Neil Young Heart of Gold

7.71 h 43 min2006X-RayPG
Shot over the span of two nights at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, this in-depth look into Neil Young's 2005 concert combines intimate interviews with Young himself and the premieres of various songs from Young's acclaimed album, 'Prairie Wind.'
Jonathan Demme
Neil YoungEmmylou HarrisBen Keith
DocumentaryMusic Videos and Concerts
English [CC]
Audio languages
English (US) [Audio Description]English
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Supporting actors
Spooner Oldham
Jonathan DemmeGary GoetzmanTom HanksIlona HerzbergElliot RabinowitzNeil Young
Docu-Series & Documentaries
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1010 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 7% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

us alsoReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Make time
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Some pre-concert commentary to make note. Moving performances on stage ... Mr. Young tender with his uniquely expressive deliveries. The professional bandmates on stage - - gems, and expert as individuals and delivering as a group. Entertaining concert performance that those attending so fortuate to have experienced live... A Neil Young concert to make time for...

Relished each note of music, each phrase expressed as well as the overall concert experience.
2 people found this helpful
o dubhthaighReviewed in the United States on April 26, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
Tryin to remember what Daddy said.....
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There is a lot to recommend this film - Young's best music in a very long time, the twin passionate motivators of his father's passing from dementia and his own brush with an aneurism, the brilliant musicianship of all the support players, and perhaps most importantly, Emmylou Harris. (hopefully there will be some additional material on the dvd)I can't think of any better pairing in music than these two, and it has always been that way. More so than with CSN, CH, whatever garbanzo group he cobblers together, the moment he and Harris collaborate, whatever the song, it takes on a majesty that is unsurpassed in my ears. In all honesty, in this film, Harris is riveting. It is as much her film, in a supporting role, as it is Young's, and that is without attempting to grandstand. It is the pairing that does it.

The first half of the film is devoted to PRAIRIE WIND, its recording and presentation on stage. Demme delivers as impressive a tableaux for Neil as he did for Talking Heads. You'd forget altogether the coked stumble bum of THE LAST WALTZ, or even the crazed Dylan uber-fan from the Zimmerman tribute. Demme gets up close with Neil and lets his sardonnic humour shine through. To Young's credit, he knows the camera is there and slyly mocks it, and the whole genre of concert footage. At the opening he explains he never asks for any particular musicians and just goes with the flow of who is assembled. Then all of the supporting players tell how he has explicitly asked for them. It is just a perfect example of an extraordinarily dry wit who, as he explains in the background of the story about Louis Avila, "I'm just lucky, I guess."

The second half of the film reminds you just how powerful his country-folk-rock material is, be it the incredible take on "Four Strong Winds" (any Canadian kid worth his salt knows this better than O Canada), the aforementioned "Old Man," the acknowledgement to Nicollete Larsen with "Lotta Love," or the show stopping tour de force song to his dog with Emmylou matching him rif for rif and harmonizing like her life depended on it. The instensity of these two locked in on this song especially, but in nearly every song she's featured in, takes this concert to a place almost no other Neil Young concert I have ever seen reaches. There is a point in STOP MAKING SENSE where you wonder can the band can be any more incendiary than it is. You'll hit that same point with Young's canine ode. In fairness, everyone in the band is on fire by that point, it's just that Harris and Young take this terrific tune to the temple of the gods and offer it up to Music itself. The audience in the movie theatre stood and applauded.

The film ends with a solo, empty theatre version of "The Old Laughing Lady." And that profoundly reminds you why Young put both this concert and this record together. This early metaphor of death haunts the screen as Young packs up and walks off the stage, his boots knocking on the Nashville floor, his face clearly brooding, tryin to remember what Daddy said...
34 people found this helpful
jkReviewed in the United States on May 15, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I have been a Young fan since my days in high school in the 1960's. This film blew me away. The songs are from a man who is realizing his own mortality. We are all growing older, especially those of us who grew up with Young. Young is singing songs about family, his daughter, wife, his father who passed away right before the concert, his dog and dreams. Growing older makes you think about all of these things and I believe Neil is looking at his life in retrospect. The filming of the concert was first rate, the band was unique and wonderful, the sound was well mixed. The songs brought tears to my eyes as I related some of the songs to my own life.
Neal, if you read this, thank you for all the music you have brought into my life. I have loved most all of it. Young has not been afraid to change styles through the years and I praise him for that. He is one of a handfull from the 60's and 70's still performing and writing new material.
Bottom line, buy this video. You will watch it over and over. It's that good.
Neil has never been afraid to go where the music has taken him, from the tearing up of ol Blackie to the songs that are the little short diddies that stick in your head.
Neil is a perfectionest in his own way, hears every note played by every instrument, every nuance.

