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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, intimate concert film
A superb, specially recorded concert film by Jonathan Demme. Heart Of Gold features Neil Young and the band of old friends with whom he recorded his recent Prairie Road album as well as a sparingly used gospel choir and small string and brass sections.

The first half of the concert film features pretty much all of the recent LP - pleasant, intimate,...
Published on 21 Dec 2006 by Greg Farefield-Rose

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not amazing
I'm not the biggest Neil Young fan and only have a few of his albums, of which Weld (double live) and Harvest are my favourites. I love the energy and grunginess of Weld and the pure beauty of Harvest. I don't have Prairie Wind so I thought this would be a good DVD to buy, rather than buy the CD.

I will try to explain my rating of 3 stars (above average rating)...
Published on 3 Jun 2007 by R. Crozier


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, intimate concert film, 21 Dec 2006
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
A superb, specially recorded concert film by Jonathan Demme. Heart Of Gold features Neil Young and the band of old friends with whom he recorded his recent Prairie Road album as well as a sparingly used gospel choir and small string and brass sections.

The first half of the concert film features pretty much all of the recent LP - pleasant, intimate, country-tinged songs, probably not classic NY but the new songs have their moments and show where the artists is now. Moving into old age, Young seems largely at peace with himself though there are still flashes of the old anger (his next project after this concert was the ferocious Living With War LP!).

Clearly grateful to his loving family and supportive friends, this sentimental, moving performance goes into the second half where Neil plays the classics. Uniformally brilliant, this includes a beautiful Harvest Moon, touching fingerpickin' Old King and classic, solo Old Laughing Lady. Other songs featured such as the superb I Am A Child and Old Man possibly owe their inclusion to the recent death of Neil's father to whom the film is dedicated.

Recorded at the legendary Ryman Auditorium at Nashville, Heart Of Gold is a exquisitely-made, intimate concert film by one of elder statesmen of rock whose singing and playing get better and better. It led to me playing all my old Neil Young albums again which must surely be the point. A brilliant, moving performance.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Neil Young film from Jonathan Demme., 12 Oct 2006
By 
C. Mcsloy "I baptised a dog" (Nowhere in particular today) - See all my reviews
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Just got back from seeing this film at the Cameo in Edinburgh (the only place it seems to be playing in Scotland) and I enjoyed it immensely. But then both Neil Young and Jonathan Demme have a good pedigree when it comes to concert movies. Neil Young has always had film-making aspirations and under the guise of Bernard Shakey directed a great concert film "Rust Never Sleeps". Jonathan Demme, most people will be aware, directed what many people regard as the greatest concert film ever "Stop Making Sense". He has also worked with Young before, filming a four sound stage performances from "Sleeps with Angels" which was released as "The Complex Sessions". Young also provided the title song for his film "Philadelphia", a great song that got a bit overshadowed by Springsteens the streets of Philadelphia.

This feature see's Neil Young returning to Nashville were he first recorded in the earlier 70's to debut live his recently recorded album Prairie Wind at the Grand Old Opry. The album harks back to acoustic albums like "Harvest", "Comes A Time", and more recently "Harvest Moon" and "Silver and Gold". The recording of this album was interrupted by a dangerous operation for a potentially fatal brain anyurism and this brush with mortality obviously left Young in a reflective mood, as he is very frank both the little interviews that precede the concert and between songs during the gig.

Prairie Wind is featured almost in entirity, as far as I could tell only "He was the King" is omited. It's an extremely assured performance, both rehearsed and sponteaneous, and the musicians backing him (stalwarts from throughout his career) are top notch. "Only A Dream" my favourite song from the album is performed beautifully, and Demme certainly has a knack for capturing performance, laying bare Youngs vulnerabilty and yearning. Prairie Wind is also great, and is one of the only part of the film where we get to see Neil play any lead (the other being his banjo soloing on Old King), and the horn parts are amazing, this song seems to join together Harvest style Neil with Bluenotes style Neil. Even songs that I wasn't overly keen on initially, found myself warming to on film like the piano hymn "When God Made Me", and was great to hear Emmylou Harris featured so prominently. The blend of their voices is extremely haunting and always makes the hairs on the nape of my neck stand up.

The second portion of the film has the great man revisiting moment from his career. Highlights include a version of "One of these Days" with another great horn part and Harris on backing vocals, "Heart of Gold", and an amazing version of "Four Strong Winds". The film closes with Neil playing a personal best "Old Laughing Lady" to the empty Auditorium.

