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Neil Young — Dont Let It Bring You Down
Album: After the Gold Rush
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2157









Released: 1970
Length: 2:53
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Old man lying
by the side of the road
With the lorries rolling by,
Blue moon sinking
from the weight of the load
And the building scrape the sky,
Cold wind ripping
down the allay at dawn
And the morning paper flies,
Dead man lying
by the side of the road
With the daylight in his eyes.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Blind man running
through the light
of the night
With an answer in his hand,
Come on down
to the river of sight
And you can really understand,
Red lights flashing
through the window
in the rain,
Can you hear the sirens moan?
White cane lying
in a gutter in the lane,
If you're walking home alone.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around.
Comments (266)add comment
 willjay wrote:

Does anyone else ever tire of the pathetic whining? 


Yes, we're tired of your pathetic whining.
Great song though.
 willjay wrote:

Does anyone else ever tire of the pathetic whining? 



No - never!  
Does anyone else ever tire of the pathetic whining? 
 DaidyBoy wrote:
I like NY because he uses the word "lorries"
 
Agree.  Would be even better if he used "articulated lorries".
My Neil Young theory:
Back in the 1950s, a boy was growing up with passion, principle, and an Elvis Presley baritone, but not much inspiration.
Sometime around 1960, while he was idly walking down the road playing his harmonica, he was visited by the Devil.
Whoosh!

"Neil, I have a deal for you."
"Aaah….!"
"How'd you like to be a great singer-songwriter?"
"Aaah--huh? But everybody already says I sing really nice about nature and, like, birds, and… uh, farmers… and stuff. Yup."
"What if I were to offer you eloquence, the ability to put your passion into words?"
"Oh, no. You want to make me like them that think they've got it made. But I wouldn't buy, sell, borrow or trade anything I have to be like one of them. I'd rather be here again."
Neil smiles at the words and the rich voice in which he'd said them.
"Free sample," the Devil says.
"What? I don't believe you. I believe in love. And I believe in action, when push comes to shove."
"Also, free sample."
"Damn it! Stop that!"
"OK."
"It's just… that, the words, the things… thoughts." He looks helplessly at the Devil.
"Need some assistance?"
"No, I got this, it's like… if I could hold on to just one thought long enough to know, why my mind's moving so fast and this conversation so slow… You did it again didn't you?"
"Yes."
Neil glares at him. "What's the catch?"
"You must give me your voice."
"What?"
"And I will replace it with the voice every arch-conservative imagines when he pictures a leftist songwriter.
"No!"
"Choose--a voice to win hearts or words to move minds."
Neil kicks some dirt. He plays a couple notes on the harmonica.
"Hearts are hard to change," he says, "I can't tell them how to feel. Some'll get stoned, some strange. But sooner or later, it all gets real."
"Well? Do you want me to work my magic or not?"
"Work on, work on."
 madtowner11 wrote:
ecorunner wrote:
Are you just yearning to be reprimanded?
Yes, please reprimand me, daddy. It will mean so much coming from someone who thinks the singing in this song was good. While you're at it, why don't you tell me how delicious horse feces is. My points are simply this: 1. Neil Young can't sing. 2. A singer who can't sing shouldn't be a legend. 3. This is easily the worst-sung song I've ever heard in my life. 4. Therefore this is a case where I'll go out on a limb and simply label the opinions of anyone who somehow thinks this is a fucking brilliant song as WRONG. And I love how people use adjectives like "vulnerable" in place of "shitty" when it comes to Neil Young's utterly putrid voice. Wake up!
 
Okay son....

1. Well he sure has sung on a lot of songs, many incredibly popular, over a career that has spanned 6 decades.  So it's safe to say he sings even if you think he cannot.
2. He is a legend to many, many lovers of gr8 rock and roll.  Accept it.
3. There is no accounting for your taste. 
4. Of course, everyone who doesn't agree with you is WRONG.  What else could they possibly be?

