Neil Young to Release ‘Songs for Judy’ Live Acoustic Album
Some rare, live recordings from Neil Young are finally going to see the light of day.
The singer-songwriter is set to release Songs for Judy, a collection of live acoustic performances recorded at various cities during his November 1976 tour, on Nov. 30.
The 22-song album includes the previously unreleased track “No One Seems to Know”, alongside raw renditions of better known songs like "Heart of Gold," "Sugar Mountain" and "Too Far Gone." You can see the track listing below.
The collection was curated by rock-journalist-turned-Oscar-winning-filmmaker Cameron Crowe and concert photographer Joel Bernstein. Both were embedded with Young during his 1976 solo tour.
"The shows were reckless and beautiful," Crowe said, reflecting upon the time. "The evenings began with an hour-long acoustic solo set from Neil. The acoustic portion of the evening morphed nightly, often fueled by a smoke or two just behind the curtain. After a break, Neil and Crazy Horse would return for a barn-burner of an electric set designed to level the place. They succeeded nightly."
Bernstein recorded the performances on cassette tape, originally meant only for personal enjoyment. "I immediately realized that making these tapes was in fact a great idea," he said. "I was soon raiding malls for whatever blank C-90 cassettes I could find along the way. The U.S. leg of this tour was brief (18 shows in 12 cities, in 24 days), but the performances were at their best intense and thrilling. As the tour continued, the cache of cassette-tape grew, all of them filled with gems."
Whittling the performances down was no easy task. "For days we listened and compiled," Crowe remembered. "It was deliriously painstaking work. Wake up, eat breakfast, dive back into the recordings. Decide which of the 12 versions of 'Old Laughing Lady' was most essential. Repeat."
The result is a collection of intimate performances that haven't been heard in more than 40 years.
Songs for Judy will be released initially on CD and digitally; a vinyl edition will follow on Dec. 14. The album is available for pre-order now and comes with an instant download of the track “Campaigner," recorded live in Boston on Nov. 22, 1976.
Neil Young, 'Songs for Judy' Track Listing
Songs For Judy Intro
Too Far Gone
No One Seems To Know
Heart Of Gold
Love Is A Rose
After The Gold Rush
Tell Me Why
Mellow My Mind
Give Me Strength
Man Needs A Maid
Roll Another Number
Journey Through The Past
Old Laughing Lady
The Losing End
Here We Are In The Years
The Needle And The Damage Done