Neil Young Releases Surprise New Album on Christmas: ‘Summer Songs’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

…And you thought Christmas was over!

On Saturday (December 25), Neil Young shared an unearthed album (his latest in a string of recent finds), Summer Songs. (Check out the 8-song LP HERE.)

Said Young of the album: it was “lost for years, but not forgotten.”

In a statement on the suddenly busy Neil Young Archives site, Young wrote, “Happy Holidays everyone! I think you will enjoy this very cool recording—lost for years, but not forgotten. Now a gift.”

The album, which was recorded at Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch, features the versatile Young playing all the instruments. The record was produced by him and Niko Bolas.

In 2020, Young released Homegrown, songs from 1974. And on December 10, he released the new album Barn with Crazy Horse.

Of Summer Songs, Young wrote on the Archives website, earlier this month, “We are not sure of the exact original dates of these recordings yet. They were all given the same date in the NYA Vault’s records, but they all have a very similar unique sound. To give you an idea of place and time, Farm Aid and the Bridge School concerts had just begun their long runs.”

The 76-year-old Toronto-born Young continued, saying, “This group of songs had just been written and put down in the studio at Broken Arrow (as far as we can figure). We cannot completely be sure of the engineer who was recording these and I don’t remember the sessions at all! Every song in the collection was with acoustic guitar or piano and simple added embellishments—sketches of arrangements we made to preserve the initial ideas.

“These originals were first introduced in their final master versions on the albums Freedom, American Dream, Psychedelic Pill, and Harvest Moon. They will be included in NYA Volume 3 and may be released as a separate archive album before that. It is a beautiful listen, created over a short period of time, that influenced 4 albums.

“‘The Last of His Kind,‘ ‘For the Love of Man,’ ‘American Dream,’ ‘Name of Love,’ ‘Someday,’ ‘One of These Days,’ ‘Hangin’ on a Limb‘ and ‘Wrecking Ball’ are the original eight performances. The words of these originals are significantly different from their subsequent master album releases in many cases. Several completely new and unheard verses are found in the songs of this collection.”

He added, “Research is still being done to completely verify the recording history.”

Check out the latest music video Young released, which features Crazy Horse and can be found on Barn, here below.

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