My dogs seem to love horse feces. It's special dining occasion for them when they find "freshies" in the field.  As I said before, though, there's no accounting for taste (theirs or yours)

We are all awake.  Maybe not filled with h8 for Neil as you are, but very much conscious.


Listening to this with very good headphones, it's clear to me why some folks take issue with Neil's voice. By now, especially if you've been an RP listener for any length of time, it should also be clear that tastes differ widely and that polarizing artists do just as advertised: they polarize people.

Anyway, I enjoy Neil's work and his voice, and yeah, his vocal flaws are inseparable from his unique style. But that's a very subjective experience and one I cannot fully explain, especially since there are other singers who, on the surface, appear to possess similar attributes but whose work does not appeal to me.

I like it but if you don't, I understand, it's okay. Just don't tell me what to like or not to. I doubt very much if you would approve if I did that to you.
This one hits the mark amid Coronavirus pandemic.    3/17/2020
 GTDphotography wrote:
I also really like the cover by Annie Lennox.  
 

Her rendition is beautiful!
 GTDphotography wrote:
I also really like the cover by Annie Lennox.  
 
I'll go check that out.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:

As a friend of mine always said: If you spend your time responding to other people's perceptions, pretty soon you are living their trip and not your own.

This is a classic album for me because of the added value of a personal connection to the time and place I first heard it. I'll never be in high school again, but I can always put on certain albums and relive the inner experience.

 
Good advice!
I also really like the cover by Annie Lennox.  
Good luck on your journey of discovery!  

BonzoWiltsUK wrote:
Truly awful. Thought I must have heard the worst of Neil Young but this is a new low. Going to have to look at how to skip tracks here.
 
him again?!
Hey rh,

I know how you feel, but in a different way.  I think Mr Young is fantastic but also think that  bands like Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, and Smashing Pumpkins are  way over-rated because there is such a huge void of good bands; compared to the 1970s. 

When I clearly state why I think their music truly sucks, I get hammered by other listeners. Such is life.  


rhlrstn wrote:

Maybe it's just because I didn't grow up when this music was current, but I never want to hear Neil Young's voice... It just comes across as shrill and whiny.. Sorrynotsorry
Every time I glance over at his pic on Wiki, I do a double take, thinking it's Grant from Jurassic Park!
 stunix wrote:
Paula:  Oh Neil, I don't think that a stinking attitude and tone deafness can pass as tonsillitis, its a no.  Randy?

Randy: Yo dawg, listen, you got some pitch and timing issues, its gonna be a no from me, Simon?

Simon: Neil, is this a joke?, that was the worst singing ive ever heard, thats 3 nos.   but thankyou and goodbye.
 
Says someone who places their taste in the hands of American Idol.
 jp33442 wrote:

Maybe you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about
 
You don't have to agree with rhlrstn's opinion, but to suggest that they don't know their own reaction to Neil seems ... wrong.
 rhlrstn wrote:
Maybe it's just because I didn't grow up when this music was current, but I never want to hear Neil Young's voice... It just comes across as shrill and whiny.. Sorrynotsorry
 
Maybe you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about
 rhlrstn wrote:
Maybe it's just because I didn't grow up when this music was current, but I never want to hear Neil Young's voice... It just comes across as shrill and whiny.. Sorrynotsorry
 
I did grow up when this music was current and you are correct shrill and whiny then, shrill and whiny now.
Maybe it's just because I didn't grow up when this music was current, but I never want to hear Neil Young's voice... It just comes across as shrill and whiny.. Sorrynotsorry
Truly awful. Thought I must have heard the worst of Neil Young but this is a new low. Going to have to look at how to skip tracks here.
The song and the album that got me hooked on Neil Young, and in turn opened a door to a generation of music that I wish I'd been a part of! 
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Well, yes, you do whine a lot, but don't let it bring you down.
 
Whoa! Hold on there sport! You almost hurt my feeling. Yes, singular. Feeling.

maxvonevil wrote:

I'm with Bcarn on this one. Neil's nasal whining can shatter glass at low volumes.



 BCarn wrote:

And brain cells!
 

