Sunday Music – Birds

Posted on Sun 01/08/2017 by


Today’s music video is Birds, and here it is being sung in these two clips by two legends of American music, the first a cover version of the song by Linda Ronstadt, and in the second clip by the composer of the song, Neil Young.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Ryan Matticola

I always found it a little odd that I could hear a song from an artist or band and almost instantly like it, even though I had heard other songs which were huge hits from the same artist or band, and not like those as much.

Such was the case with a Neil Young song Old Man. I first heard the song, as usual played on the radio, in probably May of 1972. As soon as I heard it playing, I really listened to it, and luckily at the end of the song, the announcer gave the title of the song, and mentioned that this was his new Single lifted from the album Harvest. The first Single from that album was the huge hit, Heart Of Gold, a song I had heard so many times already on the radio, as it was a huge hit here in Australia, as it also was in the U.S. where it made it to Number One on the mainstream charts. Oddly, I didn’t really like Heart Of Gold all that much. It was okay, but this new song just hit a chord with me, and I really did like it. The following Friday, I visited the small record shop I was now frequenting, and got hold of this wonderful album to add to what was now becoming a rapidly burgeoning vinyl LP collection.

When I got it home and played it, it proved to be arguably the best album I had in that collection. I loved every song on the album, and perhaps Heart Of Gold, was my least favourite song on the album.

As a result of what I heard on this album, I then started to get hold of as much of his work as I could. That started with a couple of albums he did with Crosby Stills and Nash, and then I gradually got hold of his three earlier solo albums as well, and while I found that some songs were average, as you might expect, I really liked nearly all of his work. I even got hold of his first foray into music, with the band Buffalo Springfield, a double album of their songs. As each of his new albums was released, I also got hold of them, and Neil Young was now the artist with the most albums in my personal collection.

I was also collecting albums from other artists and bands as well, and each Friday, I would pore through the albums at this little record shop, and more often than not, I would purchase a new album, virtually every Friday.

lindaronstadt02One Friday I was flicking through the albums and I found the section with the Linda Ronstadt albums. Linda had been one of the backup singers on that Neil Young album Harvest, and had actually sung backup vocals on that song which first drew my attention to him, Old Man. She also did backup vocals on that hit song, Heart Of Gold. I knew she had just released a new album, Don’t Cry Now, which had her latest Single on it, a cover version of the monster hit from the early 60’s from The Springfields, Silver Threads And Golden Needles. There was also a cover version of a Neil Young song on that album as well. I then noticed the earlier album of hers, the self titled album, Linda Ronstadt, and on that album I saw that she had also done a cover of another Neil Young song. That song was Birds, the featured song I have for today. I was always keen to hear the treatment that other artists gave to Neil Young songs. When I did hear that Linda Ronstadt cover, I thought that her version was as good as, if not a little better than the Neil Young original, which impressed me, because I felt I was so biassed towards Neil Young, that I thought no one could do his songs as well as he did them himself, naturally. That Neil Young song Birds was on the album After The Gold Rush, his third solo album, and the one released directly before Harvest. Oddly, that song was one of the lesser songs on the album, and it was actually my favourite song from the album, something I was finding a little more often now, as my collection was growing, that no matter who the artist or band was, more often than not I liked a song other than the main hit song from the album.

I knew of Linda from her early days, with a song she released in late 1967, the Mike Nesmith composed Different Drum. Besides being blessed with true natural beauty, Linda Ronstatdt was arguably, if not the best female vocalist, then right up there on a short list of the best female vocalists of all time, something which has been demonstrably proven across the years with many millions of record sales, and eleven Grammy Awards across the years, singing in a variety of styles and languages as well.

She is an icon of the music industry, and when the term legend is so loosely attributed to singing stars these days, she actually is one of those true legends, along with Neil Young as well.

This second clip I have here is the original of the song, being sung by Neil himself, sitting at the piano, and this clip is taken fro a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young concert.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Dave Thatcher


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