50 Great Neil Young Covers

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (170 of them)

Lee Ann Womack did a great version of "Out on the Weekend" last year on The Way I'm Livin'/ Govt Mule did a suitably epic (which doesn't just mean "long") version of "Cortez the Killer" on Live...With A Little Help From Our Friends in '99.

dow, Monday, 9 March 2015 02:15 (four years ago) link

Merry Clayton - Southern Man - righteous and mighty where the original is just pissy

― Dorian (Dorianlynskey), Friday, January 15, 2010 7:34 PM (5 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

So, thanks to discovering this thread I've spent much of the evening listening to Neil Young covers, and this comment is as OTM as it gets. I never liked "Southern Man" for the very reason stated above, but Clayton's version feels earned. She can talk about this because she's lived it. For anyone else who missed it the first time, and doesn't feel like scrolling upthread, here it is again:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4czTIjYwGlc"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

That shit right there is precedented. (cryptosicko), Monday, 9 March 2015 03:31 (four years ago) link


just sayin, Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:28 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

ILM user ___________________ (I know his actual name, but his display name's all weird characters....) sent me a link for this:


A few things in there I've never come across.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 February 2018 14:05 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Another excellent roundup, passed on to me by cryptosicko:


I'm closing in on 700 Neil covers on my hard drive. Anyone know how to get in touch with, um, Neil Young? I think he should spend the next year securing all legal clearances and add a covers section to his archival website.

clemenza, Friday, 16 March 2018 17:16 (one year ago) link

hmmm I find that collection surprisingly underwhelming, maybe it's the aesthetics, maybe Neil's hard to cover

I like the Built to Spill Cortez

niels, Saturday, 17 March 2018 12:15 (one year ago) link

I'm just hoarding at this point--I don't even listen to them anymore. I'd worked up an excellent mix-CD a few years ago.

clemenza, Saturday, 17 March 2018 15:54 (one year ago) link

haha, cool

can I see your mix cd tracklist?

niels, Saturday, 17 March 2018 18:06 (one year ago) link

Found it and put it on Google Docs:


That goes back 10 years, when I probably had half of what I have now. So there'd be some changes, I'm sure. You can probably figure out what the Chris Farley excerpt is if you give it some thought.

clemenza, Saturday, 17 March 2018 18:22 (one year ago) link

nice, that's an interesting mix!

niels, Saturday, 17 March 2018 18:44 (one year ago) link

51. Killdozer -" Cinnamon Girl"

Don't miss that one ^^

... (Eazy), Saturday, 17 March 2018 23:23 (one year ago) link

While tagging songs from these last two links, discovered a couple of full-length albums I didn't know about: Blitzen Trapper's Live Harvest, a Record Store Day thing, and J. Tillman covering the whole Tonight's the Night LP.

http://phildellio.tripod.com/trapper.jpg http://phildellio.tripod.com/tillman.jpg

clemenza, Sunday, 18 March 2018 15:29 (one year ago) link

has this one been mentioned yet? i dig it.

tylerw, Sunday, 18 March 2018 15:44 (one year ago) link

Nobody's mentioned The Chromatics, Into The Black

kornrulez6969, Sunday, 18 March 2018 16:03 (one year ago) link

Once you start down the rabbit hole..."Even Richard Cheney has got soul."


(If anybody can turn this into an mp3 for me, I'd be very appreciative.)

clemenza, Sunday, 18 March 2018 20:34 (one year ago) link

And this, the entirety of Decade (I probably have a lot of it already, but I can see some things that are new to me).


clemenza, Sunday, 18 March 2018 20:37 (one year ago) link

Seven years ago, when I picked "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" as my favourite song ever in a Facebook countdown, I called it "the most indestructible of Neil’s songs for anyone who tries to cover him." Rickie Lee Jones, whose version I'd never heard till today, walks right up to that line. The song sort of survives.


clemenza, Monday, 19 March 2018 00:34 (one year ago) link

I think the song makes it

btw clemenza, did you ever try clicking
https://www.klickaud.com/ or

niels, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 19:38 (one year ago) link

I haven't, thanks...they're okay? I'd only do it in really isolated instances like this.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 22:49 (one year ago) link

I guess the legality would be disputable, but yeah, it works

something like this app would be more stable, customizable https://www.4kdownload.com/

niels, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 07:34 (one year ago) link

My favourites

Chromatics - into the black
Tori Amos - Philadelphia
Annie Lennox - don't let it bring you down

tinnitus the night (Ross), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 15:51 (one year ago) link

Niels: had no problem, thanks again. (Will probably start searching for more Neil covers there...)

