Neil Young has been hard at work. It was recently announced that he and Crazy Horse had entered the studio and Young has written that they've got 8 tracks in the can. But for as much as Neil enjoys looking forward, he's also spent considerable time curating his legacy. The now near-mythical Archives Vol. 2 has been rumored to be on the way, his Archives website will soon see new exclusive rarities added, and he's got a number of vault projects in the works. One that fans can finally check off their wish list is the long-awaited Tuscaloosa, which is due on CD and 2-LP (with one side etched) on June 7.
A companion to the much-maligned (by Neil) Time Fades Away live album, Tuscaloosa captures Neil and Stray Gators - who had backed him up on the smash hit Harvest - live in concert on February 5, 1973. Recorded in the era between Harvest and Tonight's The Night, Young and the Gators launch new versions of now-classic tracks, as well as songs that would later be released on Tonight's The Night. One such track, "Don't Be Denied," has been made available as an instant-gratis single as a preview of the album. You can hear it in the YouTube link below.
As Neil said to Rolling Stone in January, the Tuscaloosa recordings have a decidedly different feel from the songs' well-known studio counterparts. "For me, it's edgy," he said. "It's like those mellow songs with an edge. It's really trippy to be down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and singing those songs from Harvest and the songs that we were doing for Time Fades Away before it came out. I found this thing and it had such a great attitude to it. I just loved the whole night, so I put that together with [engineer] John Hanlon."
Hanlon mixed the album at Studio 2 at East West Studios in Hollywood using the analog 16-track, 2" masters. His mix was transferred directly to 24/192 high-resolution audio sourced from the analog masters, then mastered for vinyl and digital at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. While two songs from the show -- "On the Way Home" and "The Loner" -- didn't make the cut for the album, it's been reported that they'll eventually become available on the Neil Young Archives website.
While there's no firm timeline for when those missing tracks may become available, fans should mark their calendars for June 7, the day Tuscaloosa hits stores on CD and 2-LP black vinyl, as well as digital and streaming services. You can pick up the album from Neil Young's Online Store or using Amazon links below. (We'll have Amazon links for the CD edition as soon as they're live). In addition to CD and vinyl standalone editions, the online shop also offers an exclusive LP/lithograph bundle and CD/lithograph bundle featuring a photo by Joel Bernstein. The first 100 orders of each lithograph bundle will be signed by Joel Bernstein.
While he's been forging ahead in the studio with Crazy Horse, Neil Young's responses to fans on the Archives website indicate there's no sign of stopping the vault releases. Homegrown, Odeon/Budokan, the Crazy Horse live document Alchemy, a remastered Trans and accompanying film, Freedom Live, Oceanside/Countryside, a Mirror Ball reissue, and more are all said to be in various stages of completion. As always, we'll have news about those titles as soon as there's official word.
So don't be denied -- secure your copy of Tuscaloosa today with the pre-order links below!
Neil Young and Stray Gators, Tuscaloosa (Shakey Pictures Records/Reprise, 2019)
- Here We Are In The Years
- After The Gold Rush
- Out On The Weekend
- Old Man
- Heart Of Gold
- Time Fades Away
- Lookout Joe
- New Mama
- Don't Be Denied