Supposed you have them
As usual, nearly an 8 rating from the RP community, but lots of whiny comments from the whiny minority.
 maxvonevil wrote:

I'm with Bcarn on this one. Neil's nasal whining can shatter glass at low volumes.

 
And brain cells!
More crying man Young, more. Should be 0 in rating.
I like NY because he uses the word "lorries"
 yoksa wrote:
Rating: 1 (for singing ability) for everything else 10 (ten)!
 
Full Ack.
artist!, songwriter supreme
Rating: 1 (for singing ability) for everything else 10 (ten)!
Outstanding Artist  
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Well, yes, you do whine a lot, but don't let it bring you down.

 
I'm with Bcarn on this one. Neil's nasal whining can shatter glass at low volumes.
 BCarn wrote:
Whiner extraordinaire!
 
Well, yes, you do whine a lot, but don't let it bring you down.
Whiner extraordinaire!
 dew34 wrote:

This is a TV mentality/ reality nesbit of sound bites and small attention spans. Thankfully neither Neil of Bob really care, they have an inner message to transmit and will do it regardless of commercial acceptance or fan raves. We were lucky to have them. After the Gold Rush is seminal NY and must be included in a musical top 10 of any species. Neil is my favorite and even the mediocre tunes weave some magic in my heart. 

 
Yes well put.
 kcar wrote:

Yes! musical preferences are highly subjective. There's so much that goes into these preferences—it wouldn't surprise me if some of it came down to how people's brains are wired. Neil's just as polarizing as Bob: for some listeners those guys are brilliant, for others they're droning idiots. 

 
I'm coming to this conclusion: we are all made up of what, 60-70% water. When music plays, the sound waves either resonate with you or not. That's the first impact. Which is why (for me anyways) if the music doesn't grab me, who cares about the lyrics.
Voice is a bit twitchy but those lyrics are right on. 
I first really listened to and HEARD and FELT this song after Bush grabbed a second term.  It was such a dark time for me, and this song just gave me chills.  Still does.  It's my favorite NY tune.
 Gert wrote:
It is not very often that I have to stop a music because I really do not like the singer's voice. But for this song it is the case. Even Bob Dylan can sing better, but I do not like him, too ;)

 
Dear Gert, we all know Neil got a terrible voice - nevertheless he is a genius and an idol for so many artists.
Und er begleitet mich schon mein ganzes Leben mit seinen songs und dafür danke
 Wait until you hear,  I'm a by-product of castles
              They're only burning.
            Situation Wise is A OK
                See me through.
                   

It is not very often that I have to stop a music because I really do not like the singer's voice. But for this song it is the case. Even Bob Dylan can sing better, but I do not like him, too ;)
 kcar wrote:

Yes! musical preferences are highly subjective. There's so much that goes into these preferences—it wouldn't surprise me if some of it came down to how people's brains are wired. Neil's just as polarizing as Bob: for some listeners those guys are brilliant, for others they're droning idiots. 

I love both NY and BD, although within limits. For me they strip away the distractions of daily life and talk about the large underlying ideas. Sometimes it just comes down to their ability to place the right words or sounds in the right way at the right time, even the song doesn't make a lot of sense at the first level. 

I do wonder if singer/songwriters like these two guys can actually reach an audience these days. It may be harder for performers like Dylan and Young to create songs that resonate with a large audience, due perhaps to a more fractured and less focused culture. Maybe not.   

 
This is a TV mentality/ reality nesbit of sound bites and small attention spans. Thankfully neither Neil of Bob really care, they have an inner message to transmit and will do it regardless of commercial acceptance or fan raves. We were lucky to have them. After the Gold Rush is seminal NY and must be included in a musical top 10 of any species. Neil is my favorite and even the mediocre tunes weave some magic in my heart. 
 capandjudy wrote:

This is my favorite Neil Young album partially because I was 22 years old when it came out and was asking the big questions but also because it all just seem to come together on this one lyrically and musically and the blending of seemingly enigmatic lyrics at times and traditional instrumentation. It is all so subjective anyway. 
 

