Neil Young's 2014 book Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life and Cars offered a tantalizing glimpse at a 1976 recording session few fans even knew existed. "One night, [my producer] Mr. [David] Briggs and I jumped into [my truck] Stretch and headed for his favorite place, Indigo Ranch Studios," Young wrote. "I spent the night there with David and recorded nine solo acoustic songs, completing a tape I called Hitchhiker. It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances. ... I laid down all of the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer, or cocaine. Briggs was in the control room, mixing live on his favorite console."
The Hitchhiker tape - which features early, raw versions of classic songs like "Powderfinger" and "Pocahontas" alongside rarities like "Hawaii" and "Campaigner" - sat in the vault for 41 years before it was finally unearthed for a release as part of Young's ongoing Archives series. It hits stores on September 8th. Young also recently unveiled a website that will supposedly house the next volume of his Archives box set. There's no word on when that might come out, but it got us thinking about his legendary vault of unreleased music. Here's a look at 15 recordings we'd love to finally see get an official release. (Note: We're aware that this doesn't include shelved albums like Island in the Sun, Old Ways I and Times Square. We wanted this to be our absolute favorite obscurities, which means a lot of live Crazy Horse and only the best unreleased albums.)