Neil Young Unreleased 1976 Music is Released

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Hitchhiker, a new studio album by Neil Young, originally recorded in 1976, was released on Sept. 8, via Reprise Records, on vinyl, CD and digitally. The 10-track all acoustic album was recorded live in the studio on August 11, 1976, at Indigo Studio’s in Malibu, Calif., and contains some of Young’s well known songs plus two previously unreleased tracks. The original session was produced by Young’s longtime studio collaborator David Briggs, with new post production by John Hanlon, who has worked with Young since 1990 and produced his most recent works, including Peace Trail, Earth and The Monsanto Years.

According to a press release: “As these songs were recorded in a single session the resultant performances are truly breathtaking and passionate. The simplicity of a single voice and guitar captured here are as pure and powerful as the creator intended with only Young and Briggs in the room at the time of recording.” Many of the songs would not appear on vinyl until years later. The title track, for example, did not officially appear until 2010’s Le Noise. The version herein of “Captain Kennedy” has what’s described as “certain raw spontaneity compared to the slightly gentler version that would eventually surface on Hawks & Doves in 1980.”

Watch the official video for “Powderfinger”

Related: Many of Young’s recordings from the ’70s have been re-released

Neil Young in the ’70s (Photo by Henry Diltz, used with permission of Reprise Records)

The two previously unreleased tracks on Hitchhiker are “Hawaii,” described as “a soaring ballad and unlike anything else Young had recorded at the time,” and “Give Me Strength,” which would be occasionally performed live in the mid-’70s but is now available here for the first time.

Order the CD here. For the vinyl, go here.

To put the studio session date in context, Young had completed recording the lone Stills-Young Band album in June 1976.


Track Listing (Vinyl Version)

Side One
Captain Kennedy
Give Me Strength

Side Two
Ride My Llama
Human Highway
The Old Country Waltz

Listen to the title track from Hitchhiker

Watch Neil Young sing “Pocahontas” acoustically at a ’90s show

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