Best Neil Young Songs

The Top Ten Best Neil Young Songs

1 Rockin' in the Free World

Have seen him plays this 4 times live, twice with crazy horse and twice with csn. Amazing every time.

Yes, #1. Got to see Neil play this at 5 different concerts. Each time was amazing.

The title gives me the feeling of awesomeness, How on God's Earth can you hate it?

Deserves to be #1. Neil's best work. He probably feels the same. One of the all time great rock songs ever sung and played. The guitar work is unbelievable.

2 Heart of Gold

Brilliant use of chords on guitar and the harmonica is excellent! Listen to the lyrics closely NUMBER 1

The Harmonica and guitar in this song are just legendary. One of the best songs ever written!

I learned how to play harmonica because of this song! This song should be number 1!

Even Bob Dylan himself said he couldn't stand listening to this song because it reminded him of himself. Dylan was very jealous of this song.

3 Old Man

I think this should the top. The chords the lyrics the tone they're all awesome. The perfection to describe a life full of misfortune

All his songs from this time are great. Seeing someone so young but writing a song with so much wisdom is incredible.

This song is just brilliant... It brings out lots of emotions n memories... And you go into a different world of your own...

One of my favorite songs of all time it tells a good story

4 Cortez the Killer

Takes me back to the days of kings and queens. One of the greatest songs of all time. If you think Neil's guitar playing in 'like a hurricane' is outstanding and magical, then lemme tell you - this is even better

Other than the totally incorrect line "Hate was just a legend, and war was never known"(the Aztecs were one of the biggest war mongers in history), this is a beautiful song with some of Neil's best laid-back and soulful guitar work. "Cortez, Cortez... What a killer. "

The long slow build up instrumental brilliantly conjured up an image of Cortex the Killer crossing the ocean. A masterpiece, should be number one.

Neil's original comeback album, Zuma. Cortez leading song on the Album. Thanks Neil for helping me comeback so often.

5 After the Gold Rush

Beautiful haunting song. Sitting in a burned out basement with the full moon in my eyes.

Thinking about what a friend had said and I was hoping it was a lie...

How this so low?!

Very emotional song
O that lyrics, that falsetto

6 Like a Hurricane

The Bootleg versions of this song are better than most of the other hailed Rock songs from then or now. Great song with all the elements of awesome Rock & Roll. Casual listeners are not aware that Neil is the only guitar player on the song and Poncho is just draping the high simple sustained organ sound fill.

Who would not get 'blown away' by two absolutely out of this world solos! - pratyushchauhan

Wow, just wow! Everything in the rock powerhouse masterpiece is amazing! A brilliant vocal from Shakey & to top it all off, one of the best guitar performances in Rock history!

Perhaps Number One. I missed Captain Kennedy!

7 Cowgirl In the Sand

This is classic Neil. Deserves more respect on the list. Great song in the electric version, or in the acoustic version.

Love this song. Fun to play, fun to listen to, fun to jam with--just a fun song.

Come on guys this should be first

Great guitar work. One of the best jams in rock history.

8 Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)

While my real love is actually with this songs counterpart "my my hey hey (out of the blue)", which in my opinion has much more of Neil's passion and feeling in the vocals, this song changed me as a person and as a musician. One of the greatest songs ever written. Without a doubt his best work in my opinion.

Though rocking In The Free World is #1 for me, this song gets my comment.
The first time I saw Neil in concert, he came on stage playing this song. It was amazing. The amps were about to explode it sounded so loud and powerful. It was an experience I will never forget and I realized why some people used to fear rock and roll.

This song describes rock and roll. The lyrics are just beautiful "out of the blue and into the black, they give you this but you pay for that"

Lyrically,it can't be touched. And can we just talk about the distortion on the guitar? Perfection

9 My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)

"It's better to burn out than to fade away." Such sad lines to a song, they are full of emotion. And also, Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the band Nirvana, out those words in his suicide note... Directly from this song.

This is my favorite Neil Young song, thanks to the guitar melody, and lyrics. - Caleb9000

I just love this song...

