On January 27 2022, Neil Young’s back catalogue disappeared from Spotify. He justifiably took issue with the streaming giant hosting a podcast by Joe Rogan which spread disinformation about vaccines. “You can have Neil Young or Joe Rogan,” he said. Ultimately, they chose Joe Rogan. Their giving him a platform has created bad publicity, but his nasty work is easy to ignore. Spotify aren’t forcing you to listen to his podcast, of course, just as they’ve not made it a legal requirement to stream a bland piece of music you hate every time you log in. In a free world, we all make our own choices and Neil has made his.
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.