After the Gold Rush (song)

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"After the Gold Rush"
Song by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
from the album After the Gold Rush
ReleasedAugust 31, 1970
RecordedMarch 12, 1970
GenreFolk rock
Songwriter(s)Neil Young
Producer(s)Neil Young
David Briggs

"After the Gold Rush" is a song written, composed, and performed by Neil Young and is the title song from the 1970 album of the same name. In addition to After the Gold Rush, it also appears on Decade, Greatest Hits, and Live Rust.

The song consists of three verses which move forward in time from the past (a medieval celebration), to the present (the singer lying in a burned out basement), and, finally, the future (the "chosen ones" flying away in silver spaceships). On the original recording, in addition to Young's vocals, two instruments are used in the song: a piano and a french horn. The french horn solo in the middle of the song is often replaced by a harmonica solo by Young in live performances. The line "Look at Mother Nature on the run / In the 1970s" has been amended by Young in concert over the decades and is currently sung as "Look at Mother Nature on the run / in the 21st century."

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered numerous times. In 1973, it was interpreted by Prelude, whose a capella version was a top 40 hit all over the globe, especially the United Kingdom where it re-charted in the Top 40 in 1982.[citation needed]

Patti Smith closed her 2012 album Banga with a live cover, recorded with her children. [1]

Dolly Parton once commented about the making of her version of the song: "When we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn't know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn't know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, 'Hell, I don't know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I'd taken.'"[2] The Trio version of the song was also released as a single, and while it received modest radio airplay, a video accompanying the song was very popular on a number of cable video outlets, including CMT. Parton performed the song during the 2019 Grammys with Maren Morris and Miley Cyrus.[3]

Billy Corgan performed the song on the October 16, 2017 episode of The Howard Stern Show.[4]

K.D. Lang recorded a cover of the song, which she released on her 2004 album, Hymns of the 49th Parallel.


  1. ^ "Premiere: Patti Smith on New 'After the Gold Rush' Cover". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Trio II - The Songs". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  3. ^ Moreau, Jordan (11 February 2019). "Dolly Parton Honored by Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves at Grammys". Variety.
  4. ^ "William Patrick Corgan Reflects on Working with David Bowie, Covers Neil Young, and Sings the Smashing Pumpkins Hit '1979' Live".