21/2011 03:02:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

As an extreme Neil Young fan, I have my favorites as well as songs that are tolerable at best. However, even my least favorite N.Y. song is great to hear on the radio or on a jukebox in a bar, just because it's Neil!

At 11/21/2011 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helpless - not quite a love song, but love song

At 11/21/2011 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Jill said...

I do like lists! Too many to mention as always, but these are some of my top 10 Neil love songs -

- Harvest Moon, probably one of the most romantic songs ever written by anyone.
- Cinnamon Girl, of course.
- Like A Hurricane, of course.
- Such a Woman, yes definitely.
- Look out for My Love, especially the Unplugged version
- Will to Love
- Pardon My Heart
- Motion Pictures
- Razor Love
- She`s a Healer

And if no-one objects I`m going to cheat and add a couple more…

- Transformer Man - if we`re talking about love in a broader sense, not just romantic love

- Change Your Mind - also not exactly a love song, but it deals with the intensely conflicting emotions of a long-term relationship.

Still trying to come up with a list of his 10 worst songs…!

At 11/21/2011 06:04:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Jill!
Nice list. And no objections, of course!

At 11/21/2011 07:19:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

In all honesty, I couldn't put a top 10 best or worst list together. It's all one song. Neil's music doesn't always move me the same way, even the same song heard at different times. Some of the 'worst' lists above include songs that speak to me in a way most others don't. That's Neil Young to me. He's a lava lamp, rarely seen the same way twice, yet the colors, textures, motions, and heat are always familar. It's a psychadelic situation of sorts no matter what's coming at me. I rarely try to rate his albums or his songs as they speak to me like my kids do, always positive and provoking whether it's what I expect to hear or not. I'm hooked, line and sinker, like a fish in any waters - up the river, over the falls, rolling waves, ocean bottom or ice frozen six feet deep. They're all love songs, I love 'em all.

At 11/21/2011 07:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe no one has mentioned Mellow my mind & Speakin out.

At 11/21/2011 07:58:00 PM, Anonymous Susan in Florida said...

Love the song Sad Movies only heard Neil play it once live on Chrome Dreams tour

At 11/21/2011 08:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with whoever listed American Dream as one of his worst.

Sure, the studio version with CSNY is extremely cheesy, but there's a great solo acoustic version from Birmingham, UK in 1987 that is worth hearing if you get the chance.

- vertigone

At 11/21/2011 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Untitled I said...

That list is clearly not written by true Neil Young fans. The list lies too heavily on hit songs and surface love songs, and stays on the surface without going deeper into his music. I know that almost every list of "Top (something) Neil Young Songs" will either end with "Heart of Gold" or "Rockin in the Free World" at #1. But this list truly disturbed me. The exclusion of such songs as "The Bridge" and "I Believe In You" alone loose this list of all credibility. Granted, I will give the list props for mentioning last year's "Walk With Me" simply being that that song is not one of his more mainstream songs, but even that isn't necessarily a love song, more of an ode to friends that have either left him, or were left by him in the long, shakey road of his journey. In that light, this song could be seen as a love song, but not in the same vein of what I'm sure this list meant by "love songs," and their inclusion of this track seems to me like a simple misinterpretation. Anyway, this list, to me, is, for the most part, a mere greatest hits list that leans towards the theme of love that fails to represent the deeper side of Neil Young's songwriting that could classify as love songs.

At 11/22/2011 06:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

barstool blues the best!
saddle up the palomino is the worst by far!!!!!!!!!!!

At 11/22/2011 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

@ Untitled 1 -

Wow. I`m truly astonished that anyone would be “truly disturbed” by anything here. I think most of us see a topic like this as an opportunity to have bit of friendly fun, and I doubt whether Neil himself would have any objection to that, especially as they are all his songs!

On the other hand, I`m sure we would all be interested in reading your in-depth analysis of his love songs anytime you feel like sharing.


At 11/23/2011 03:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11/23/2011 03:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Believe In You

At 11/23/2011 09:07:00 AM, Blogger JimDC821 said...

Okay, Neil has written some incredible love songs, and as documented in this blog, a number of clunkers. What about a list of Neil's best "break-up" songs? during several heartbreaks in my life, Neil has been there to capture in song and in verse many of the intense feelings I had. Here are my top songs:
1. Birds (ATGR)
2. A Man Needs a Maid (Harvest)
3. Down by the River (EKTIN)
4. Already One (Comes a Time)
5. Stupid Girl (Zuma)
6. Drive Back (Zuma)
7. The Loner (Eponymous)
8. Borrowed Tune (TTN)
9. The Losing End (EKTIN)
10. Hold Back the Tears (ASAB)

That's a pretty good list, but i bet there are several more that could slip in - any ideas?

Jim in DC

At 11/23/2011 02:42:00 PM, Blogger JimDC821 said...

Okay, now, for my ten "worst" songs from Neil...

1. The Entire Shocking Pinks album (except Wonderin' & Kinda Fonda Wanda)
2. Cough up the Bucks (FITR)
3. Bringing Down Dinner (Greendale)
4. The Way (CD II)
5. T-Bone (Re-Act-Or)
6. Let's Roll (AYP)
7. He was the King (Prairie Wind)
8. Fontainebleau (LMYR)
9. Homegrown (ASAB)
10. The Old Homestead (Hawks & Doves)

At 11/24/2011 02:45:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

Great lists! Not seen yet, I think, as worst song of all:

"There's a World" (Harvest)

The version on Massey Hall is much better, even listenable, though.

At 11/24/2011 02:49:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

By the way, I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but I think "Such A Woman" comes close as worst song of all. Neil can turn the most tiresome cliché into gold - but it don't work always..

At 11/24/2011 02:56:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

PS: and don't forget (or let's..) the throwaways on "Trans": "Little Thing Calles Love" and 'Hold On To Your Love". But well, I guess they weren't just bad - just trivial.
On the other hand, I agree, "Transformer Man" must be one of the greatest love songs of all times.. Deeply moving, if also disturbing..

At 11/24/2011 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

As for my eternal list of Youngian Greatest Love Songs:

1. I Believe in You (before)
2. Pardon My Heart (after)
3. Sad Movies (between)
4. Transformer Man (during)
5. Speakin' Out (beyond)

PS: "Mellow My Mind"is not a love song, it's a wake for lost youth.

At 11/24/2011 03:21:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

The electric list:

1. Like A Hurricane (before)
2. Don't Cry/ Stupid Girl (after)
3. Barstool Blues (almost after)
4. Losing End (almost beyond)
5. Peace of Mind (beyond)

Also, of course, later on, there's the Settled Down and Happy List:

1. Razor Love
2. Good To See You
3. Unknown Legend
4. Harvest Moon
5. Much more... (is THIS guy settled down and happy..!)

At 11/29/2011 04:46:00 PM, Blogger JimDC821 said...

Great lists Piece of Crap...
Here's my electric list:

1. Down by the River (ah, the power of one chord !) Neil needed more fevers to keep in touch with the Muse (like at the moment when he decided to write a song like "Cough up the Bucks")

2. Cortez

3. Lookout Joe (also, one of his best anti-war/social commentary songs of all time)

4. Rocking in the Free World

5. Powderfinger

6. Out of the Black

7. No More

8. Prime of Life

9. Danger Bird

10. Revolution Blues


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