Neil Young and Prince don’t seem like they would have much in common. Except for maybe one thing: They both know how to stuff a vault. Like His Purple Majesty, Shakey probably has probably shelved and forgotten about more great albums than most artists put out over the course of their careers. His latest archival offering Homegrown — a gorgeous breakup album about the end of his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress, originally slated to follow up Harvest and precede Comes A Time — is most assuredly one of them. And the latest example of how artists are often their own worst enemies. Nearly half a century after its confessional honesty supposedly spooked Neil into hiding it away, it’s hard to see what he was so scared about: Sure, several of its tracks are revealing and personal. But not much more so than countless other songs he had no problem releasing over the years. I guess we should just be grateful he finally worked up the nerve to share these long-lost ’70s folk-rock nuggets and heartbroken ballads (some of which he’s played live over the years). Hey, better late than never, right? Speaking of better: Unlike Prince, Young is still around to reap the artistic and financial reward. And maybe even pull a few more gems from the vault while he’s at it — if we’re lucky.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Roughly 46 years after its original recording, Neil Young announces the release of one his most storied and sought-after albums ever, Homegrown. Often referred to by fans as one of Young’s mysterious, great “lost albums,” Young describes Homegrown as The One That Got Away. He posted the following letter on Neil Young Archives: “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. Levon Helm is drumming on some tracks, Karl T Himmel on others, Emmylou Harris singing on one, Robbie Robertson plays 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 band of my friends, including Ben Keith (steel and slide), Tim Drummond (bass) and Stan Szelest (piano). It’s the first release from our archive in this new decade. Come with us into 2020 as we bring you the past.”