Heart of Gold: NEIL YOUNG

+ scroll down for Old Man

Australian singles charts:
Heart of Gold entered the Kent charts on 27 March 1972 and peaked at #14. The song was #100 on the Top 100 of 1972.

Heart of Gold and Old Man (below) are on Harvest which entered the Kent album charts on 13 March 1972 and reached #1.

Neil Young

BONUS TRACK – scroll down for Old Man

Heart of Gold, which features backup vocals by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, is one of a series of soft acoustic pieces which were written partly as a result of a back injury. Unable to stand for long periods of time, Young could not play his electric guitar and so returned to his acoustic guitar, which he could play sitting down. He also played his harmonica during the three instrumental portions, including the introduction to the song.
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With a straightforward metaphor and complete lack of pathos, this is not a typical Neil Young song. It finds him mining for a “heart of gold” which, depending on your perspective, is either a touching and heartfelt sentiment, or a mawkish platitude. Rolling Stone took the churlish view, complaining that the album evoked “superstardom’s weariest clichés.” The listening public and Young’s fans were far more accepting, and the song became his biggest hit.
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Heart of Gold and Old Man are both on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s

Along with Heart of Gold, another single from Neil’s Harvest album was Old Man. The song entered the Kent charts on 17 July 1972 and peaked at #99.

Old Man was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. The song compares a young man’s life to an old man’s and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals.
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