I have to rate this as one of his best. It's an album I have to watch every couple of months. It makes me smile, brings a tear and makes me wish for the time when life was so much simplier. A time we will never get back to.
God Bless you and Your family Neil. Somehow I don't think this will be the last we will hear from Neil. I don't know how it could get any better, but Neil always surprises me.
By the way, the rendition of "The old Laughing Lady" during the credits was increadable, you made the gutiar do things it was never meant to, it was awe inspiring.
The album takes me back to the better days in my life and I think in the lives of all who were here during Neils entire time spent adding so much to our lives. Music is one of life's greatest pleasures, Neil is and has always been a huge pert of that during my 58 years. What a fantastic tribute to "Daddy" also. Mine is still alive, I thank the Lord for that, but who knows how much longer, only God.
10 people found this helpful
defilmReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic Acoustic Neil Young, the solo part
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We don't need yet another person telling you that this DVD is a fantastic, intimate, look at Neil Young.

The passion in his music is clear, and I can not add anything to what nearly 100 other reviews have said.

HOWEVER, I happen to also like the "CSN&Y" Neil young, and remember seeing CSN&Y as the very first

concent I ever went to at the Roosevelt Raceway, Long Island, NY. (The stage was on one side of the inside of

the oval raceway, and I was not far from the front stage left on the field. There were people of course in the

stands, hanging off of anything they could. They performed much of what was to make it on to the 4-WAY Street Album,

which is the album I feel in love with CSN&Y. The break up was devistating to me. Looking back, it was another side of Neil,

as was his Electric side which is not represented here. So if you happen to only like Neil's Electric side, this DVD is not for you.

I myself enjoy all of Neil, but I indeed do prefer his electric side. He has provided us with many DVD's of live

concerts for his electric side. He is multi-talented and hence has multiple sides, and he knows how to express

them in music. How lucky we are! I wish some other artists I grew up with in the 70's as a person born near

the tail of the baby boom would come to life like this on DVD.

Sadly they are not all around anymore, or the technology during the 70's does not do justice to Hi-Def

780/1080 video and 5.1/7.1 or DTS audio encoding. :( With Neil, we are lucky his career has extended

over 3 decades.

I love acoustic neil, but I will always remember Rocking in the free world, when even us New Yorkers were

Southern men, and wont forget the Vietnam War, Kent State, or the four that died in Ohio on the electric side,

and when I hear the acoustic side remember those 4 guys up on stage, nervous, knees knocking,

when they performed at Woodstock.

I can never help but wonder what would have happened if CSN&Y had

stayed together. Would we have missed all the great sides we have seen of Neil? Or would they have still

come out only along with the added talents of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash?? I wonder....
5 people found this helpful
JudsonReviewed in the United States on June 9, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Fabulous Concert that Will Never/Ever Happen Again
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Wow ... what a treat for those lucky fans who got to see this concert in person. And a wonderful experience as well for those of us who only get to see it on DVD.

I'll just say it up front. Neil Young is by far my favorite musical artist. And his mellower "Harvest-type" acoustic singer-song writer music is what I like best about him.

Young is one of the most prolific and versatile artists of the rock era. Because he has made so much music in such a variety of styles, if you go to one of his concerts in about 90 minutes, you are liable to hear everything from the lilting acoustic sounds of "Helpless" on is old Martin, all the way to the sensory bombardment of "Cinnamon Girl" shaking the rafters on his vintage Les Paul.

But, what you won't hear anymore, is Neil settling down to an entire evening of his most memorable folk/country classics in which he leaves out almost nothing that his fans have come to hear.

That's why this concert was so rare and why it will probably never happen again.

In the "Heart of Gold" concert filmed at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, it's obvious that Young is content to pay homage to the tradition of the venue and the expectations of his audience ... just this once.

So what you get, is a veritable greatest acoustical hits concert that covers the highest points of his entire 30+ year career up until the "Prairie Wind" CD ... and in the end, as if you needed a bonus, you get one of the most memorable moments ever.

