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Monday, February 14, 2022

Neil Young & Romanticism in His Music: A Happy Valentine's Day to All of Our Hearts of Gold

"Don't Forget Love" 
art by gary ward  

Happy Valentine's Day!

Appropriately, Neil Young with Crazy Horse has released a 2nd version of a video with animation for the song "Don't Forget Love" from the album "Barn".


Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Don't Forget Love, Animated Version (Official Music Video) 

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

It should be noted that the post on Neil Young’s Harvest at Age 50 kicked off a healthy discussion amongst our resident commenters (now known as ‘Thrashers Wheat Sanity Collective’) over "romanticism in Neil's music".  Check out those comments -- should you be a romantic.


Harvest by Neil Young - Released on February 1, 1972

Regarding Neil Young and Romanticism -- and to a degree post-romanticism -- from a review of Neil Young's 1977 album American Stars 'N Bars by PAUL NELSON, originally published in Rolling Stone on Aug 11, 1977:
In the New York Times, John Rockwell, in a highly favorable review, characterized Young as "the quintessential hippie-cowboy loner, a hopeless romantic struggling to build bridges out from himself to women and through them to cosmic archetypes of the past and of myth." Well, no.

Unless one understands the "On the Beach"/"Motion Pictures"/"Ambulance Blues" trilogy from On the Beach (and "Don't Be Denied" from Time Fades Away), one simply cannot write intelligently about Neil Young. But when one understands these songs, one begins to perceive the exciting possibility that perhaps Young is rock & roll's first (and only?) postromantic. That he knows something that we don't, but should. Indeed, I suspect that Young took one of the longest journeys without maps on record, never even slowed up at the point of no return, but somehow got back anyway, a better man with all senses intact. When nearly overwhelmed by marital difficulties and the death of friends, he apparently looked into himself and managed an instinctive or willed act of Jungian purification that put him somewhat safely on the far side of paradise, if not paradox. I'm not saying he's happy, but who the hell is happy? For Young, being a postromantic probably means he still loves the war, but knows exactly how and where to invest his combat pay-he may lose it, but never hopelessly.

Romanticism is a foreign country; they do things differently there. It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Too homicidal. Having gotten through the more self-destructive aspects of romanticism, Neil Young certainly takes full advantage of his revisiting privileges, pointing out the highlights and contradictions of his itinerary to all who will listen.

Last week, we celebrated Neil Young's album Harvest with an epic 50th anniversary posting by Harvey Kubernik. The  comment thread on 50th anniversary of Harvest yielded a staggering barn full of thoughts and musings on the significance of love, romance and the impact of Neil Young's music, which is visualized in the painting below.

"Wanderer above a sea of fog"
by Caspar David Friedrich
& thank you Dionys)

Also, check this week's episode of Thrasher's Wheat Radio 2.0 Vodcast/Podcast - Episode #13 where we honor Harvest album's 50th anniversary.


  Thrasher's Wheat Radio 2.0 Vodcast/Podcast - Episode #13
 | Hosted by  

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

Love And Only Love
(Via Rusted Moon)

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.

"Dreamin Man" by Neil Young

Here's a very rare performance of Neil Young's "Love in Mind" at Carnegie Hall, NYC on 1/9/14.


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.

Also, see JUNG NEIL: Love and Only Love from the Baghavad Gita (It’s All One Song)

"Battle of Kurukshetra of the Mahabharata Epic"
On the left the Pandava hero Arjuna sits behind Krishna, his charioteer. On the right is Karna, commander of the Kaurava army.
(More @ JUNG NEIL: Love and Only Love from the Baghavad Gita (It’s All One Song))


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

FOUND: A Heart of Gold
An Island in the Sun Under a Rainbow

Also, see Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs.

"Heart Of Gold", NYA Song of the Day, 2/14/19.

NYA Song of the Day

Love & Only LOVE
New York City, NY - January 2014

Farm Aid 2019

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At 2/14/2022 11:38:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

A Valentine's Day playlist (courtesy of M.R. Ian on thread

1. Shining Light
2. No Hidden Path
3. A Dream that Can Last
4. Plastic Flowers (mixed pages Storytone)
5. Beautiful Bluebird
6. She Showed Me Love
7. Don't Forget Love

Thanks M.R. Ian! a good mix of songs for the day.

trending hashtag of the day ...

At 2/14/2022 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Let's add "Vacancy" to that playlist for a pleasant dose of human reality (please, everyone, just a little humor).