 
Yes! musical preferences are highly subjective. There's so much that goes into these preferences—it wouldn't surprise me if some of it came down to how people's brains are wired. Neil's just as polarizing as Bob: for some listeners those guys are brilliant, for others they're droning idiots. 

I love both NY and BD, although within limits. For me they strip away the distractions of daily life and talk about the large underlying ideas. Sometimes it just comes down to their ability to place the right words or sounds in the right way at the right time, even the song doesn't make a lot of sense at the first level. 

I do wonder if singer/songwriters like these two guys can actually reach an audience these days. It may be harder for performers like Dylan and Young to create songs that resonate with a large audience, due perhaps to a more fractured and less focused culture. Maybe not.   
RAWKKIT, Neil!
 stunix wrote:
Paula:  Oh Neil, I don't think that a stinking attitude and tone deafness can pass as tonsillitis, its a no.  Randy?
Randy: Yo dawg, listen, you got some pitch and timing issues, its gonna be a no from me, Simon?
Simon: Neil, is this a joke?, that was the worst singing ive ever heard, thats 3 nos.   but thankyou and goodbye.
 
the real joke is on them lame judges since they obviously don't know what they are talking about... {#Roflol}
Old man lying by the side of the road
With the lorries rolling by,
Blue moon sinking from the weight of the load
And the buildings scrape the sky,
Cold wind ripping down the alley at dawn
And the morning paper flies,
Dead man lying by the side of the road
With the daylight in his eyes.
 stunix wrote:
Paula:  Oh Neil, I don't think that a stinking attitude and tone deafness can pass as tonsillitis, its a no.  Randy?

Randy: Yo dawg, listen, you got some pitch and timing issues, its gonna be a no from me, Simon?

Simon: Neil, is this a joke?, that was the worst singing ive ever heard, thats 3 nos.   but thankyou and goodbye.

  LOL


Day after Canada Day and Neil is representing.
"got it all on 2 inch tape, down at Sound City"
shame about his current lapse from right-on politics #BDS
Paula:  Oh Neil, I don't think that a stinking attitude and tone deafness can pass as tonsillitis, its a no.  Randy?

Randy: Yo dawg, listen, you got some pitch and timing issues, its gonna be a no from me, Simon?

Simon: Neil, is this a joke?, that was the worst singing ive ever heard, thats 3 nos.   but thankyou and goodbye.
 onomasticator wrote:

i can relate: 40 years ago we'd joke about that voice, but 40 years on we're still listening and wondering why everyone else doesn't grab us and hold on like Neil did.

 
 I was just a little kid 40 years ago when this song grabbed onto me and held on tight. It has never let go.
It's a wonderful song but I cannot quite get over Young's voice.  I much prefer Lennox's rendition.
and you claim bob can't sing, yet this noise is acceptable?
 GreggH wrote:
God awful. Garbage hailed as art. Listening to him is reminiscent of being at a vets office, hearing the ill, caged cats.

 
i can relate: 40 years ago we'd joke about that voice, but 40 years on we're still listening and wondering why everyone else doesn't grab us and hold on like Neil did.

I guess you just had to be there at the time. In retrospect I think 15 was the perfect age to appreciate this album. 
 GreggH wrote:
God awful. Garbage hailed as art. Listening to him is reminiscent of being at a vets office, hearing the ill, caged cats.

 
We're all entilted to an opinion. Yours is just wrong.
 GreggH wrote:
God awful. Garbage hailed as art. Listening to him is reminiscent of being at a vets office, hearing the ill, caged cats.

 

You're on shakey ground there, mate.
God awful. Garbage hailed as art. Listening to him is reminiscent of being at a vets office, hearing the ill, caged cats.
 lshinkawa wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, he joins in the category of brilliant musicians that make my ears bleed; I'm looking at you, Bob Dylan.

 
My wife is with you on both Neil Young and Bob Dylan (and also adds Randy Newman).  I'm with you and her on Dylan.  But for Neil and Randy, their voices don't bother me enough to keep me from really liking the songs.
 
