Neil Young announces release of 1987 demos he doesn’t remember recording

Research is still underway to “completely verify the recording history” of the collection titled Summer Songs

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Neil Young has announced Summer Songs, a collection of demos he first made in 1987 which he doesn’t remember recording. See the list of songs below.

In a blog post on Neil Young Archives last Saturday (November 27), the folk rock icon explained the origin of Summer Songs to the best of his recollection.

He elaborated that the recordings were labeled with the same date when they were found recently, and that “they all have a very similar unique sound”.

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“To give you an idea of place and time, Farm Aid and the Bridge School Concerts had just begun their long runs,” he said, referring to the run of concerts he performed that decade, starting in 1985 with Farm Aid.

Neil Young
Neil Young performing in 1987. Credit: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images.

Young added that these songs were written and recorded in the studio – “as far as we can figure”, he noted – and that he cannot remember these sessions at all. These demos were then fleshed out in their final forms on later albums: from 1989’s career-defining Freedom to 2012’s Psychedelic Pill.

He added that several of these demos offer lyrics “significantly different from their subsequent master album releases”, promising “several completely new and unheard verses”.

While a firm release date for Summer Songs is still unconfirmed, Young wrote that these demos will be included in his upcoming compilation release‘Neil Young Archives Volume III. There’s also a possibility of these demos being issued as a “separate Archive album before that.”

“It is a beautiful listen, created over a short period of time, that influenced four albums,” he wrote. Young admitted that research is being done to “completely verify the recording history” of these demos.

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Last year, Young released Neil Young Archives Volume II, which covered the period of his music from 1972-1976. It included a new album titled Homegrown, which consisted of recordings from 1974 and 1975. It languished as an unreleased record for decades before its release in June 2020.

In December, Young will release his 41st studio album Barn with long-time collaborators Crazy Horse. He’s teased it with the songs “Heading West” and “Song Of The Seasons”.

Here is the tracklist of Neil Young’s Summer Songs:

  • “The Last of His Kind”
  • “For the Love of Man”
  • “American Dream”
  • “Name of Love”
  • “Someday”
  • “One of These Days”
  • “Hangin’ on a Limb”
  • “Wrecking Ball”
Originally published on NME
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