Published Sep 01, 2017Neil Young is about to at last release his long-lost Hitchhiker album, and to help fans better understand why they're not getting the shelved album until now, the famed Canadian songwriter has shared the record's origin story.
Yesterday (August 31) Young appeared on Colorado public radio station KOTO for a Facebook Live stream, in which he told the story of Hitchhiker. Recorded 41 years ago during one night in Malibu's Indigo Studios, Young detailed the hurried 1976 recording session, as well as why the LP was never released.
"No one had ever heard [these songs] before. The album was called Hitchhiker," Young said. "I had no accompaniment but my guitar, harmonica and the studio piano as I sang the songs in the order you still hear them today."
He went on to explain that only producer David Briggs and actor friend Dean Stockwell witnessed the session. "The idea I had at the time was to present these new songs in their purest and simplest form, just as they had been written," Young explained, adding that he was aiming to create barebone recordings like those of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and "1960s folk music."
His record label didn't see eye-to-eye with Young, though, and ultimately shelved the album.
You can watch Neil tell his ill-fated tale down below.
You can also stream Hitchhiker now over here via NPR before the album officially arrives on September 8 through Reprise.
Dive into Neil Young's back catalogue via Umusic.