Appropriate play for today.

"Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around."
Right on Bill, I note 87 in the library even more than U2!  {#Biggrin}
 hippiechick wrote:
I played the hell out of this album.
 
This is my favorite Neil Young album partially because I was 22 years old when it came out and was asking the big questions but also because it all just seem to come together on this one lyrically and musically and the blending of seemingly enigmatic lyrics at times and traditional instrumentation. It is all so subjective anyway. 
 
 Luc_C wrote:
Please please, less Neil young.
 
Please, more Neil.....
Please please, less Neil young.
 vanmas wrote:
What is it with his singing?
I'll never get used to it...
 
As far as I'm concerned, he joins in the category of brilliant musicians that make my ears bleed; I'm looking at you, Bob Dylan.
 fredriley wrote:
Oh, that voice! Goes through my brain like hot cheesewire.
 

{#Yes}
 hippiechick wrote:
I played the hell out of this album.
 

Me too!

 

As for the voice, it was part of an act that helped make Neil Young a God among young rockers and a multimillionaire too.


What is it with his singing?
I'll never get used to it...
Ugh, Neil Young ruins this song and sounds like a scalded cat.  I click Play Something Different when this comes on.
I played the hell out of this album.
...like flowers pushing through the dotted line...
Very nice!! Voice, words of the whole album are  nice!
interesting lyrics "...find someone who's turning, and you will come around..."
Love it! Also get a kick out of those annoyed by Neil's voice. I actually understand the plight, same way I feel hearing Joni Mitchell so it is kinda like payback to those that enjoy Joni Mitchell or something or.......something
 a_genuine_find wrote:
helium cats
Sounds like this cat got into the helium.
 
{#Lol}

Forty one years later, it still holds up. Thanks, Neil.
Genius

A 10 for this song would rather translate as 'one zero'. too bad it's not an option.


helium cats
Sounds like this cat got into the helium.
Wore the grooves out on this one.
8?  EIGHT!?!?  This is an easy 10.
Just find someone who's turning...

... and you will come arounnnnnn
bindi wrote:
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is.

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
The difference between artist and draughtsman, well said.

 bindi wrote:
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is. 

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
 
You got it, I do believe. His voice makes the song seem strongly personal, easy to relate to.  He's a real person talking to you.

 dyharenas wrote:
Song is amazing. Annie Lennox gave a good rendition for those who want more polished vocals, but the procduction on that is a little schmaltzy
 
second that recommendation on Annie's version.

 bindi wrote:
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is. 

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
 
I must agree with Bindi's statement too.  We could start a list of iconic performers whose vocal stylings are less than perfect but touch a place within our being that leads to an emotional and/or spiritual experience...at times.


Neil Young - Don't Let it Bring You Down, Live-Acoustic (1971)

"I grew up listening to Neil Young, every Sunday morning my dad would play him... there's a special place in my heart for this music, it takes me back to summer days when I was a child."   jessmessization

 




ELEVEN! Not only ten!
Song is amazing. Annie Lennox gave a good rendition for those who want more polished vocals, but the procduction on that is a little schmaltzy
Always been one of my favs from him, no doubt!{#High-five}
Great song - Can't get enough of this old Neil Young -{#Music}
if his voice offends so many people, it makes you wonder how he ever made it.  epic song though. his voice doesn't rank in my top 100, but the guy still rocks.
                                         {#Notworthy}
 On_The_Beach wrote:
With an average rating of 8, I just ignore the whiney comments.
 

{#Clap}
 crockydile wrote:

I like many of his songs, but his voice on this one is particularly offensive. {#Headache}
 
Bob Dylan was his voice coach if that explains anything.

Neil Young proves that there is a difference between having a great voice and being a great singer. Jerry Garcia, Rick Danko and Lou Reed  are more examples of great "Americana" singers whose choice of songs were critical.
On the other hand, I have never gotten used to Neil's seeming lack of technical ability on the guitar.
Still - I had to rate this song as "Godlike," one of the finest songs of its time, or anytime.

 bindi wrote:
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is. 

