A few weeks ago we recounted the tale of Chrome Dreams, the album Neil Young recorded and shelved in 1977 and then got bootlegged like a crazy horse. Even if you don’t own a cobbled copy or chase after that sorta minutiae, you might recognize some of the tunes that would’ve appeared on it: ?Like a Hurricane,? “Pocahontas,” “Hold Back The Tears,” ?Too Far Gone,? and ?Powderfinger,? etc.
Jump ahead a dirty 30 years. Chrome Dreams II just came out and it reminds us of Young’s Silver & Gold Years. It’s basically his best album in 7 sevens, which isn’t saying much as dude has over 30 solo albums, but after the underwhelming Greendale, Prairie Wind, and Living With War, it’s nice to see him abandon the concept thing. Hear four tracks here.
Of course, he’s taking CD II on the road. In this past weekend’s NY Times, master notetaker Jon Pareles hooked up with Young, watched some rehearsals, and gave an idea of what to expect. First of all, Neil’s being ultra specific about what type of small venues he’ll play, all the way down to the windows, the lighting style (hand-held spots only!), and specific equipment. He’ll do a Harvest Moon-style solo set followed by a set with a full band, the CD II studio crew: members of Crazy Horse (notably drummer Ralph Molina) and other regulars. And, surprise, the opening act will be Young’s wife Pegi, accompanied by keyboardist Anthony Crawford. Nepotism! Then come the song-by-song particulars.
Neil’s looking back…
Via NY Times:
He brought back [the Harvest Moon] tour?s lighting designers and has his old Univox electric organ, with angel wings, that can be lowered to the stage from overhead. The set lists are built from ?Chrome Dreams II,? a few of Mr. Young?s best-known songs and many rarities. Among them are ?Bad Fog of Loneliness,? a song cut from ?Harvest,? and a mid-1970s song, ?No One Seems to Know,? that says ?time is better spent searching than in finding” … Mr. Young was still auditioning songs for the tour. There were keepers like ?Cortez the Killer? and ?The Loner?; there were possibilities like ?Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.? After a run-through of ?Only Love Can Break Your Heart,? Mr. Young decided it had no life left. ?Something else in that neighborhood would be good,? he said
Guessing he’ll play “Ordinary People,” the 1988-penned epic that loom large at Chrome Dreams II center, and which was serviced to radio in its full 18-minute state. Check out this 12-minute take from its birth year, captured live at Darien Lake.
Nice hat, horn guy.
Perhaps Young’s putting out psychic vibes, because we just got word from Marissa Nadler that she’s posted a shadowed, twangy boy and girl (though mostly girl) cover of “Cowgirl In The Sand” over at NadlerSpace. Purty. She tells us “Neil young covers are a hobby of mine,” so we’re lookin’ to dig up some more. In the interim, take a look and listen to Mr. Young doin’ intoning on those purple words live in 1971.
Chrome Dreams II is out on Reprise.