The four remaining Neil Young studio albums that have never been issued on CD will finally be unveiled in that format next month. "On the Beach," "American Stars 'N Bars," "Hawks & Doves," and "Re
The four remaining Neil Young studio albums that have never been issued on CD will finally be unveiled in that format next month. "On the Beach," "American Stars 'N Bars," "Hawks & Doves," and "Re.ac.tor" will be released June 24 via Reprise. The albums, which have been out of print in any form for years and heavily bootlegged, have been digitally remastered but do not include any bonus tracks.
Of perhaps most interest to fans is the arrival of 1974's "On the Beach," which finds Young aided in the studio by his on-again/off-again collaborators David Crosby and Graham Nash as well as the Band's Levon Helm and Rick Danko. The album revels in a mellow, stoned vibe that underscores Young's attempts to cope with various personal issues, including the then-recent drug-related deaths of bandmate Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry.
"American Stars 'N Bars," released in 1977 but recorded sporadically in the three years prior, is split between country-tinged numbers such as "Saddle Up the Palomino" and intense rockers such as "Like a Hurricane." Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and the late Nicolette Larson contribute backing vocals.
"Hawks & Doves" was the 1980 follow-up to "Rust Never Sleeps," but moved away from that set's brash guitar rock in favor of nine country and acoustic numbers such as "The Old Homestead" and "Comin' Apart at Every Nail." The set only reached No. 30 on The Billboard 200, Young's lowest showing since his 1969 debut "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" peaked at No. 34.
"Re.ac.tor," issued in 1981, was Young's final album before leaving Reprise to sign with Geffen. Backed by Crazy Horse, the artist powered through eight loud, fierce tracks such as "Shots" and "Motor City." The album preceded Young's most idiosyncratic period of musical experimentation, which began two years later with the vocoder-dominated "Trans."
Back in the present day, Young is in the midst of solo dates in Europe and will play Dublin tonight (May 13). A North American tour with Crazy Horse and support act Lucinda Williams begins June 8 in West Palm Beach, Fla.