There has never been a more exciting – or expensive – time to be a Neil Young fan. The global pandemic has given Young plenty of time for reflection and for going through the archives. The past year has seen release of his ‘Homegrown’ solo album from 1974, a ‘Greendale’ live set, a CD and DVD of an early show (‘Young Shakespeare’), some classic live material with Crazy Horse (‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’ and the appearance of his long-awaited ‘Archives II’ ten CD set.
It’s only been a few weeks since Neil Young confirmed a release date for ‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’, a legendary 1990 live show recorded with Crazy Horse. In March 2021, he has a treat for fans of his more sedate sounds when ‘Live At The Shakespeare’ will be made available officially for the very first time.
Love it or hate it, Record Store Day has become an important fixture on the music-related calendar. From humble beginnings with a few bits and bobs to entice people into independent record shops, it’s now become a huge business tool, giving major labels an excuse to reissue all kinds of stuff. While it now seems more about a money making venture than to highlight small business, there’s still some cool stuff to be found. Never more so than for the 2020 event, where there are a truckload of artificially created rarities that look like lovely items for the keener fan.
Occasionally, a couple of things will come together to create something classic. This is one of those times.
Just ahead of their US tour which kicks off in New York on June 28th, alternative legends Yo La Tengo have uploaded a new contribution to Spotify’s Singles Series.
Maybe as a reaction to the previous year, though maybe just coincidence, 1974 didn’t have the all round focus of it’s forebears. Whereas 1973 had been a home to various albums that have spanned generations, ’74’s best strengths were in the singles market.
Bowie’s escalating drug habit left him with ideas of an unfinished musical and an album that’s arguably his most unfocused of the decade. ‘Rebel Rebel’, however, remains a great and enduring single cut, brimming with the last vestiges of glam. Lulu did an excellent job of covering ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and ‘Watch That Man’, filling both sides of an essential 7″, Ace’s ‘How Long’ – while easily dismissed as soft radio filler has stood the test of time and now sounds like a near perfect piece of songcraft, while everyone’s favourite ragamuffin, David Essex, topped the UK chart with a smart and disposable single about making disposable pop music.