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
 
Well said.

 fredriley wrote:
Oh, that voice! Goes through my brain like hot cheesewire. Kudos to yer man Young as a songwriter but his voice is like nails on a blackboard.
 
I like many of his songs, but his voice on this one is particularly offensive. {#Headache}
 bindi wrote:
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is. 

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
 
Gotta agree with you bindi. Something about that imperfect voice strikes the right chord with many of us.

Mellifluous!  Gotta love Neil!  Now, Bob, play some On the Beach, dammit!
 fredriley wrote:
Oh, that voice! Goes through my brain like hot cheesewire. Kudos to yer man Young as a songwriter but his voice is like nails on a blackboard.
 
I agree, i respect him as an artist but his voice is just intolerable!

With an average rating of 8, I just ignore the whiney comments.
Oh, that voice! Goes through my brain like hot cheesewire. Kudos to yer man Young as a songwriter but his voice is like nails on a blackboard.
{#Sunny}Neil has the best worst voice there is. 

I really love imperfect voices - it really reaches the human part of my psyche.
Bazooka wrote:

This cat is definitely alive.



As is the pigmy shrew{#Tongue-out}

This cat is definitely alive.


 nagsheadlocal wrote:

As a friend of mine always said: If you spend your time responding to other people's perceptions, pretty soon you are living their trip and not your own.

 

I know some people who could take a lesson from that statement.  Brilliant.

And I love Neil Young.
 toterola wrote:

Worse than "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls, or "The Angry American" by Toby Keith?


Yes.  Neil should be proud of his accomplishment on this front; it is hard to do.
This song made me happy - glass half full here. Try singing the chorus with Neil at the top of your lungs. Hitting the high notes will make you smile
 madtowner11 wrote:
It brought me down.  :(

Worst.  Song.  Ever.
 
Worse than "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls, or "The Angry American" by Toby Keith?

I don't think so. Neil's o.k. by me. Maybe you should expand your horizons. {#Music}

We like our music eclectic here at RP. Slainte! {#Cheers}
It brought me down.  :(

Worst.  Song.  Ever.
 Hannio wrote:


Me too.  In fact, I have spent entire evenings listening to songs in a speechless stupor.  Eventually it would wear off and I would be left with an incredible appetite.

 
Nice one, almost hurt myself laughing

 Hedwig wrote:
i have often listened to this tune in a speechless stupor
 

Me too.  In fact, I have spent entire evenings listening to songs in a speechless stupor.  Eventually it would wear off and I would be left with an incredible appetite.

 toterola wrote:

What difference does it make? If I like a piece of music, whether it's Mozart or Bob Dylan, I admire it because of its merits. I don't make a lot of differences based on what other folks think.

Maybe that's good, maybe not. But that's the way I am. Don't let others dictate your tastes. They may be more f*cked up than you are. {#Roflol}
 
As a friend of mine always said: If you spend your time responding to other people's perceptions, pretty soon you are living their trip and not your own.

This is a classic album for me because of the added value of a personal connection to the time and place I first heard it. I'll never be in high school again, but I can always put on certain albums and relive the inner experience.

 Rotterdam wrote:
This was a major record for me, too, when it came out, too. I still think it's brilliant. Sometimes it is hard for me to distinguish what is good in its own right from something that has value only related to my own personal life.
 
What difference does it make? If I like a piece of music, whether it's Mozart or Bob Dylan, I admire it because of its merits. I don't make a lot of differences based on what other folks think.

Maybe that's good, maybe not. But that's the way I am. Don't let others dictate your tastes. They may be more f*cked up than you are. {#Roflol}
If I never hear another neil young song, I will be happy.  And this one— he sings like he belongs on the muppet show— like frank oz playing miss piggy.... ditch the falsetto, neil!

radiojunkie wrote:
One of the all-time most depressing songs ever.
Don't get me wrong — I love it.