Friday, November 13, 2009
Friday Night Videos: Heart of Gold
Neil Young has had an incredible career as a solo artist and as a member of many bands including Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), as well as the front man for Crazy Horse.
After leaving CSN&Y in 1971, Young recorded Harvest, which was the top selling album of 1972. From this album comes tonight's Friday Night Video, and Neil Young's only #1 song on the Billboard charts - Heart of Gold.
This particular recording was for a BBC show in 1971, and offers an amazingly talented performer displaying many of his musical skills, as well as a bit of his bashful yet comical personality.
As he transitions from the previous song, Neil fumbles around for a bit as he tries to find the correct harmonica, explaining to the crowd that harmonicas are made in different keys and that the one he needs is in the key of 'G' if anyone wishes to blow along, which draws laughter from the crowd. Moments like these are what sets a great performer apart, as many might leave an audience hanging through silence rather than holding their attention with some simple banter.
Young seems to be an entire band within himself. He displays amazing talent on the guitar, as his strumming seems to provide a bass line as well as the higher tones that accent perfectly his unique vocals and harp playing.
I play a little bit of guitar and I understand how difficult it can be to play and sing at the same time, therefore in my opinion his ability to transition seamlessly from the harmonica to singing and back wile keeping perfect tempo and not missing a note on the guitar is simply amazing.
Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam once called Neil Young the "Godfather of Grunge." I would say that when God created Neil Young, he definitely planned on his being a musician.
If you would like to see the complete show on YouTube, it can be found here.
Neil Young's 64th birthday was yesterday, November 12th. Happy birthday, Neil.