I Believe in You (Neil Young song)

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"I Believe in You"
Song by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
from the album After the Gold Rush
Released September 19, 1970
Recorded 1969 in Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:24
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Neil Young
Producer(s) David Briggs, Neil Young

"I Believe in You" is a song written by Neil Young that was first released on his 1970 album After the Gold Rush. It has also been covered by other artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Robin Zander and Rita Coolidge. Coolidge's version was released as a single and was a minor hit in Canada.

Lyrics and music[edit]

"I Believe in You" is a slow love song.[1] Music critic Johnny Rogan describes it as being the closest Young came to writing an MOR ballad during this phase of his career.[2] Rogan described the arrangement as being "sparse."[2] To Allmusic critic Denise Sullivan, the "restraint" of Young's piano melody as well as the rest of the instrumentation adds to the song's poignancy.[3]

Music author Nigel Williamson describes "I Believe in You" as being the song on After the Gold Rush which best fits the "confessional singer-songwriter mode," suggesting that it is similar to some James Taylor songs.[4] Sam Inglis regards it as one of the best of Young's songs in which he tries to rationalize his behavior to women he has left.[5] Although the title of the song seems to be positive, the lyrics suggest that he is unsure of his ability to love and reluctant to enter the new relationship.[1][4] Ken Bielen describes the dilemma of the song as being "a matter of trust" and that the singer isn't even sure where love fits into his life.[1] In an interview with Spin Magazine Young stated:[2][4]

What am I talking about? "Now that you've made yourself love me do you think I can change it in a day?" That's a heavy one. That song has the most haunting lyrics. "Am I lying to you when I say I believe you?" That's the difference between the song and the poem. The song makes you think of the hook and the hook is "I believe in you," but the rest of it is in a whole other place.

On the other hand, Sullivan finds some of the lyrics to be reassuring to the woman he is addressing, such as the line "Now that you found yourself losing your mind are you here again?"[3]

Neil Young version[edit]

"I Believe in You" was one of the first songs recorded for After the Gold Rush. It was one of two songs from the album that Young was able to finish recording with Crazy Horse during the 1969 sessions at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA.[6] "I Believe in You" was later included on Young's 1975 compilation album Decade.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

"I Believe in You"
Single by Rita Coolidge
from the album Rita Coolidge
B-side "Mud Island"
Released 1971
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded Sunset Sound, Los Angeles
Genre pop
Length 3:10
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Neil Young
Producer(s) David Anderle
Rita Coolidge singles chronology
"Turn Around and Love You"
(1969)
"I Believe in You"
(1971)
"Fever"
(1972)

Rita Coolidge released a cover version of "I Believe in You" for her self-titled debut album in 1971.[8] Rogan described Coolidge's version as being more "sultry" than Young's.[2] Coolidge also released it as a single, which was unsuccessful in the U.S. but charted at #38 in Canada.[9][10] It also reached #16 on Canada's Adult Contemporary chart.[11] Linda Ronstadt covered it on her 1973 album Don't Cry Now.[12] Robin Zander covered the song on his 1993 self-titled album. Allmusic critic Tom Demalon described it as a "tasty cover."[13] Fellow Allmusic critic Sullivan praised Zander's vocals but criticized the synthesizers and "cold" drum sounds on his version.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bielen, K. (2008). The Words and Music of Neil Young. Praeger. p. 17. ISBN 9780275999025.
  2. ^ a b c d Rogan, Johnny (1996). The Complete Guide to the Music of Neil Young. Omnibus Press. p. 30. ISBN 0711953996.
  3. ^ a b c Sullivan, Denise. "I Believe in You". Allmusic. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  4. ^ a b c Williamson, N. (2002). Journey Through the Past: The Stories Behind the Classic Songs of Neil Young. Hal Leonard. p. 36. ISBN 9780879307417.
  5. ^ Inglis, Sam (2003). Harvest. Bloomsbury. p. 78. ISBN 9781441153678.
  6. ^ Boyd, G. (2012). Neil Young FAQ. Backbeat Books. ASIN B008RYZ7WM.
  7. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Decade". Allmusic. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  8. ^ "Rita Coolidge". Allmusic. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  9. ^ "The Cancon Market: Exec Overviews". Billboard Magazine. September 30, 1972. p. C35. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  10. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. October 23, 1971. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  11. ^ "RPM MOR Playlist". Library and Archives Canada. October 16, 1971. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  12. ^ "Don't Cry Now". Allmusic. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  13. ^ Demalon, Tom. "Robin Zander". Allmusic. Retrieved 2018-09-16.