Neil Young has announced the release of Homegrown, the “lost” 1975 album that has never seen the light of day. The album is due out on June 19th via Reprise Records, but Young has released the previously-unheard track “Try” today (March 15th).
Young has described the 12-track LP as “the unheard bridge between Harvest and Comes A Time.” In addition to Young, Homegrown features a backing band consisting of Levon Helm, Ben Keith, Karl T. Himmel, Tim Drummond, Stan Szelest, and Robbie Robertson, with an appearance by Emmylou Harris.
The album was originally recorded between June 1974 and January 1975 as the follow-up to 1972’s Harvest. While Homegrown was never released in full, five of the album’s 12 songs —”Love Is A Rose”, “Homegrown”, “White Line”, “Little Wing”, and “Star Of Bethlehem”—were later released on other records. The remaining six songs, as well as the “Florida” spoken narration, have never before been released. The new single, “Try”, is among the latter group.
“Try” finds vintage Young on acoustic guitar, joined by Helm on drums, Drummond on bass, Keith on steel lap guitar, and Harris sharing vocal duties. The song carries similar emotional weight and texture to “Oh, Lonesome Me” from 1970’s After The Gold Rush. In fact, this weight is part of the reason for the delay of Homegrown, as the album was written following Young’s separation from actress Carrie Snodgress. In the Homegrown announcement, Young even says, “Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean. This is the one that got away.” In a moment in poetic duplicity, he could either be talking about Snodgress or the album itself.
Listen to “Try” by Neil Young, and read his full statement regarding Homegrown, below.
I apologize. This album Homegrown should have been there for you a couple of years after Harvest. It’s the sad side of a love affair. The damage 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, on the shelf, in the back of my mind….but I should have shared it. It’s actually beautiful. That’s why I made it in the first place. Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean. This is the one that got away. Recorded in analog in 1974 and early 1975 from the original master tapes and restored with love and care by John Hanlon. Levon Helm is drumming on some tracks, Karl T Himmel on others, Emmylou Harris singing on one, Homegrown contains a narration, several acoustic solo songs never even published or heard until this release and some great songs played with a great band of my friends, including Ben Keith – steel and slide – Tim Drummond – bass and Stan Szelest – piano. Anyway, it’s coming your way in 2020, the first release from our archive in the new decade. Come with us into 2020 as we bring the past.
Neil Young — “Try”
Homegrown is far from the only archival project Young has in the can. Earlier this year, Young said he was in the “final editing stages” for Greendale Live, a concert film of his rock opera with Crazy Horse recorded in 2003. He is also said to be working on the release of Way Down in the Rust Bucket, which features a Crazy Horse concert at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. For updated information on Young’s archival releases, head to his website.
01. Separate Ways
04. Love Is A Rose
08. We Don’t Smoke It No More
09. White Line
11. Little Wing
12. Star of Bethlehem