For nearly 45 years, Neil Young fans have been clamoring for Homegrown, the lost album that was nearly released in 1975 and most recently slated for the still-yet-to-happen Record Store Day 2020. Now, it's been announced that the album described by Neil as "the missing link between Harvest, Comes A Time, Old Ways and Harvest Moon" will finally reach fans on June 19.
"[Homegrown] is all analog! The purest sound," Young wrote in a post on his Neil Young Archives site. "Hear the vinyl. Get a nice phonograph player. This is the record to do that on! My first ever narration with Ben 'Longgrain' Keith and live sound effects. Some beautiful music and fun rockin' songs as well. This is the one that got away. I am stoked to share this with you."
UPDATE: As the press release notes, "The album is made up of twelve Neil Young songs, of which seven are previously unreleased - "Separate Ways," "Try," "Mexico," "Kansas," We Don't Smoke It No More," "Vacancy" and "Florida" (a spoken word narration). Also included are the first recordings of "Love Is A Rose," "Homegrown," "White Line, "Little Wing," and "Star Of Bethlehem" - different versions of which would all later appear on other Neil Young albums." While much of the album is solo fare featuring Neil on guitar, harmonica, and piano, he's joined elsewhere by an impressive lineup of friends, including Levon Helm, Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, Emmylou Harris, and Robbie Robertson.
Homegrown has been all-analog mastered by John Hanlon from the original master tapes. As for visuals, the album will be presented in a replica of the originally planned, and now legendary, artwork. While it will be available on standalone vinyl and CD from retailers, including Amazon, folks who order from their preferred independent record store (from a safe social distance) will receive a print of the gorgeous artwork. And in these uncertain times, we think it's a great idea to support the independent shops that have always been an integral part of this hobby.
And while much of the industry is in flux due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Neil hasn't stopped moving forward with his Archives projects. Also on the radar is a audiovisual release of a Greendale stage tour performance from Toronto in September 2003 entitled Return to Greendale. That one is currently set for release on double vinyl in July.
The Neil Young Archives team has also unearthed pro-shot video and multitrack audio tapes of Neil Young and Crazy Horse's celebrated November 1990 show at The Catalyst. Previews have been posted sporadically in the Hearse Theatre section of the Archives website, whetting the appetite for the October release. "I think this has to be one of my all-time favorite Crazy Horse performances!" Neil wrote last year. "It's hard to believe this did not come out a long time ago! What a great vibe."
Neil will also look back to a solo show from January 1971 with Young Shakespeare, the show came three days after his Massey Hall concert and stands as a career "high water mark," according to producer John Hanlon. Currently slated for November 27, Young Shakespeare will include both audio and video content.
If that weren't enough, it seems that the long-awaited box set Neil Young Archives, Volume 2 will finally arrive on August 21 should all go to plan. Neil has revealed it will be a 10-CD set covering the prolific period from 1972-1976 and will include Odeon Budokan, a live album and concert film from the Zuma tour's stops in London and Japan.
Finally, Neil has been in touch with Graham Nash about compiling a 50th Anniversary Edition of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Deja Vu album which would likely appear by the end of the year.
Looking ahead to 2021, Young has announced that he's also been working on an album called Road of Plenty, which spotlights his work with Crazy Horse during the late '80s. The album will feature recordings from the group's 1986 tour, plus "some amazing music" recorded during the rehearsals for Saturday Night Live in 1989.
Given the current state of the world - and the ever-mercurial state of this singular artist - these plans may well change, but we'll be sure to keep you informed. One thing is certain, though: Neil Young fans have a lot to be excited about as he continues to journey through the past! Check out the track listing AND PLACE YOUR PRE-ORDERS for Homegrown below!
Neil Young, Homegrown (Warner, 2020)
- Separate Ways
- Love Is A Rose
- We Don't Smoke It No More
- White Line
- Little Wing
- Star of Bethlehem