Neil Young’s Latest Archival Release is 1987’s “Summer Songs”

Alternate versions of these songs wound up on several other albums

Neil Young, 1987
Neil Young and Frank Sampedro, Vorst Nationaal, Brussel, Belgium, 28 May 1987.
Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

December 2021 has brought with it a new album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the critically acclaimed Barn. Given that Young has been embracing his archival side in recent years, it’s not entirely surprising that Barn isn’t the only new (or, at least, previously unheard) album this month has brought news about. And if you’re fond of Young’s work in the late 1980s — you know, the same period that gave us Freedom — this latest trip into Young’s archives might be of particular interest.

Ultimate Classic Rock reports that Young is preparing to release his previously-unreleased 1987 album Summer Songs. Neil Young Archives subscribers received news about the project from Young, who also confirmed that the album would see a commercial release on Reprise in 1988.

“The words of these originals are significantly different from their subsequent master album releases in many cases,” Young said. “Several completely new and unheard verses are found in the songs of this collection.”

Of the eight songs on the album, versions of seven have seen release on other albums, including “Hangin’ on a Limb,” “Wrecking Ball” and “Someday,” which all showed up on Freedom. For longtime fans of Young’s work, hearing how different these versions sounds especially interesting.

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