Neil Young Drops Surprise Album for Christmas

Summer Songs is a shelved album dating back to 1987

Neil Young performs in Brussel, Belgium in 1987, photo by Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

If all you wanted for Christmas was a new Neil Young album, then you’re in luck. The legendary singer-songwriter has gifted fans with Summer Songs, a previously unreleased album from 1987. You can listen to it now via Neil Young Archives.

“Happy Holidays everyone! I think you will enjoy this very cool recording – lost for years, but not forgotten. Now a gift,” Young wrote in a note accompanying the album’s release.

The eight-song Summer Songs was originally tracked at Broken Arrow Ranch in Redwood City, California, with Young playing all of the instruments. Though the album was never released, several of the songs later appeared on records such as Freedom, American Dream, Psychedelic Pill, and Harvest Moon. However, “the words of these originals are significantly different from their subsequent master album releases in many cases,” Young noted.

Earlier this month, Young released a new album with Crazy Horse called Barn. Summer Songs is but the latest archival release from Young. This year along saw him release the 1990 Crazy Horse live album and concert film Way Down in the Rust Bucket, 1982’s previously unreleased Johnny’s Island LP, a bootleg of his 1970 Carnegie Hall concert, and the “lost” 1971 live album and concert film Young Shakespeare.


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