By the way, and I am not entirely happy to do this, but it seems a must. My spouse and I were celebrating valentines day yesterday as we are both at work today (I am shirking right now and happily). Having a splendid glass of wine and listening to NPR in the background. What happens next? A segment on Joe Rogan (Neil's name was never mentioned to the best of my knowledge but I quit listening). They played extended excerpts from his podcast that were so outrageously racist that it really turned my stomach. I think the good people on this site should listen to some of this stuff to really see the ugly and foolish ignorance this man is prone to spout. No amount of apology, literally not even a metaphysical apology can wash this stuff away. Some of the excerpt I heard was around genetics and it displayed a thorough ignorance of even elementary genetics (the stuff one might learn in high school) along with some age old racism. It was disgusting.

The commentators went on to say that this guy appeals to a "certain population of white dudes." I do not believe that serial racist comments are in isolation from other totally ignorant and dangerous beliefs, ideas and actions. Joe Rogan is a dangerous fool.

On Valentines Day I honestly look for the conditions for real love, one of those conditions is kindness. Kindness builds up our spirit and mind, allowing for acceptance and the understanding of others. Of course this is what we need in our country right now, more than ever. But we cannot get there by looking kindly on racism, racist commentary and deep level white privilege. We must reject and resist. A true love for humanity simply demands that we turn it off and condemn it.

At 2/14/2022 01:21:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Can't add much to Abner's V-Day convocation. Would say that if any NY album reminds me of a realistic V-day, even more than "Homegrown", it would be "Are you Passionate?" Or maybe "Storytone".

The play list sequence above was not specifically designed for today.. it's been around for a couple of weeks. I recently got the DVD-A of Chrome Dreams II, which is kinda like hearing the album agaiin for the first time in its pristine balance. Vibes, keys, guitar strings, and backing vox on Shining Light, all glister just below the surface. On just about all the tracks--but especially the softer ones--I can hear more emotion in Neil's vocals.

I know-- Shining Light is not a huge favorite for some, but I personally find it one of NY's most affecting in its gentleness and earnest simplicity. He sings it like means it, with touching vulnerability.

I'm also working on a condensed Rust Bucket and a Bluenote Cafe sampler focused on songs that didn't make the original TNFY. It's a hobby, obviously.

"Don't forget love."

At 2/14/2022 01:23:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Should add: one of my goals is providing bite-sized exposure to NY's deep cuts for casual listeners.

At 2/14/2022 02:08:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Ian, in total agreement with "Shining Light"- honestly, the song I do not enjoy or admire on your list is "Beautiful Bluebird." I am still thinking about your Landing on Water comments.

At 2/14/2022 04:26:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Maybe on Valentine's Day Neil might decide to show some love and support for those Canadian truck drivers standing up for their freedom.

Maybe, just maybe, Neil might make a statement about it. He can even have the guys from Crazy Horse repeat "Don't Forget Love" incessantly as he tells us how he feels about those strong patriots standing up for their rights. Yes, it would get annoying, as it does on the album, but at least it would be something.

I'm not gonna hold my breath, though. Maybe tomorrow DH will let him. Hey, I kid cuz I care.....

At 2/14/2022 05:41:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Abner, Bluebird can come off a little twee, overly affected with its “old pickup truck” and twangy banjo. Must have meant something to Neil, though,since it was an older song he came back to and even recycled a couple of lines for “No Wonder”. Having heard an Old Ways-era take online, I’m glad it was redone in a gentler, simpler mode. The full-tilt Harvesters sound is just insensitive for a song like this.

I think it’s sincere and the central conceit is solid. I hear it less as useless nostalgic pining and more as finding an old source of hope (“never seen that blue before, except in one place”) reincarnated in a new place. I have issues with NY’s deep country material, but this one passes the test for reasons I’ll have to consider further.

“Don’t forget love.”

At 2/14/2022 05:49:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Not a day goes by without that romantic menace eating my soul: Blue of course is the romantic colour per se. Should make the list of the romantic code.

At 2/14/2022 08:17:00 PM, Blogger Mister Henry said...

What's the difference between a Romantic and a Sentimentalist?

A Sentimentalist never wants anything to end.

A Romantic sees the end in everything.

At 2/18/2022 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Catchy as this phrase may appear, it's wrong. A true romantic knows that romanticism will not end but with the last human being alive. I agree though that we are working towards that end.


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