Stick around through the credits as Young performs a haunting version of the obscure "Old Laughing Lady" completely alone on the stage before an eerily deserted Ryman. And I suppose this is where viewing the DVD is better than the concert itself, since apparently none of the audience got to hear this. Could this possibly be the only time he's done this particular version? Usually this song is done in sort of an upbeat country-fied form that I don't particularly care for.

Maybe so, I don't know for sure.

What I do know is this is the very best moment of what this Neil Young fan considers the very best concert ever!
9 people found this helpful
Anthony NastiReviewed in the United States on January 25, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Tour-De-Force Performance with Two Artists at the Top of Their Game.
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Concert films have a tendency to be hit or miss affairs; too often they rely on gimmicks such as gratuitous crowd shots, seizure causing jump shots, and other flash in the pan camera techniques that distract from the performance at hand. The difference between "Heart of Gold" and many other concert dvds is the fact that it was directed by a truly accomplished director with an eye for detail and using various different techniques to capture subtleties and nuances in each performance; for a performer as expressive as Young is when delivering his songs, Jonathan Demme is the perfect match for capturing the visual aspects of the concert. There are no cheesy MTV style jump cuts or split screen, just simple, beautiful camera work that doesn't distract from the nearly 20 beautiful performances featured.

The concert itself is just magnificent; I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of "Prairie Wind," but the record really does come alive in this particular setting; "It's a Dream" is the highlight of the first set, along with "Falling Off the Face of the Earth" and "No Wonder." It's the second set, however, that really makes this a truly special performance, with extremely touching renditions of "Harvest Moon," (maybe the best version ever), "Heart of Gold," and "The Needle and the Damage Done," among others. The closing performance of "One of These Days" is a joy to watch and listen to, a perfect summation of a job well done.

The musicians assembled hold their own against the very best outfits Neil has ever worked with (he's arguably never had a bad backing band), including longtime "Harvest" stalwart Ben Keith, keyboard legend Spooner Oldham, and of course Emmylou Harris; an accomplished vocalist, songwriter and musician in her own right, Harris gets almost as much facetime as Neil and elevates each performance where she is featured prominently, particularly on the jaunty "Old King."

"Heart of Gold" is a touching, entertaining and wholly successful concert film combining the talents of two truly special artists at the top of their game.
28 people found this helpful
Phebe VanHouteReviewed in the United States on May 8, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Received in a timely manner
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I had seen this on a weekend-free HBO,and was glad to find it on DVD. I've loved this guy forever.
Will Allen IIIReviewed in the United States on January 24, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Ethereal, utterly sincere, limpid, humble music
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First, a confession: I was a big Neil Young Fan when I was young. I am now 59. Over thirty years have passed, and I lost touch with him as a musician while my musical taste led me to classic jazz and Delta blues. (For over five years in the 90s I was the Executive Producer for Robert Parker's Jazz Classics In Stereo weekly one hour radio programs on Public Radio International.)

Neil Young recently came back to my attention as one of the owners and developers of a fantastic new electronic control system for Lionel O-gauge model trains called the Legacy system. As a model railroader, I was impressed with the product and especially by Mr. Young's attention to his customer base and commitment to improving the product through direct customer feedback. He is completely open to criticism and inculcates all valid issues into product optimization. Who does that these days?

Since his music was important to me when I was young and stupid, would it still be, I wondered, now that I am old and stupid?

So I started digging around to see where his career had led him, and I came across this DVD, Heart Of Gold, and I bought it to reacquaint myself with the man and his music. It is a film of Mr. Young's 2006 performance, with friends such as Emmylou Harris, in Nashville, and it was directed by Jonathan Demme, famous for movies like Silence of the Lambs.

I was unprepared for my reaction to Mr. Young's performance.

Simply put, it is stunningly beautiful music that comes across, as my title says, utterly sincere. Mr. Young's youthful eclectic creativity has grown and matured. His instrumental and vocal deliveries are deeply emotional without being in the least affected. His songs are tone poems. His on-stage fellow performers are all close friends who share his inner rhythm and his dreams, and it shows. Their musicianship is as perfected as Mr. Young's, and in absolute harmony.

The result is something rare and difficult to describe. The music and the performances are ethereal and deeply moving. It comes directly from Mr. Young's heart without filters or distortion.

I recommend this DVD without reservation or qualification.
5 people found this helpful
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