Thursday, November 12, 2020

Neil Young- Happy 75th! Elektra Demos 1965 & More


Today, November 12th is Neil Young's 75th birthday! Despite the worldwide pandemic that has shut down concert tours and most live performances, Young has had a busy 2020 so far, releasing new and "new" old music. He was also preoccupied with his displeasure with his president (he has dual Canadian and American citizenship), Donald Trump. In February, he wrote an open letter to Mr. President Donald Trump: "You Are A Disgrace To My Country". In August, he filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Trump campaign for using his music at Trump rallies and in September he released, The Times (EP) that included a new song, Lookin' For A Leader that expressed more of his feelings towards the Trump presidency. In June, Young finally released the long unreleased album, Homegrown that was originally suppose to be come out in 1975. And just last week, a live album, Return To Greendale, recorded in 2003 in Toronto while on tour to promote the album, Greendale with his band, Crazy Horse was released. Upcoming on November 20th, the Neil Young Archives Volume II: 1972-1976 is set to release, a 10-CD box set that will consist of 131 tracks, 63 previously unreleased. These include live and alternative versions of previously released songs, plus 12 never released songs. Wow, quite the busy year indeed!
I thought this would be an appropriate time to post some early demos from Young from 1965, the Elektra demos which is an unofficial release, but has been widely available. Some of these songs appear on the Archives Vol. 1, but a couple don't and as a bonus there are some rare live tracks. These early demos are Neil solo acoustic and the sound quality is very good. The interesting thing is that his voice actually sounds slightly smoother and more coherent than we're used to, but it's still unmistakably Neil Young. A true gem for any Neil fan and an important recording in his early career. Happy 75th!
Essential listen of the week: As far as Neil Young cover tributes go, this one's great! NEIL (Vol 1) from Scott The Hoople (aka: Scott McCaughey -YFF, Minus 5, Baseball Project...etc) is a 13 track digital album of Neil covers that just came out November 6th. 
Scott: "For 50+ years, his music has been a huge part of my life - a source of immense pleasure, comfort, and pleasurable discomfort...". I highly recommend giving this a listen, it's definitely worth the measly $7.00 he's asking. Get it!
Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats.
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Elektra Demos 1965 & More

Transfer: Original silvers -> EAC -> Flac

01 Sugar Mountain
02 Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
03 Run Around Babe
04 Don't Pity My Baby
05 I Ain't Got The Blues - False Start 1
06 I Ain't Got The Blues - False Start 2
07 I Ain't Got The Blues - False Start 3
08 I Ain't Got The Blues - Final Take
09 The Rent Is Always Due
10 When It Falls, It Falls All Over You

The Elektra Demos Recorded at the Elektra Studios in New York City, September 1965. Engineered by Peter Siegel. All Tracks are just Neil and his acoustic guitar. First time available in stunning sound quality!

11 Everybody's Alone
Recorded during rehearsals at KQED TV, December 1970.

12 Traces (With CSNY)
13 Love Art Blues (With CSNY)
Recorded at the Coliseum, Seattle, July 9, 1974.

14 Stringman
Recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, March 31, 1976.

15 Southern Man (With Stills/Young Band)
Recorded at the Civic Center, Providence, July 7, 1976.

16 Give Me Strength
Recorded in the USA, November 1976.

17 Lady Wingshot
Recorded at the Bicentennial Park, Miami Beach, November 12, 1977.

18 Amber Jean
19 Let Your Fingers Do The Walking (a.k.a. Good Phone)
20 Helpless
21 Down By The River
Recorded at the Austin City Limits TV Show, Austin, September 25, 1984.

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