I'll probably write a slightly longer review when this is released on region 2 but untill then this will have to suffice.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timely reminder, 10 April 2007
This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of Neil Young fans just seem to buy the odd one of his records these days. In so doing, it's easy to just assume he's gently losing his way, or isn't as vital as he used to be. That is just a mistake, and this film is the most potent evidence of this fact. I've been away from the music buying game for a while, and now I'm back I've been acquainting myself with Shakey's more recent output. On the whole, he is still magnificent.

This performance shows a performer reaching old age, reflecting on family and the state of the world, and producing some genuinely moving and relevant songs. Young has integrity in spades, and to quote the man himself, he is "as real as the day is long". I have not felt such sincerity in a performance... probably ever. It is absolute proof of Young's passion for music, and as such is beautiful and inspiring. I can think of no one else today producing such personal and yet universal music.

With it's country feel it's probably not for all Young's fans, but it's another fine addition to a remarkable body of work that, along with the recent "Lving With War" and "Performance" series hints at a great deal more vital work still to come - both new compositions and archive material.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEIL YOUNG<LIVE AND CLASSIC > heart of gold, 5 Mar 2007
By 
P. Clack "pete" (WITNEY, OXFORDSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
I kept waiting for this DVD to come out in Britain,it seemed an age but now it's here and you always wonder if it's as good as some say it is !

It is and more,this is classic Neil Young at thr Ryman in Nashville

playing a concert of his wonderful songs.Based on the album Prairie Wind,

but lots of his classic songs in there as well his fabulous band,wife Pegi

along with Emmylou Harris on backing vocals.What we get is an evening of

pure NY gold.The songs all so beautifully crafted,excellent clear sound and

picture quality.Sure I'm a huge NY fan but this is very special,and it

seems an almost intimate gig though it's not,it's just a shame it had to end,

but hey it's a DVD so play it again and again. BEST DVD OF 2006 without

doubt,go on order your copy now!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a huge Neil Young fan but......, 22 Mar 2007
By 
Michael Bermingham "mjbermingham" (Birr,County Offaly,Ireland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
Although I recall buying Neil Young's albums 'Harvest' and 'After The Gold Rush' back in the 'seventies I still would'nt be his biggest fan.I bought this dvd on a whim after seeing it reduced on Amazon....and I am bowled over by it.

Recorded in Nashville its a gorgeous blend of easy going ballads and out and out rockers.Young is supported by Emmylou Harris and his wife Pegi and many other fine musicians.Its a showcase recording for his 'Prairie Wind' album but there are also reminders of the 'old' days.I particularly liked the superb 'Old Man' and the rocking 'Heart Of Gold'.'Needle And The Damage...' also gets an excellent airing.

Yes....I'm not a huge Neil Young fan but I still love beautiful music played with feeling by excellent musicians.

Now, where are those two old classic albums I know I keep somewhere?...
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil's 18 carat Heart of Gold, 3 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. A. W. Riggs "bernard shakey" (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
As Neil reaches 60 this film shows Neil doing what he does best, rummaging through his back catalogue and Praire Wind with a great band.

Neil's warmth and sense of humour brims thorugh this film and as the end titles come along Neil sits on stage alone in the theatre singing 'Old Laughing Lady' - a highlight. An essential purchase for anyone who loves Neil.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not amazing, 3 Jun 2007
By 
R. Crozier (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not the biggest Neil Young fan and only have a few of his albums, of which Weld (double live) and Harvest are my favourites. I love the energy and grunginess of Weld and the pure beauty of Harvest. I don't have Prairie Wind so I thought this would be a good DVD to buy, rather than buy the CD.

I will try to explain my rating of 3 stars (above average rating) rather than explain what this DVD actually is because you have probably already read that in the Amazon description further up.

Music: The music is performed fantastically and it's obvious even to me (someone who isn't familiar with Neil's "band") that all the musicians are talented (and established.) They all play together seamlessly and I think it would have been a great gig to experience. For me though the Prairie Wind songs are a bit too "Country" (for lack of a better adjective) - as I said above I love Weld and Harvest, and I don't think the Prairie Wind songs wouldn't fit into either of those albums. But, that doesn't make them bad songs as Neil is a good composer as well as performer. They just don't stir me personally. The latter half (ish) of the concert was more to my taste as they performed several songs from Harvest.

