Neil Young is cleaning up a “big mess” of unfinished albums.
In November, Young dropped his 42nd album World Record less than a year after releasing Barn – both with his band Crazy Horse. In a new interview, Young revealed that he has a collection of incomplete works that still need to be released.
“I got a lot of stuff to clean up,” Young told Uncut Magazine. “I’ve got a big mess that I left behind. I’ve created a lot of unfinished records, unfinished this and that. I now have the time to deal with it, focus on it.
“But at the same time, anything new takes precedent—always,” he continued. “Once I start thinking about something new, I drop the old stuff right away and do the new thing.”
In June, Young released his lost album Toast, which he originally recorded in 2000 and 2001 before shelving it for more than 20 years. Elaborating more on the album, Young said that it wasn’t an “important” record to release at the time when it was recorded. Instead, Young released Are You Passionate? as his 24th album in 2002.
“I knew Toast was great,” shared Young. “I knew it would come out someday. I mean, we finished it. We cared enough about it to finish it, so that says something right there. But it just didn’t seem important for it to come out at that time, or it would have.”
In the same interview, producer Rick Rubin, who also worked on World Record and portions of Toast, said that Young isn’t the most conventional record maker.
“Time doesn’t move at traditional speed where Neil is involved,” said Rubin. “Some things seem to come out impossibly quickly. Other times, they live in obscurity for years until the inclination to release something appeals to Neil.”
Photo: Daryl Hannah / Warner Records