Neil Young seems to be perpetually clearing out his archives, and they never seem to have a bottom. His latest pull from the vault is Chrome Dreams, a “lost” album recorded between 1974-1976, intended for release in 1977 but shelved until now. All 12 songs on Chrome Dreams have been released in one form or another, but this tracklist is billed as the album as Young always envisioned it. Several tracks are the original recordings of songs that made their debut in altered form on later releases. One song, “Stringman,” was performed on Young’s MTV Unplugged special in 1993 but wasn’t released until the Archives series in the 2010s.
A press release explains the lineage of some of these recordings:
“Powderfinger” is the early/first solo version, the original.
“Pocahontas” is the same version that first appeared on RUST NEVER SLEEPS, but without the overdubs.
“Sedan Delivery” and “Hold Back the Tears” are originals with lyrics that were not included in later released versions. Both are very different versions than previously released.
“Stringman,” is another original performance, included on the ODEON/BUDOKAN disc in ARCHIVES VOL. II; prior to that the song had only appeared on Young’s UNPLUGGED album in a later version, not the original.
Maybe Chrome Dreams is not the starting place for Neil Young noobs, but real Neil heads are surely interested in hearing these old favorites assembled like so. Stream the album below (not on Spotify, obviously).
Chrome Dreams is out now on Reprise, including a 2xLP version with three sides of audio and an etching on side four.