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

I don't think anyone saw this one coming:


Dangleballs and the Ballerina (cryptosicko), Monday, 26 March 2018 21:05 (one year ago) link

lol yes! love how he hams it up during the one note solo

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 26 March 2018 23:31 (one year ago) link


aqxmission, Friday, 30 March 2018 00:32 (one year ago) link

I guess the original is either in a different key or slightly off key or Neil does smth weird with his voice because both this and the excellent Buddy Miles version has something off about the vocals (not necessarily in a bad way) particularly on the "when you could be taking me for a riiiiiide" line

niels, Friday, 30 March 2018 07:52 (one year ago) link

KD Lang - Helpless
Neko Case - Dreaming man

while my dirk gently weeps (symsymsym), Friday, 30 March 2018 17:02 (one year ago) link

Ida - Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere

that's not my post, Friday, 30 March 2018 20:38 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Chris Forsyth - Don't Be Denied


Brad C., Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:50 (one year ago) link


Brad C., Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:51 (one year ago) link

Roxy Music's "Like A Hurricane" is so incredible, it sounds like a Roxy song, even the lyrics ("Once I thought I saw you, in crowded, hazy bar") seem like Roxy lyrics.

That and Killdozer's "Cinnamon Girl", which points for having, some how, and even more inept rhythm section that the Horse

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 18:05 (one year ago) link

Does CSNY doing Down By The River at Balboa park in 1969 count as a cover? Never sure if the writer is on board.
Anyway 19 minutes of guitar burn including a hypnotically repetitive element from one of the players.
NOt sure if it is available anywhere legally yet but it does circulate on bootleg which is why i've heard it.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 19:19 (one year ago) link

think Y is on that one

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 19:26 (one year ago) link

no what I meant was never sure if it counts as a cover if the writer/original artist is onboard i.e. later band with writer as central player or contemporary alternative band to the main one the artist is known for when artist is a permanent player in both bands.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 19:47 (one year ago) link

Intuitive call: I probably wouldn't count that, but I would count Neil joining R.E.M. for their cover of "Ambulance Blues" (some fan-club record put out by R.E.M., with a great lyric change to accommodate Bill Clinton).

clemenza, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 19:56 (one year ago) link

Definitely Tori Amos Philadelphia

Ross, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:02 (one year ago) link

was never sure if it counts as a cover if the writer/original artist is onboard

omg I got into an epic argument w my bass player years ago about this very subject when he insisted on calling Spiritualized's version of "Lord Can You Hear Me" a cover, because Spiritualized is ostensibly a "different" band than Spacemen 3, even though both feature Jason Pierce and it's his song

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:04 (one year ago) link

i mean, if you wrote a song and you are performing it, it's not a cover, right?

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:47 (one year ago) link

my point exactly

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:49 (one year ago) link

Yeah just never sure if you could cover yourself years later since you're going to be in a different context, chronologically at least and probably mentally. maybe in terms of style too. & playing style with different players in your band is likely to change a bit or at least the surroundings will.
So what word would you use to differentiate between different versions?

With CSN there's a lot more melodic guitar burn. I thought the version that's shown in the Big Sur film was really nice for that and the Balboa park version is much longer.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:54 (one year ago) link

has the undisputed truth's "down by the river" hit this thread yet?

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Thursday, 12 July 2018 02:33 (one year ago) link

So what word would you use to differentiate between different versions?


Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:26 (one year ago) link

you're going to be in a different context, chronologically at least and probably mentally

this different context is happening continuously, from writing the song, to demoing it, to rehearsing it, to recording it, to touring it, etc. i would even argue there is no "original context" for a song outside the abstracting of an official record release, which is still a document of a single performance.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:30 (one year ago) link

have we done simply red's 'mellow my mind' yet? i heard it in a hotel lobby while jetlagged out of my mind a few months ago and had something close to a psychotic break in response

really disappointing that mick chooses not to emulate neil's wobbly, off-key delivery of 'railroad traaaaaaaack' tbh

two weeks pass...

Boz Scaggs - On the Beach

Brad C., Wednesday, 1 August 2018 23:42 (one year ago) link

oh nice, just released

InfoWarriors (Spottie), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 23:52 (one year ago) link

very good, thanks

niels, Thursday, 2 August 2018 09:18 (one year ago) link

58. the meters - 'birds'

― jlgt, Saturday, January 16, 2010 7:21 AM (eight years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

just heard this for the first time, way prettier than anything i've heard from the meters. they did down by the river too if you're more into their usual funk:


ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:24 (one year ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.