Introducing “Young at Heart” – the Neil Young series!

Hey, it’s me again!

As you may already know, I really love Neil Young. He’s my favorite musician of all time, and the list of Neil songs I still want to author is seemingly endless. So I thought I’ll approach it differently this time.

Instead of the usual, which would be to accumulate songs over a few months and drop them all in some “mega pack” in the next Chart-a-thon or whatever – this time I’ll go for a series of smaller releases. So welcome to my new series of Neil Young releases – “Young at Heart”!

Releases would usually be 3-packs, and might or might not have a theme. This format should hopefully be less daunting to make, would have relatively regular releases rather than endless hoarding of customs, and should give each individual song more focus and time to shine. 

So let’s start with the first installment! Here’s a 3-pack of beautiful songs from Neil’s vast catalog.

From the classic album “After the Gold Rush”, “Oh, Lonesome Me” is actually a rare cover – or actually, quite a radical reinvention of the Don Gibson/Chet Atkins classic country-rocker, which Neil turns into a slow paced emotional ballad, played beautifully with Crazy Horse, showing their gentle side.

The best breakup song of all time alert!

Homegrown” is Neil’s legendary lost album, written in 1975 after his separation from his wife Carrie Snodgrass. Neil chose not to release it, maybe because it was too raw, too personal, and it was finally released in 2020 as part of the Archives project. And it’s just spectacular, such a beautiful album – I’m convinced that if it was released in real time it would rank among his all time classics. And this song, opener “Separate Ways”, one of the saddest songs Neil wrote and a serious contender for the best breakup song of all time, would have been a renowned all-time Neil classic. Instead, it’s a rarity discovered 45 years too late – but better late than never, and now you can play it in all its (ragged) glory!  Including a surprisingly tricky drum track by Levon Helm of The Band.

April 4, 1977 – exactly 47 years ago today – Neil Young recorded half an album. A special one-time ensemble (dubbed “The Bullets”) of Crazy Horse, slide guitar player Ben Keith, violin player Carole Mayedo and the lovely Linda Ronstadt and Nicolette Larson on backing vocals, gathered in Young’s ranch and just laid down five country-style songs in one day. Those five songs would make the eternity of the first side of Neil’s album “American Stars ‘n Bars”.

One of those songs, “Saddle Up the Palomino”, is now out for your enjoyment! While those songs are a bit more light hearted and usually aren’t regarded as part of Neil’s best, it’s still lovely music and this song in particular is weirdly attractive. So saddle up the palomino and let’s go!

That’s it for today, expect more of those in the future! And another (non-Neil) release very soon! Till then, keep on rocking in the free world! (sorry, that was corny). See you again soon!

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