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It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.Despite the song being banned by some U.S. radio stations because of supposed drug references to heroin use, the song ascended to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and the album quickly reached platinum status. The song charted earlier in the Netherlands (reaching number 11) and the UK (reaching number 3, the band's only Top 40 hit in the country) than it did in the United States. The interpretation of the song as a drug reference comes from the fact that the word "horse" is a common slang term for heroin.The song's resemblance to some of Neil Young's work aroused some controversy. "I know that virtually everyone, on first hearing, assumed it was Neil", Bunnell says. "I never fully shied away from the fact that I was inspired by him. I think it's in the structure of the song as much as in the tone of his voice. It did hurt a little, because we got some pretty bad backlash. I've always attributed it more to people protecting their own heroes more than attacking me." By coincidence, it was "A Horse with No Name" that replaced Young's "Heart of Gold" at the number 1 spot on the U.S. pop chart.