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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day to All of Our Hearts of Gold Out There!

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been roughly 45 years now since "Heart of Gold" entered our lives, and we'd like to wish that every day could be Valentine's Day.

And no Neil Young song seems to say Happy Valentine's Day more than "Harvest Moon" it would seem by gauging the song's popularity as a "First Dance" song.

So there comes a time for a delightfully heart-warming little love story or ...Understanding Neil Young's Music.

Often, we've found ourselves trying to explain Neil Young's music to others with varying degrees of success. In the end, we find that his music isn't really something that can be explained.

While we've expended quite a few words on this blog making an attempt, it really is the stories of others which transcend the gap much better.


Art by Susan Farrington

So Happy Valentine's Day to all of the hearts of gold out there.


Here's a very rare performance of Neil Young's "Love in Mind" at Carnegie Hall, NYC on 1/9/14. As everybody knows, "Love in Mind" -- from Time Fades Away -- is only available on vinyl*. (* As everybody knows, "Love in Mind" also is on the "Live at Massey Hall" CD (same tour as the TFA version, different date)

And Happy Valentine's Day to my Heart of Gold, Thrashette. I love you!

Also, see Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs.

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At 2/14/2016 07:05:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Thanks for "Love in Mind", Thrasher: a lovely performance of one my favorite Neil Obscurities. It's not obscure to us Rust heads, of course, who may have converted an original LP of TFA to mp3 for storage purposes, but it still doesn't make most people's lists of classic Neil Young songs.

At 2/14/2016 11:06:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

"Love in Mind" is my candidate for most underrated/under appreciated Neil song.

Is it optimistic or pessimistic? YES...

"Jesus where has nature gone"
"but I've got nothing to lose I can't get back again"

I've heard the song hundreds of times, and it always adds (or decreases) to my levels of happiness or sadness. Sometimes it enhances both, sometimes it decreases both, sometimes it just leaves me wistfully wondering. BRILLIANT...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 2/15/2016 01:28:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Side 2 Time Fades Away

Love In Mind
Don't Be Denied
The Bridge
Last Dance with Crosby & Nash

Damn that's always been a great side of music, if only....... I'm not going there

At 2/15/2016 11:32:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Time Fades Away to me is undoubtedly a great album. From the first time I heard it, I knew it would always be a part of me.

I'm in the minority, but I feel the only weak song on the album is Last Dance. It just never did it for me and I've always felt it's a weak album closer. I don't hate it, but I find it tedious and just a little too sloppy musically and lyrically, though you can live your own life..laid back and laughing.

Give me Yonder Stands the Sinner over it every time. It's also sloppy, but in all the right ways. Is that Neil, or is it the Stones at their loose best? Thankfully it's Neil, because Mick can't hold a candle to Neil vocally!!

I guess you heard about
the Great Pretender-
I went to see him
and he's not the same.

At 2/15/2016 11:48:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Ian - Happy Valentine's Day to you and all.
And, we can say, that we were there for this Carnegie Hall performance and it was tellar. Actually every night of the Carnegie Residence was magical.

@ Andy - Yes, TFA Side #2 is a great side of music. That's the way they did things back in the day. Mini sets, if you will. Way before the CD days of fillers. The days that used to be...

@ TopangaDaze - But don't you think it's logical to have Last Dance as the last song on the album?

That said, Yonder Stands the Sinner is quite powerful. You certainly don't hear many artists back then or today going out there on the edge lyrically like that. One can only imagine sitting in the audience for that performance.

At 2/16/2016 12:05:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...


I'm not sure the album was/is exactly based on logic. All I know is that the songs and raw performance are thrilling to me, with Last Dance being the one notable exception. Again I don't hate the song, but...

"Well it's hard to believe
so you get up to leave
and you laugh at the door
that you heard it all before
oh it's so good to know
that it's all just a show for you"

Don't you wish that you could be here too?

At 2/16/2016 04:56:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

TFA is a sloppy mess of a record but it contains some seminal Neil Young songs. Last Dance closes the record, not lyrically strong but with Crosby & Nash on backing vocals it's a cracker. I look at 'Fork In The Road' which could be also called sloppy but just doesn't have the songs of this calibre.

At 2/16/2016 12:12:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

@Andy, please don't ever mention "Fork in the Road" with "Time Fades Away" ever, ever again. Deal? The only comparison is that there's no comparison.

I'll admit I'm basically tone deaf, but TFA always hit my ears just right. I've always felt the music, lyrics and vocals were all perfectly matched and the resulting document captures live the most uncensored, unfiltered and musically free Neil.

As you said, the album contains some seminal songs. There's really something for everyone, from the gentle piano ballads to the mid-tempo rockers to the harsher rougher sounding stuff.

Holding it all together is some of the best song writing of Neil's career. To me, Time Fades Away followed by On the Beach are Young at his lyrical best. His best songs of that period had a concise lyrical presentation tinged with irony, satire and doubt combined with the perfect amount of emotional autobiographical honesty without getting sappy.

A magical tightrope walk indeed, though in my perfect world he would have scrapped Last Dance and maybe replaced it with New Mama or one of the other Tonight's the Night songs he seemed to be writing daily.

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 2/16/2016 02:45:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Apologies about mentioning FITR in the same paragraph has TFA that was madness, FITR is a stinker.

At 2/16/2016 03:14:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ T Daze & Andy - you guys are cracking us up. :)

Which reminds us .... what about Archives Vol#2??? That's the one evryone is looking for and will likely be the most revelatory covering the legendary ditch period.

How much longer...

At 2/16/2016 05:55:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...


I don't think we'll see Archives Vol.2 any time soon (if ever). If I had to bet, I'd say we won't see it before 2020.

This blurb from Gary Burden sounded kind of ominous to me:

"There is going to be a Volume 2, but it’s going to be digital. There may be an actual package. The cost is a big part, though."

I think Neil and the team are really re-considering how to proceed. Volume 1 for the most part is considered more failure than success in terms of market reach and acceptance.

Take my advice
don't listen to me


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