Harvest Moon (Neil Young song)
|Single by Neil Young|
|from the album Harvest Moon|
|Released||2 November 1992|
|Neil Young singles chronology|
Background and composition
The song uses a moon motif, which Young has mentioned is very important to him and has quasi-religious undertones. It is a tribute to his wife Pegi Young, and the two are dancing in a bar in the music video. Linda Ronstadt provides the backing vocals. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is composed in the key of D Major with Young's vocal range spanning from D3 to F#4.
Rolling Stone ranked "Harvest Moon" as the #37 all time Neil Young song. Allmusic's Matthew Greenwald strongly praised the song, stating that the song epitomized the album and "the power of nature and music, as well as a feeling of celebrating lifetime love are the focal points here, and Young captures it all in his typically literate, artless style." Greenwald praised the melody as "positively gorgeous, and it's one that could have easily framed a heavier song." "Classic Rock Review" called it an "absolute masterpiece of a title song" that "celebrates longevity in relationships and love affairs with a flawless melody backed by a perfect music arrangement." They went on to say that "from the upfront acoustic riffing to the picked steel guitar, subtleties of ethereal sounds, soft brush strokes on the drums, and beautiful background vocals, this song captures the essence of beauty and romance as well any song ever."
The song was featured in "Living the Dream", an episode of the 2017 television adaptation of the novel Big Little Lies, as well as the 2010 film Eat Pray Love and the 2018 film A Quiet Place. All three scenes feature married couples dancing romantically with each other, just like the video.
- Cassandra Wilson did a cover of the song on her 1995 album New Moon Daughter.
- Pearl Jam has performed this song several times during their 2005 tour.
- Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie performed the song in 2007.
- The Mavericks covered "Harvest Moon" on their 2016 album All Night Live: Volume 1.
- George Canyon did a cover of the song for the Neil Young Tribute Album Borrowed Tunes II: A Tribute to Neil Young, released in 2007
- Josh Groban covered the song live at Young's award ceremony for MusiCares Person of the Year in 2010.
- "Harvest Moon by Neil Young". Songfacts. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- "5. Harvest Moon". Rolling Stone. June 8, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Greenwald, Matthew. "Harvest Moon - Song Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- "Digital Sheet Music – Neil Young – Harvest Moon". Musicnotes.com. Sony/ATV Music Publishing. 2004-04-05. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- "The 100 Greatest Songs". Neil Young. Rolling Stone. 2014. p. 89.
- "Harvest Moon by Neil Young". Classic Rock Review. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- "Song Premere: [sic] The Mavericks Cover Neil Young's "Harvest Moon"". Relix. September 16, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- "RPM Top 100 Singles - February 13, 1993" (PDF).
- "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1993" (PDF). RPM. Retrieved November 23, 2017.