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Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Splendid Isolation: Neil Young's Vocals Isolated on 'Heart of Gold' | Far Out Magazine

 Neil Young: In the 1970's

A rather interesting experiment involving Neil Young's oh-so classic and beloved song 'Heart of Gold'.

If one song sealed Neil Young’s transformation from counter-culture stalwart to a new rock and roll poster boy, then it has to be ‘Heart of Gold’. 

Another brilliant song from the Harvest album, which could have easily dominated this list, sees Young transcend rock and roll and turn pop, if only for a short while.

Featuring backing vocals from none other than James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, the song shot Young into stardom and was later despised by the songwriter. It’s a song that, ironically, Bob Dylan saw as purposely copying him: “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’,” he once commented.

From performance in 1971 on the BBC, here is Neil Young's song  'Heart of Gold'  with his vocals isolated.  Listen.


Also, see more on Neil Young's song 'Heart of Gold', the lyrics and meaning.

And speaking of "Splendid Isolation",  see a special Bridge Concert Memory: "Splendid Isolation" by Warren Zevon w/ Neil Young in 1993. 


Warren Zevon and Neil Young - 1993
(Note: Neil's right hand)

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At 7/08/2021 01:33:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I'm not sure if "sounded like me" is the same as "copying" someone? I am also not sure that Neil ever "despised" the song? I think it is all a bit more complicated.

At 7/08/2021 01:58:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

hmm. right Abner. It is complicated.

But the way we read the Far Out article linked, was that it was Dylan who said the items you quoted?

maybe something has been lost in translation here?

At 7/08/2021 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I am sorry. First of all, I did not mean to come across as derogatory, like it is a bad article or something. I know that it was Dylan who said those things- that he Dylan- said the stuff about how it sounded like him or something quite similar. My point was that I don't think Dylan seems right about this? Perhaps I am musically naive, but Heart of Gold seems to me to be not like Dylan at all? It has a simplicity, etc.... Apologies for any misunderstanding.

At 7/08/2021 04:54:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

no worries, of course Abner.

yes, it always did seem strange. also, this was back in the 70's. so who knows what really happened.

obviously, today there is great respect between Bob & neil ... just as it should be.

At 7/08/2021 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Right agreed, as it should be!

At 7/08/2021 06:43:00 PM, Blogger rolandthompsongunner said...

Love some Splendid Isolation... but hope we're coming out on the other side!

At 7/08/2021 09:38:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Good singing!

At 7/08/2021 09:39:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Agreed. Not like Dylan. Dylan was being Dylan-centric. It’s not ALL about Dylan.

At 7/08/2021 11:44:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Bob’s subtle way of complimenting Neil’s harmonica skills…

At 7/09/2021 04:33:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

The comment so nice it had to be made twice!

At 7/10/2021 12:50:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Ya, Dylan never played a harmonica that sounded as sweet as Neil’s on that song. Neil is a more impressive harp player. I remain a big Dylan fan, but Neil has made a lot more music with honey-sliders in it…. I mean honey on the harp. 😂 Alan in Seattle

At 7/10/2021 06:55:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

I kinda think this isolation technology makes Neil sound almost as horrible as Dylan. What's the point anyway? It's not like his voice is ever hard to hear on his records. I don't get it.


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