CoS Exclusive FeaturesHotList 'Em Carefully

25 Best Neil Young Covers

on June 01, 2012, 8:04am
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neil young feature 25 Best Neil Young Covers

Neil Young and Crazy Horse recently issued Americana, their first album in nine years, comprised entirely of reworked classic, American folk songs. In celebration of its release, Consequence of Sound decided to turn the tables and put together a list of our favorite covers of Young’s exhausting back catalogue. There are plenty – hundreds of them – and they stretch back to as far as the ’60s and ’70s. Because we couldn’t include them all, the list has been cut to a healthy collection of 25 solid inclusions.

Something to take away from this project: It’s an eccentric group of names, to be sure. Everyone from Smashing Pumpkins to Roxy Music, Patti Smith to Radiohead are included here, and that only speaks volumes to Young’s expansive influence. So, while you’re trekking through track after track, just think: This all goes back to one man.

Pretty wild.

-Michael Roffman

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Crazy Horse
June 1, 2012 at 12:32 am

A better cover of “Down by the River” is the one performed by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds.

June 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

“Hey Hey My My” by Oasis and “Cortez the Killer” by Built to Spill are my two favorites.

June 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

I would add Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart

June 1, 2012 at 9:38 am

Definitely…this is the first song I think of when I think of Neil Young covers.

June 1, 2012 at 8:11 am

Is this a joke?  No mention of any of the Dave covers?  Try Cortez the Killer with Warren Haynes, or Down By The River mentioned below..

June 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

Cortez The Killler by Grace Potter and Joe Satriani 

November 2, 2012 at 1:48 am

Yes, the Jammies performance is my favorite Cortez too.

June 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm


Ramble Man
June 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

This list does not include Widespread Panic thus it is total BS.

Sean Hart
June 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm

You forgot Ben Harper’s cover of “Ohio”

June 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I’ll take Ween’s version of Ohio.

June 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

The Church – Cortez The Killer

June 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm

 ”Cortez the Killer” by Built to Spill

June 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

dave and tim live at radio city down by the river should be on this list

June 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

how about gillian welch’s albuquerque or dave rawlings machine’s cortez the killer.  so many….

Neil Fan
June 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

*Old Man was originally on Harvest

June 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

They left out the Nick Cave version of “Helpless”

June 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I’ll take the Pixies doing Winterlong over anything on this list.

June 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Built to Spill – Cortez the Killer???????

another Neil fan
June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I can’t quite believe that nobody chose Birds by Linda Ronstadt/maybe y’all are too young to remember.Check it out if you haven’t already done so!! 

June 4, 2012 at 7:35 am

Built to Spill does Cortez the killer way better then Slint.. check it out:

June 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Yes! Exactly!

June 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

“Rockin in the Free World” ain’t just DBT there, that would be the Truckers with the Hold Steady.

June 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

So where’s the list?

Unknown & Unheard
June 5, 2012 at 11:10 am


June 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

At the Spine from Seattle does a great version of My My Hey Hey (Black and Blue).

June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Flaming Lips – After the Gold Rush

June 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Flaming Lips – After the Gold Rush

June 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I had a dream, I think, that in 1989 a Neil tribute album was released and a band named “The Harm”, or something similar, did a rocked out “Old Man” that I would kill to hear again. Anyone familiar with this version?

July 25, 2012 at 7:43 am

Ben Kweller – From Hank to Hendrix
Live on the BBC (Dec 2008)

Just Great…

November 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

You losers actually think that any of these songs, much less Norah Jones’ “Tell Me Why”, is better than the Isley Brothers’ “Ohio Machine Gun”? Clueless fucking hipsters.

March 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I like this cover of ‘On The Way Home’ :

It’s a live version recorded in 28/01/92.

Corey Bell
April 3, 2013 at 6:39 am

rufus wainwright does a pretty amazing cover of Harvest with Chris Stills

Victor Manuel
July 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

July 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Widespread Panic……Last Dance…….just plain filthy.

July 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Supergrass – The Loner

July 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Ida – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Widespread Panic’s version of Cortez the Killer at Oak Mountain 4/28/02 was incredible: They also do a great version of Don’t Be Denied, a Neil song that isn’t covered much. A set II opener after a lightning storm almost cancelled the show in Santa Fe on 6/19/01 was pretty sick: Panic plays great versions of Last Dance, Mr. Soul, Are You Ready for the Country?, and Vampire Blues as well, but they’re not everyone’s taste I suppose.

Fredrik Sigeback
February 11, 2014 at 8:18 am

Here´s another one!