Written by Brittany Rotondo
My, my. Canadian folk hero Neil Young finally unveils the long-lost studio album, Homegrown, recorded during 1974 and 1975 to eager ears. The 12-track chalice of songs was halted between Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sessions, and stadium tours, and now finally sees the light of day via Reprise Records.
Fans have waited a longwinded 46 years for this masterpiece, which is now often referred to as one of Young’s greatest. Young himself reigned in the wait, stating in a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone’s Cameron Crowe the desire to release Homegrown in parts and pieces on subsequent albums.
Young commences that Homegrown is “the one that got away.” The buried treasure was recorded in analog and mastered to vinyl from the original tapes, restored carefully by longtime producer John Hanlon, who expresses approaching Neil and his music orchestrally. Is there any other way?
Homegrown has the typical A-list Laurel Canyon crew, showcasing the talents of Emmylou Harris (“Those beautiful harmonies”, as Young himself puts it), legendary session bassist Tim Drummond and The Band members Robbie Robertson and the late Levon Helm, amongst additional Neil timetablers.
Young further elaborates on the generational gap, “This album should have been there after Harvest. It’s the sad side of a love affair. The damage [was] done. The heartache. I just couldn’t listen to it. I wanted to move on. So I kept it to myself, hidden away in the vault, in the back of my mind. It’s beautiful. That’s why I made it in the first place. Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean.”
The Canadian activist and Hall of Fame inductee shows time is on his side with Homegrown, the missing link, and addition to Young’s storied songwriting achievements. The metaphysical cherry on top a long-standing and limitless career.
Well, Homegrown’s alright with me.