Neil Young delivered a surprise Christmas gift to fans Saturday with Summer Songs, a “lost for years, but not forgotten” LP recorded in 1987 but never released.
The eight-track album, featuring Young on all instruments, boasts early versions of songs that would later appear on 1989’s Freedom (“Wrecking Ball,” “Someday,” “Hangin’ on a Limb”), Harvest Moon (“One of These Days”), Psychedelic Pill (“For the Love of Man)” and CSNY’s 1988 LP American Dream (“American Dream,” “Name of Love”), plus one song, “Last of His Kind,” that Young debuted at the 1987 Farm Aid but never officially released.
“I think you will enjoy this very cool recording,” he wrote to subscribers of his Neil Young Archives, where Summer Songs is currently streaming exclusively. “Now a gift. NYA’s files reveal the whole history. ‘American Dream’ feels more real than ever. How could somethin’ so good go bad so fast? Wow, that was a little sad. But things are still good down on the farm right? Not so fast.”
Summer Songs arrives just two weeks after Young and Crazy Horse unleashed their latest album Barn. To celebrate, Rolling Stone revisited Young’s 100 greatest songs.
Young recently spoke to Rolling Stone about balancing his new studio work with his “gigantic” Archives. “Volume III is the biggest volume of all three that I’ve made so far, almost twice as big as the other ones,” he said. “It covers a longer period of time. I think it has 13 albums in it. I make new albums now. The other Archives, I used to do this album or that album. And there’s highlights from albums, but I go by the period and create a new album around the making of the album that came out.”