Cinematography: Generally very good for disc 1, the actual concert performance. The director tends to favour shots which are held for quite a long time and that suits the music. The concert itself mostly doesn't have dynamic lighting except when Neil does a few solo performances (and duets) and most of the songs have a lot of artists playing where the whole stage looks evenly lit. Nothing to get excited about but again it suits the music. One thing I noticed another reviewer mentioned was the music going slightly out of sync. It's strange because it looks like the vocals are synched but the music not. It's not all the way through and I think not everyone will notice but I noticed as I was fascinated by Neil's guitar playing (I play a little) and the strumming didn't quite match the sound.

Special Features (disc 2): I found really boring. I'm sorry but I don't know who those artists are although it's obvious they are well established country (or "American music" as they refer to it) artists and all talented people. Neil's famous guitars are mentioned and shown on several occasions but even as a guitar owner myself I found it flat viewing. The director really got on my nerves as he goes well over the top idolising (almost worshipping!) Neil. Also, the special features are not in 16:9 format so I had to change my TV setting to "zoom" to stop people from looking squashed, something I've never had to do with a DVD before.

The packaging is very basic - a standard double-DVD plastic box, not even a booklet. One other comment is the end credits for disc 1 state Cortez the Killer but I didn't hear it playing anywhere so I'm wondering if the DVD is edited differently to the cinema release. And I love that Song so I hope I haven't been duped :)

So if you're a big Neil Young fan (why haven't you bought this already?) or you like the Prairie Wind CD and/or American/alt-Country (or whatever genre it is) then do buy this as the concert itself is worth the asking price and it's a little piece of history.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Young @ the Grand Ole Opry, 14 May 2007
By 
Mohammad A. Rahman (Wolverhampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
Prior to releasing the Prairie Wind album, Neil Young performed most of the songs from it at the Grand Ole Opry, along with a second set featuring many of his most enduring and popular songs. Jonathan Demme, director of Silence Of The Lambs and the Talking Head's concert film Stop Making Sense, was invited by Neil to film the concert, the rehearsals and to conduct interviews with Neil and members of the band and road crew. The resulting film, which had a limited cinema release before coming out on DVD, ranks as one of the best collaborations between a musician and a film-maker.

Neil Young is an artist who loves to perform in the moment and over the years he has built up strong relationships with a vast number of musicians and singers, all of whom have become familiar with his working methods but who are nonetheless thrilled to perform with him. Brought together at short notice and with very little time to rehearse before the big concert, "Heart Of Gold" shows how true working musicians and singers can achieve so much magic not by the size of a pay cheque but through passion for their art and an affinity for performing in the moment.

What emerges is a heartwarming concert film full of great performances, plenty of humour and some excellent interviews with the participants, including Neil, Emmylou Harris, Spooner Oldham, Ben Keith, Chad Cromwell, Rick Rosas, Wayne Jackson, Diana DeWit, Anthony Crawford and Karl Himmel among others. But the best interviewees are Grant Boatwright and Larry Cragg, two wonderful personalities with incredible knowledge and a passion for telling stories.

Plus, of course, the music is fantastic! The second DVD contains some good extra material from the rehearsals and more interview material with Larry Cragg and Grant Boatwright.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, 19 Dec 2006
By 
J. Stranks (Rio de Janeiro Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
Maybe you need to be like me to love this - mid-50s, grew up loving this guy's music, swoons at the sight and sound of EmmyLou Harris, etc etc. But if you're anything like that you'll just love this show, given by a man whose love of music and life and love is enormous and comes across as easily, as effortlessly as the music does. This is glorious stuff to warm the heart. 'Old Man' is especially great - the song takes on dimensions I didn't know it had.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pegi,Lou and Neil came too!, 15 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those rarities,a neil young recording that doesn't immediately hit the mark.
This is a seperate, stand alone DVD unlike anything he has issued lately(his last few cd's have included Dvd Limited editions with them) and although this was a cinema relase,it does seem rather pointless as it covers ground that is already released,however with the inclusion of his wife Pegi,and country music icon Emmylou Harris all is not lost the concert recording is crisp and clear but the whole affair has a "run of the mill" feel to it that just doesn't do Young any Favours.
The band interviews offer some information as to the point of the concert which takes place in Nashville,but as to why it was filmed is a mystery.
The mention of the death of his father is very moving and it seems that he still has a longing for those days when he used to shoot food on the wide open prairies of his native Canada,and tellingly it is the old songs that shine through. .
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