MY HEART ( NEIL YOUNG COVER ) 08.16.09
Neil Young. What a treasure. He's one of those artists that I can love, my brother can love, my mother can love, and my dad can love. Mainly because Neil's done it all; he's worked in so many styles and genres over a four decade career. A true original. His influence on musicians is a wide net cast over so many of us, over such a long period. And he still makes great music, 40 years after he started. When you're good, you keep doing what you're good at I guess. Aren't we lucky he has kept working all these years.
This song was the lead-off track to his 1994 album SLEEPS WITH ANGELS. An intensely personal album (so many of his albums are), it smouldered with the intensity that only Crazy Horse can bring to the proceedings, but it had a real tenderness and open heart that had real soul in what was captured in the recordings. Neil was reeling from the death of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana's front man, who had committed suicide earlier that year, as Cobain had quoted from a Neil Young lyric in his suicide note. Neil was purportedly quite angry, hurt and saddened by the choice Kurt made to end his life, when he had such an incredibly bright career ahead of him. His mood at the time influenced the songs that were written on this extremely underrated album.
There is almost a naive grace in the way Neil approached the arrangment to this song, singing and playing the same melody line. It adds a directness to an already very direct and heartfelt lyric, and I didn't want to embellish upon that. This song should be considered a standard in Neil's (or anyone's) repertoire, and I believe it sits comfortably with any of his more popular and well-known songs.
Neil's recording makes me covet his tack piano though. Someday I want to ruin a piano by turning it into a tack piano. Apparently it goes out of tune fast when you do that. Oh well, I would keep the piano tuner well-fed. ;-)
There was a dog barking while I was recording this. The two barks at the end remind me of the dogs barking at the end of The Beach Boys PET SOUNDS, so I decided to upload this take.
What a song.
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