10 Harvest Moon

Come on now, how is this at least not in the top ten?

This is one of those songs that can sound so simple yet perfectly beautiful. Writing a song like that must be a thrill.

I agree, are you kidding me this isn't top 10?

It should be in the first five

The Contenders

11 Cinnamon Girl

Come on, how could Cinnamon Girl NOT be in the top 10?

To fully appreciate you need to hear it live in a crowd, very charged.

Three minute rock genius with phenomenal guitar but no long jam. May be best of its kind

One of the greatest guitar hooks in rock. Simple, yet scorching.

12 Down by the River

I believe Howard Stern said this was his favorite song and he played it for Robin who said it was so depressing. Howard said I think Neil is some kind of genius. Killer guitar with Crazy horse.

Great song great the solo

Love this Song, the Live versions are perfect

EASILY neils best work. No Song is more fun to jam to than this! In fact the whole album is awesome!

13 The Needle and the Damage Done

The best two minutes in rock. I need not say more, but will. Written to perhaps ease the pain Neil and the rest of Crazy Horse felt upon the heroin deaths of guitarist Danny Whitten, along with a member of the band's crew. Anyone near to addiction can feel the pain delivered in a sad and perfectly executed message. It's real -- all too real. And one of very few songs you can say is actually perfect. Your top 10 is more Freedom songs, which are good but not in this song's class, and the expected Cowgirl and Down by the River. Those are fairy tales next to this song, which can jolt you the first time you hear it -- you know it's special right away.

Great story revolving around the pains of addiction. Beautiful music that finds its way into your heart. What an amazing guitar player.

My personal number one

Too good not to be top10

14 Southern Man

Classic hard hitting guitar and great lyrics. And it inspired another great song by Lynyrd Skynyrd. One of my all time favorites.

This song is one of the most important songs he has. chilling

Amazing song inspired many

How do you plan a party in space? You plan-it. Haha funny. Oh yeah and this song rocks

15 Long May You Run

One of the best songs about cars ever written (Springsteen excepted)


16 Ohio

Seriously, the definitive song of the Nixon presidency can't crack the Top 15. How very sad. My, My, Hey, Hey -- really? Cortez, nada. Even Cinnamon Girl and Harvest Moon should fall below Ohio, an anthem of its time that resonates to this day. Other than Dylan, who has stood the test of time with a consistent run of pure power, such as Ohio, to super folky mellow to cool alt-country? I'm a sucker for Once an Angel. Neil, and no one else I can think of. And to many Neil started with Ohio.

Every band on this site that started in the 70s has a backwards rankings. I feel sorry for all the voters that clearly missed out on 70s rock and roll.

This is by far his greatest song. I knew someone who was at the Kent State shooting. Sad story. - bighercules

17 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Makes my Top 10

18 Mr. Soul
19 Only Love Can Break Your Heart

This is the song I involuntarily start playing when I'm on a long bike ride. what a simple but beautiful song - DashDavis

Always brings a tear to my eye. Just BEAUTIFUL - and sad...

Great song.. One of his best

20 (See the Sky) About to Rain

Love this song one of Neils best

21 Comes a Time

This is a great song

Beautiful song - love the fiddle!

20? Totally underrated! My Neil Young's #2

My favorite!

22 Thrasher

This is a really great song I don't understand why it is not higher. Still everyone has their own favourites lets face it they are all great

This song is beauty. I love the sadness

Quite possibly the greatest lyrical song all time

Amazing song

23 Powderfinger

No question my favorite. Riveting in all facets. A powerful story with a tragic conclusion. If only the river doesn't take Emmylou? What if the kid's brother went hunting another day? It's a gripping story with a perilous mood set by Neil's singing style and brooding guitar and Crazy Horse giving it that one and only Crazy Horse sound. No. 1, above the more well-known tunes, although I can't argue Like a Hurricane. Powderfinger never appeared on a studio album debuting on Rust Never Sleeps. But it's also found on Weld and Live Rust. Powderfinger and Pocahontas make Rust Never Sleeps the most played here, with back-to-back Weld discs right there. Cortez the Killer could drop out, not in my Top 10, but a powerful yet confusing tune. No, son, I don't think they're here to deliver the mail.

