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20 Insanely Great Neil Young Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know

Listen to lesser-known gems from Young’s catalog

Neil Young

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Neil Young's new album, A Letter Home, is a covers collection without a single original composition, but the man has spent the last 50 years writing songs, so we can forgive him taking a little time off. Even with 35 albums, there are a ton of tracks that have fallen by the wayside over the years. Some are from albums that never came out, while others were only played live a handful of times before disappearing completely. Here are 20 of our favorite lesser-known songs that are either unreleased or under-appreciated. By Andy Greene

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18. “Change Your Mind”

The death of Kurt Cobain struck Neil Young extremely hard. Not only did the Nirvana frontman quote from "Hey Hey, My My" in his suicide note, but Young had been trying to reach the singer at the time of his death. He got the sense he was going through a very hard time and he wanted to give him advice. "Change Your Mind" was written before Cobain passed away, but it's still basically the conversation that Young hoped to have with him. 

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19. “Goin’ Home”

In 2001, Neil Young and Crazy Horse entered a California studio and attempted to record an entire album. For whatever reason, Young was unhappy with the results and he brought in Booker T. & The MG's to re-record the songs. The lone surviving Crazy Horse song from the eventual album, 2002's Are You Passionate?, was "Goin' Home." It's a spiritual cousin to "Cortez the Killer," and the single best song on the album. A few years back, Young made a pledge to release the Crazy Horse sessions on an album called Toast. We're still waiting to hear that thing. 

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20. “Sixty to Zero”

Unlike most of his peers, Young has never been afraid to try out unreleased songs in front of a live audience, even if the song isn't completely done. This was the case with "Sixty to Zero" in the summer of 1988, which was reworked the following year as "Crime in the City" on Freedom. The original was a full 20-minute epic played a mere 13 times in 1988. Thankfully, camcorders were a running and it's survived. For years it was only available for viewing on third-generation VHS tapes, but YouTube is an incredible thing. 

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