Neil Young movie Heart Of Gold released on DVD
Tuesday June 13th marked the release of Jonathan Demme's documentary/concert film of Neil Young's Heart Of Gold on DVD for purchase and rental. This is a fantastic movie, one that should appeal to everyone, not just fans of Neil Young.
The movie documents Neil's concert at the Ryman Auditorium, a famous theatre in Nashville Tennessee, where he previously recorded his recent album Prairie Wind. The album is a return to the style of music Neil made famous with the International Harvesters, and some of his musicians including Ben Keith on steel guitar and Spooner Oldham on piano/keyboards have been playing with Neil since the days of this band lineup. The album is very similar in tone to the 1993 release Harvest Moon, and fans of that release will definitely enjoy this album. The songs are extremely personal, dealing with his relationships with his recently deceased father, his wife of many years Pegi, his daughter Amber Jean leaving home, and his recent brush with mortality as he was diagnosed with a brain aneurism a week before the filming of this movie. The concert features every song on the new album, and about eight classic songs at the end of the set. Some of these classics take on all new meanings in the context of Neil's illness. Look in his eyes when he sings "I want to live, I want to give" at the begining of the song Heart of Gold, and you'll know what I mean. Other highlights of the set include Comes A Time, Four Strong Winds, I Am A Child, Old King, One Of These Days, Old Man, and Needle and the Damage Done.
The DVD comes in a two disc set, with six or seven mini documentaries on disc two about the making of the film and the recording of the album. There is also a short clip of the Johnny Cash show from 1971 where a much younger Neil plays Needle & the Damage Done for one of the first times.
I can't recommend this DVD enough. It's a heartbreakingly raw and emotional performance. I was moved almost to tears several times just by looking at Neil as he smiles at his wife singing behind him. Definitely pick this one up and check it out as soon as you can.