Neil Young
13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 2
Heart of Gold

I recently acquired Chris Davis’ fantastic Jerry Garcia compilation, “8 Days of Jerome” and thought that somebody should do the same for Neil Young. Well, taking my own advice I embarked on this little project in May 2011 and, hoping others will enjoy it, decided to share. The title, “13 Days of Neil” is an obvious rip-off from Chris and Neil (Lucky 13), but feel free to call it whatever you want. Neil’s birthday is on the 11/12 and this set contains 14 volumes. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Vol. 2: Heart of Gold opens with an utterly unique, and completely improvised, Heart of Gold. One of Neil’s truly astonishing qualities is the willingness to take chances with his music, onstage, in front of an audience. As Thrasher would say, a man on a wire. For anyone who’s heard HOG a zillion times already, this performance is truly one of a kind. Pardon My Heart kinda’ sums it all up. Slowpoke makes me think of my kids. This Comes a Time is another one of those off the cuff improvisations, like that’s how he tried it at the soundcheck and decided to do it that way later that evening. The extraordinary Change Your Mind performance included here reaches heights where oxygen is nearly non-existent and coined the phrase: “Change Your Mind territory.” Neil’s written so many love songs-to his wife, kids, dogs, motorcycles, cars, you name it. But when I listen to these tunes I always feel he’s singing to us, his audience.

Heart of Gold (Los Olivos, 2003-09-28)
*Pardon My Heart (New York, 1974-05-16)
Bandit (Los Olivos, 2003-09-28)
Homefires (Upper Darby, 1992-03-24)
Feel Your Love (London, 2003-05-18)
The Ways of Love (San Francisco, 1978-05-24e)
Country Girl (New York, 1969-12-xx)
Slowpoke (Oakland, 1999-10-20)
Change Your Mind (Crazy Horse, Mountainview, 1994-10-02)
Hanging On A Limb (Amsterdam, 1989-12-10)
Comes a Time (Mountainview, 1995-10-28)
Long May You Run (Dublin, 2003-05-13)
Razor Love (Rotterdam, 1989-12-13)

The selection process for this compilation was quite simple. I attempted to pace the songs in a loose chronological order, creating counterpoint with slow and uptempo tunes, and above all include versions of songs that I can enjoy over and over. In that sense, this is more of a retrospective than a greatest hits or best of compilation. In that regard, this and succeeding volumes collect songs that just seem to go well together. Of course, the fact that Neil is so prolific made this project fairly mind-boggling simply in terms of available material. Clearly, I avoided any officially released material, or any that was likely to be released in the foreseeable future.

This collection is also a showcase for the great people and bands with whom Neil has played over the years: Danny, Bert, Nicolette, all those Nashville players, Crazy Horse, the Stray Gators and Santa Monica Flyers, the Springfield, CSN, Pegi. Listen closely and you’ll hear all of them at one point or another. This goes out to Long Grain in particular. If not for Ben Keith, I fear there would be no Neil Young as we’ve come to know, and love, him.

A word about compilations: I compiled these performances for my personal listening pleasure, and share them for the same reason. There are many Neil Young compilations available out there: “Archives be Damned 2000” (and 2006), “Acoustic Masterpieces,” “A Perfect Echo.” Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released “Archives.” Nothing beats the original tracks themselves. This compilation is not meant to replace any of the aforementioned. It, simply, is what it is.

I urge you to seek out the original performances (they’re all available somewhere). Thank you so much to the original tapers and uploaders and all who share this great music (what we do here at DIME is a rare and precious thing). And, of course, thanks, Neil.

November 2011

Lineage: All recordings obtained from various torrent sites (DIME, Trader’s Den, HungerCity, TapeCity, Zomb): FLAC > WAV > CD-R > FLAC (8) > DIME
Notes on Sound Quality: All Audience Recordings except as noted, the SQ is Excellent to Excellent+ throughout except*
*SQ is Fair to good
Convert to lossy for personal use only
Please support this artist-purchase official recordings, attend live performances regularly, and visit the websites:

RustWorks, Vol. 1: Sugar Mountain
RustWorks, Vol. 2: Heart of Gold
RustWorks, Vol. 3: Tired Eyes
RustWorks, Vol. 4: On the Beach
RustWorks, Vol. 5: Interstate
RustWorks, Vol. 6: This Old Guitar
RustWorks, Vol. 7: Let it Shine
RustWorks, Vol. 8: Out of the Blue
RustWorks, Vol. 9: Into the Black
RustWorks, Vol. 10: Transformer Man
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part I: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part II: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 12: Stringman
RustWorks, Vol. 13: Borrowed Tune
RustWorks, Vol. 14: Looking Forward