I remember the first time I really took in the lyrics of this song outside of my work in a driving rainstorm in my car. It was so powerful and I felt the tragedy and had to wait for numerous minutes until my eyes were no longer damp. It is rare artist that can move instead of merely entertain.

Best song most underrated song with gold rush people are confusing my my hey hey for hey hey my my and it's not nearly as good perhaps this is the most disgraceful list I have ever seen

Come on It's gotta be top 5 in my books and 20 on this list

24 From Hank to Hendrix

One of his saddest songs - BrianScott01

25 Pushed It Over the End

Really underrated - Alpha101

26 On the Way Home
27 For What It's Worth
28 Change Your Mind
29 Helpless

Listening to him perform it now on The Last Waltz It is an underappreciated great early song that should move up on the list.

A very good song well worth a listen

Crosby,Stills,Nash, & Young song from Deja Vu...

30 Harvest

How is this so far down on the list?

31 Sugar Mountain

Underrated. A great song this should be in the top ten.

32 Out on the Weekend

Was Out on the Weekend off Harvest? I thought it was off Everyone Knows This is Nowhere...

"Can't relate to joy, he tries to speak and, can't begin to say "

Craaazy that this is not even in the top five? feels like NY at his best. Soft and stunning like a pop song that's been baked dry in the sun, and a memorable sample of neil young.

My #1

33 Alabama

Number 36?! What?! Did you not listen to that intro?

34 Ambulance Blues

I seriously doubt most so called "fans" have even heard On the Beach (the album). Too bad 'cause it's a classic and this song THE antithetic pop song. All it offers is a lot of soul and some good advice.

I can't believe it wasn't on the list before.

Best album closer - One of Neil Young's best, the lyrics and guitar-work are so intimate and heartfelt. Makes me nostalgic

This song is a gem but it's completely understandable why it's not rated as "top 10". Few have ever bothered to listen to it. They're probably too busy "pissin' in the wind".

35 Pocahontas
36 Tell Me Why

Such a good song can't believe this was left out

Amazing song

"Tell me why
Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself
When you're old enough to repaint
But young enough to sell..." - Billyv

37 Downtown
38 On the Beach

This song is just fantastic! This should be #1! Lyrics and Guitar just Blow me away

A brilliant song from a great album few have ever heard of.

Absolutely out of this world.

This should be WAY higher on this list.

39 Words
40 Birds
41 Will to Love

Very underrated- amazingly deep lyrics- some of his best!

42 Words (Between the Lines of Age)

An awesome song... The best of the best

Greatest song ever in my live.

Suprised this one isn't higher - Doom

43 Danger Bird

My Favorite of his, very powerful guitar work!

A dark sound, definitely the best song of neil young.

44 Captain Kennedy

28 isn't bad, but it could be better.


45 I've Been Waiting for You

My favorite guitar solo of all time

46 Little Wing
47 Stupid Girl
48 Ramada Inn

For Neil to write and play guitar on a new tune like this at his age, just shows you the energy and talent the guy brings to the table. If he wrote this in 1978, it would sound about the same and be hailed as a masterpiece, which it is!

Classic Neil, up there with CITS and CTK. An epic song.

49 Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It?

Recorded by Buffalo Springfield, and written by Neil, but with Richie Furay singing lead.
Only very rarely done during Neil's solo concerts, but has popped up at most Buffalo Springfield reunion events.

50 Don't Let It Bring You Down

This is a great song off After the Gold Rush. To me it epitomizes the early Neil Young, who really spoke out against social injustice. My wife is a big fan of Seal, and I accompanied her to his concert, not really expecting much, not really my type of music. Then he did a cover of this song, and it completely made the night for me. Neil is admired by so many artists in so many different genres of music that it's incredible. He and Paul Simon are alike in that respect.

I love Neil’s introduction to this song on Four Way Street...”Here’s a song guaranteed to bring you right down. It’s called Don’t Let it Bring You starts out kind of slow, then fizzles out altogether...”

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