Neil Young: “Heart of Gold”

Posted: January 31, 2018 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Heart of Gold” – Neil Young
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Andre Bisson vs. Johnny Cash vs. Richard Lloyd
Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!



“Americans learn only from catastrophe, and not from experience.”

  Theodore Roosevelt




The Original


Neil Young:

And before it was played six trillion times:



THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Andre Bisson vs. Johnny Cash vs. Richard Lloyd
Andre Bisson:

Johnny Cash:

Richard Lloyd:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


  1. Cuspid says:

    Wow. This is a tough one. One of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite artists.

    After listening to the 3 covers, I immediately eliminated Johnny Cash, which kinda shocked me, especially because I think he totally nailed U2’s “One” yesterday. But it sounds to me like he’s got the wrong feel for this song. Hey, even the greats are entitled to one miss every now and then.

    I have loved Richard Lloyd’s guitar work for 25 years, primarily with Television and Matthew Sweet. He does a great job here channeling his inner Neil Young as to what Heart of Gold would have sounded like if NY had decided to do the song in the style of Like a Hurricane, especially the guitar solo. I was very close to choosing this one as my winner.

    But I ultimately went with Andre Bisson for his really cool interpretation of HoG as a jazzy rhythm & blues tune. The brass fills sound great, as does the short, little guitar solo. It also doesn’t hurt that Bisson is from Ontario, not far from where NY was born. Must be something in the water… or rather, melted snow.

  2. Kerry Black says:

    I listened to all three, and I’ll vote for the one I liked: Johnny Cash.

  3. Kris says:

    I got to go with Andre Bisson; this one was tough though; I was surprised I didn’t go with Johnny Cash….all three are just not as good as the Man, Neil Young….

  4. RDubbs says:

    I like Bisson’s jazz/blues interpretation. Very nicely done. JC, as usual, puts forth a superlative effort. But I really like Lloyd’s interpretation of Heart of Gold if NY had decided to record it with Crazy Horse. Three entirely different, yet worthy covers. But Lloyd gets my vote.

    And I agree with Cuz Kris, nothing compares to the Man’s version!

  5. Pete Black says:

    Unlike Cuspid have never been a fan of this song. I think it has a tedium to it. No real changes, just slogs along. I love the sound of this album. The bass, acoustic guitars etc sound so warm and wonderful but this is one of my least favorite songs from Harvest. I think if you took Neil’s first eleven solo studio albums, which would run up through Rust Never Sleeps, he released 103 songs. I don’t think Heart Of Gold would be in my favorite two thirds. But then radio saturation destroyed my tolerance for so many songs. I voted Richard Lloyd for his guitar heavy version over the beloved elder statesman whose solid version emphasized the lyrics with his sincere and sage way. Why does Neil bemoan getting old when he was probably 25 when he wrote this song? (26 upon release after long delays due to severe back problems)

  6. Arnold Plotnick says:

    The original, by that guy Neil Young, is pretty good. I believe he has a few other albums, also with good songs on them.

    As for the covers, unlike some of y’all, I did NOT like that bluesy-jazzy version by Andre Bisson. I wouldn’t call it torture, but maybe torture “lite”. I expected to like Johnny Cash’s version as the winner, hands down. He usually takes a song that he covers, slows it down, and gives it that melancholy bruised and battered treatment that elevates it pretty nicely, like he did with U2’s “One”, and especially Nine Inch Nails’s “Hurt”. (Johnny Cash did to “Hurt” what Hendrix did to “All Along the Watchtower”, in my opinion). But instead of being all melancholy, his Heart of Gold was too punchy and upbeat, dammit.

    I, too, am a fan of Richard Lloyd’s guitar, from the classic Marquee Moon album, to his poorly publicized duets with Florence Henderson, and I gave him this one.

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