Neil Young, 2021 Preview, Syd Barrett in the new Uncut

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Welcome to the final edition of Uncut for 2020. Before we go any further, I’d like to thank everyone on the team for their continued amazing work across all our titles – Marc, John, Tom, Sam, Mick, Michael, Mike, Phil, Kevin, Johnny, Mark and Lora. Looking back across the issues we’re put out in the last 12 months, the quality of every magazine has, I believe, been of such a high standard you wouldn’t necessarily think we’d all been working from front rooms, back rooms, spare bedrooms or sheds during the pandemic to unfailingly bring you regular issues of Uncut and our one-shots.

Thanks, also, to you – the readers – without whom we wouldn’t be here. Your unfailing loyalty during these challenging times has been amazing. Our subscribers around the world have been especially patient during the inevitable delays caused by disruption to freight services. As a thank you for bearing with us, next month all our print subscribers will receive a bonus second CD with their copy of Uncut. The is an exclusive 5-track sampler featuring the Weather Station – whose new album Ignorance has rarely been off the virtual Uncut office stereo. You can whet your appetite for this free gift via Laura Barton’s interview with the Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman in the new issue.

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What else? Well, for the first time in our 24 year history, we’ve finally got round to compiling a survey of Neil Young’s greatest songs. Well… 40 of them, at any rate. For this Herculean task, we’ve invited a panel of Neil’s oldest and closest collaborators – from Crosby and Nash to Crazy Horse, Stray Gators, International Harvesters, Bluenotes, Promise Of The Real among others. The results offer fresh insight into some familiar Young numbers but, critically, also shine a light on some deeper cuts. You may find yourselves, as I did, dusting down Re-Ac-Tor and This Note’s For You after reading the passionate cases put forward for songs from both those albums in our Top 40.

There’s also Syd Barrett‘s final band Stars, Stevie Wonder‘s imperial phase revisited, Cocteau Twins on their splendid run of albums, the genesis of Captain Beefheart, Nancy Sinatra, Tom Morello, unseen Dylan, the Kuti dynasty, Buzzcocks, Edie Brickell, Phil Ochs‘ diaries and a 15-track CD rounding up the month’s best new music.

You can also find our annual Preview of albums to look forward to over the coming months. About this time last year, we were putting the touches to our 2020 Preview. What a year it’s been. Here’s to a peaceful, happy and healthy 2021 for everyone.

Anyway, do let us know what you think of once you’ve had a chance to digest the issue – drop us a line at letters@uncut.co.uk. You can also join the Uncut discussion online at forum.uncut.co.uk.

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