Hey look, it's a new old Neil Young record ! Originally recorded in 1976 in Malibu, California, these 10 tracks see Young in acoustic bard mode, with nought but his guitar and voice to craft them from. While some of these songs have resurfaced in other forms, these stripped-back takes were all recorded in a single session. Maybe it'll solve the mystery of why he's so sad at the beach.
Vinyl LP £18.99 0093624912613
LP on Warner Bros.
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8/10 Tom 21st May 2018
After some of the crap Neil Young has been churning out in the last two decades, I don't imagine I was alone in hoping there'd be some long-lost 70's album that he'd scrapped on one of his cantankerous whims. As fortune has it, there was and it's just as good as I'd always hoped it would be. Recorded in one night in 1976 with long-time collaborator David Briggs, Hitchhiker is comprised of ten tracks, eight of which have been released either on other albums or on live albums, but that doesn't matter. This is Neil Young at the peak of his powers in the mid seventies with just a guitar, a piano, a harmonica and THAT voice.
Neil Young has said of the session that yielded Hitchhiker: "It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances... I laid down all the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer, or coke". It's true that some of the songs sound like they could be demos, but Neil Young has never been one for perfectionism - he likes to bang these albums out and move on to the next thing, and any album that contains songs like "Human Highway", "Pochahontas", "Powderfinger", "Ride My Llama", and "Campaigner" is alright with me. The two unreleased songs "Give Me Strength" and "Hawaii" are classic Neil Young and could so very easily have slid onto the likes of On the Beach, Tonight's the Night or Zuma.
If you're a fan of Neil Young's untouchable run of 70's albums you need this record in your life.
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- Hitchhiker by Neil Young
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