I Like: Neil Young

I Like: Neil Young

neil young playlist
Hammersmith Odeon, London, 28th March 1976. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Where does one start with an artist like Neil Young? Whether it be his perpetual flow of albums, bounty of awards, tireless philanthropic work or perhaps it’s his free-spirited approach to the electric guitar that earnt him the nickname, ‘Godfather of Grunge’ … maybe it’s the fact that he’s dating Daryl Hannah. 

Words can do no justice for a career spanning a lifetime, steeped simultaneously in retrospect and forward thinking, that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

Been a long week? Luckily, the I Like: Neil Young playlist is best enjoyed with a glass of wine. Let your troubles melt away to the sentimental musings of a man who has definitely seen it all. 


Heart Of Gold

Featuring backing vocals by Linda Ronstadt, “Heart of Gold” was the song that earned Neil Young his first US No.1 single and cemented his place in history. 

Young’s ability to draw on perspective and knowledge well beyond his years is showcased in the lyrics that speak of growing old, despite the fact he wasn’t yet 30 when the song was released. 

Up next is a song that would spur on future generations and an entirely new genre, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” from 1979’s, Rust Never Sleeps.

Inspired by his fear of becoming obsolete when faced with the uprising of punk, this track stands as a testament to Neil Young’s visionary status.

He may have had no place in 1980’s punk, but the song's heavily distorted guitar work would go on to inspire the next wave of the early 1990’s – grunge – who’s main players consider him a King. 

Needle And The Damage Done

First appearing on Harvest, “The Needle and the Damage Done” describes the destruction caused by heroin addiction, upon which he reflects, “I’m not a preacher, but drugs killed a lot of great men.” 

It’s this disarming wisdom, underpinning even Neil’s earliest records, that creates his shining signature in a body of work that is equally revolutionary as it is timeless.

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