Neil Young's upcoming album Earth (in stores June 17th) is one of the most unconventional releases in his long catalog: A 98-minute uninterrupted work that features 11 songs from his 2015 tour with Promise of the Real mixed with sounds of the Earth. "Our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience," Young said in a statement. "And the animals, insects, birds, and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times."
The songs comes from throughout Young's entire career, and most focus on the environment. They include "After the Goldrush," "Love & Only Love," "Vampire Blues," "Hippie Dream," "Mother Earth" and "Western Hero" along with four tracks from Young's 2015's LP The Monsanto Years and "I Won't Quit," a track he debuted on tour last year with Promise of the Real.
"One of the single greatest audio experiences I've ever had," Promise of the Real guitarist Lukas Nelson wrote about the album on Instagram. "Smoke some Willie Reserve [marijuana], sit back and listen to it. It's as if After The Gold Rush was a piece of just one long song that is this Earth. The quality of the live recordings mixed with the studio layer is exceptional….It's like listening/watching a Ridley Scott movie in your head, or like when I watched the original Star Wars or Blade Runner for the first time."
"We made a live record and every creature on the planet seemed to show up," Young wrote on Facebook. "Suddenly all the living things of Earth were in the audience going crazy. Then they took over the stage, letting their wild sounds mingle with the Vanilla Singers' perfect corporate harmony. Earth's creatures let loose, there were Bee breakdowns, Bird breakdowns and yes, even Wall Street breakdowns, jamming with me and Promise of the Real!"
Last month, Young spoke about Earth to Rolling Stone. "It's like nothing that I've done," he said. "It's more like a giant radio show. It has no stops. The songs are too long for iTunes, thank God, so they won't be on iTunes. I'm making it available in the formats that can handle it … Imagine it's a live show where the audience is full of every living thing on Earth. And also they overtake the music once in a while and play the instruments. It's not conventional, but it is based on live performance."
On May 6th, Young will unveil Earth at the Natural History Museum Los Angles County's First Fridays series. Young will talk about the LP and then play it utilizing his high-definition audio format Pono. It's unclear exactly how Earth will be released since it won't be available on iTunes and Young recently pulled his music from most streaming services, though it does remain on Tidal.
Young and Promise of the Real kicked off their 2016 world tour on Tuesday night at the Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunfels, Texas. It featured the first performance of the Old Ways song "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" since 1993 and the first live rendition of the On The Beach classic "Revolution Blues" since 1987. Willie Nelson sat in on "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" and a cover of Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee."
Earth Track Listing
1. "Mother Earth" (from Ragged Glory)
2. "Seed Justice" (previously unreleased)
3. "My Country Home" (from Ragged Glory)
4. "The Monsanto Years" (from The Monsanto Years)
5. "Western Hero" (from Sleeps With Angels)
6. "Vampire Blues" (from On the Beach)
7. "Hippie Dream" (from Landing on Water)
8. "After The Gold Rush" (from After The Gold Rush)
9. "Human Highway" (from Comes a Time)
10. "Big Box" (from The Monsanto Years)
11. "People Want to Hear About Love" (from The Monsanto Years)
12. "Wolf Moon" (from The Monsanto Years)
13. "Love & Only Love" (from Ragged Glory)