Neil Young Announces New Album “Before and After”
Neil Young in an interview, 2005 - Team Coco / Youtube
Folk and grunge icon Neil Young has been very busy recently. This is an understatement knowing the idiosyncratic releases of the famously ever-unpredictable singer-songwriter.
But he is indeed active these days: earlier this year in August, Young released Chrome Dreams, a “lost” album he originally intended to release in 1977; then a new live album called Odeon Budokan also hit the shelves on September 1 featuring recordings from his 1976 tour with Crazy Horse to promote Zuma.
And in mid-October 2023, the 77-year-old music icon announced Before and After, another album coming out this year – the 45th of his long career – which is set to be released on December 8, 2023.
The surprise announcement of his yet another new album had Young’s fans excited, especially since this 13-track record is a “totally eclectic collection” of mostly lesser-known songs given new life. Check out this “official music video” of some sort released by Neil Young’s YouTube channel for the first three songs labeled as “Pt. 1”:
An acoustic reimagining of obscure Neil Young songs
According to the press release posted on Young’s website via The Greedy Hand store, Before and After is a diverse selection of mostly lesser-known songs that the iconic songwriter approached “like a painter with a new palette”.
Drawing from a wide range of his own compositions, Young handpicked his favorites from his varied musical repertoire, as if he were on a journey through his own history. The folk icon recorded the songs “mostly alone” on a solo acoustic exploration.
“Songs from my life, recently recorded, create a music montage with no beginnings or endings,” Young shared along with the statement release of Before and After. “The feeling is captured, not in pieces, but as a whole piece — designed to be listened to that way. This music presentation defies shuffling, digital organization, separation. Only for listening. That says it all,” he added.
This 48-minute pure and intimate listening experience was produced by Lou Adler and Neil Young and mixed by Young and Niko Bolas, known as The Volume Dealers. Here’s the tracklist:
- I’m the Ocean
- On the Way Home
- If You Got Love
- A Dream That Can Last
- My Heart
- When I Hold You in My Arms
- Mother Earth
- Mr. Soul
- Comes a Time
- Don’t Forget Love
A very busy 2023 for Neil Young
Just last September, the rock and roll veteran had unveiled details about a 50th-anniversary reissue of his 1973 album, Time Fades Away, scheduled for release on November 3. This was after he released two albums some weeks before, namely Chrome Dreams and Odeon Budokan.
Furthermore, in June, Neil Young embarked on his first tour in four years, featuring a series of solo acoustic performances on the West Coast. These concerts marked his first set of headline shows since the time before the pandemic.
He marked his return to the stage at a rally in support of the United For Old Growth campaign, which seeks to prevent logging companies from destroying old-growth forests.
Young has since reunited with Buffalo Springfield bandmate Stephen Stills for a performance in Los Angeles in April, as well as participated in fellow music icon Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday celebration, sharing the stage with Snoop Dogg, Beck, and other notable artists.