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Sunday, April 20, 2014

NEW ALBUM: Neil Young's A Letter Home Vinyl LP Released

Last July, Neil Young traveled to Nashville, Tenn to record an album of covers at Jack White's Third Man Records on a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph vinyl recording booth.

The album titled A Letter Home was something of a mystery in terms of release info for yesterday's International Record Store Day but it now is listed on Third Man Records for ordering as a vinyl only release.

Track Listing:
1. "Changes" (Phil Ochs)
2. "Girl From The North Country" (Bob Dylan)
3. "Needle of Death" (Bert Jansch)
4. "Early Morning Rain" (Gordon Lightfoot)
5. "Crazy" (Willie Nelson)
6. "Reason To Believe" (Tim Hardin)
7. "On The Road Again" (Willie Nelson)
8. "If You Could Read My Mind" (Gordon Lightfoot)
9. "Since I Met You Baby" (Ivory Joe Hunter)
10. "My Hometown" (Bruce Springsteen)
11. "I Wonder If I Care As Much" (Everly Brothers)

Credits: (Thanks Ralf!)
Reproduced by: Jack White III & Neil Young
Recorded at: Third Man Records, Nashville, TA
Electro-mechanically engeniered by: Joshua V. Smith & Kevin Carrico
Recorded by: Joshua V. Smith
Assisted by: Mindy Watts
Recorded to acetate by: George Ingram
Mastered by: Bob Ludwig for Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME
Neil Young: Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano.
Jack White: Vocal, Piano - "On the Road Again", Vocal, Piano - "I Wonder if I care As Much"
Art Direction & Design: Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for R. Twerk & Co with Neil Young and Jack White
Hand lettering "A Letter Home": Julian Baker
Photo: Front Cover - Will Mitchell, Back Cover - Joe McCaughey
Direction: Elliot Roberts, Lookout Management
Special Thanks: Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Bert Jansch, Gordon Lightfoot, Willie Nelson, Tim Hardin, Ivory Joe Hunter, Bruce Springsteen, Don Everly
(c) 2014 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WMA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. - Under license to Third Man Records, LLC, Printed in U.S.A. TMR245

Neil Young
Jack White's Third Man Record Booth

"An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever…" —Homer Grosvenor

From Jack White's quest to record and release a record in one day | Music | Entertainment | Toronto Sun by Jane Stevenson:
The event was staged in an effort to get music fans into independent record stores, and the current return-to-vinyl explosion led in no small part by White’s Third Man Records store. The local Nashville shop also sold a Neil Young covers album, A Letter Home, on Saturday, that the Canadian singer-songwriter recently recorded there inside a Voice-O-Graph booth.

“Neil Young just stopped by. He was driving his electric car, the LincVolt, he was driving around town and filming stuff, and he stopped by, checked it out, and me and him were talking about it. We had a curtain set up on the other side,” said White. “And some kid came into the recording booth and recorded a Neil Young song and when he opened the door, Neil Young just peaked his head out."

"It was a pretty beautiful moment. And I think that a few months later he called me and said, ‘Hey man I want to come and record in that booth. Hey, maybe I’ll do my whole next record there.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to stop you. Where do you want me to pick you up?’”

And here are some live versions of the songs on Video: Neil Young Releases ‘A Letter Home’ With No Pre-Release Hype | DAYS OF THE CRAZY-WILD. (Thanks Michael!)

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At 4/20/2014 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous eddy said...

Already out of stock? Damn

At 4/20/2014 11:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gonna take a stab here and say "Homer Grosvenor" is another Neil alias...

At 4/20/2014 11:27:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@eddy - well that was fast?! But don't panic yet. More news appears to be on horizon for ALH.

@anon - good guess. Someone else pointed out that Neil's boyhood home in Winnipeg was Grosvenor Avenue.

clue. ;)

At 4/20/2014 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Letter Home Intro" is missing on the list.

At 4/20/2014 02:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, was it a Record Store Day exclusive?
"More news appears to be on horizon for ALH" ???
Where can I find that horizon?

At 4/20/2014 02:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Already on sale on ebay for $250. What a crock. Hope Neil will give us another chance to get this on vinyl.

At 4/20/2014 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... or at least tell his loyal fans that this is a Record Store Day exclusive release.

At 4/20/2014 03:23:00 PM, Anonymous Redwood said...

In his interview on, Neil gives further details of recording this album:

Release on CD and Pono are implied:

“When you listen to it on Pono, it’s a direct feed from the booth. It didn’t go to the vinyl, it went right out the back of the booth to an analog master, which was transferred to the highest resolution digital, and that’s what you hear on Pono.
If you hear it on a CD, it’ll be off the vinyl masters that were created in the booth. And they sound great, but they sound historic, they sound like something that was recorded in the 1940s.”

At 4/20/2014 04:16:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

This isn't a Record Store Day exclusive release, in fact it was up for sale a day before Record Store Day.

At 4/20/2014 04:21:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

" it's a direct feed from the booth.."

Well, unless they put a quality microphone in there I can't imagine that it sounds very good. Being crammed in a box...well, he did that recording "Bandit" IIRC, but that was at least a custom made box, not some novelty arcade phone booth. However, I do appreciate his perversity in using Pono as the playback device for what must be a very crude recording. Why not go all the way back to wax cylinders?

At 4/20/2014 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds VERY rough as you could imagine based on the technology. Lots of distortion, pops and hisses. That said the song choices are very good and I'm not going to complain about having it announced Friday night and being able to pick it up on Saturday afternoon,

At 4/20/2014 04:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live about 100 miles from Nashville…so I've visited Third Man Records and seen the booth… from my understanding, You've got like only 2 minutes 30 seconds to play a song…how on earth did he pull "Changes" off in that booth?

At 4/20/2014 09:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw those on ebay as well…one was going for $130 with 19 bids…why would someone pay that when you can still order it from Third Man for $20?

At 4/20/2014 10:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I saw those on ebay as well…one was going for $130 with 19 bids…why would someone pay that when you can still order it from Third Man for $20?"

The site says they're in stock, but when you try to buy one, you're given an alert notifying that they're is out of stock. Bloody annoying.

At 4/20/2014 11:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh ok…i ordered mine Friday night so i've not tried since then…whew! glad i didn't pussyfoot around with ordering the record…anxiously waiting for Monday or Tuesday!

At 4/21/2014 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous regular stairs said...

Dodgy Neil! - in case you haven't noticed, the man recorded two-to-three albums here: clean out of the booth (PONO), to-vinyl recording, recording of the recording (CD)...hand over fist I tell ya! ;)

At 4/21/2014 09:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... i go on ebay?? ill pay the bloody 200 bucks if i have to....just tell me this coming out on vinyl again or not??...

At 4/21/2014 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to buy it. Just where? There has got to be at least a digital release, too... :-(

I am not willing to shell out 200 Dollars just to hear his new album.

At 4/21/2014 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I emailed third man records and they told me that they will be getting it back in stock very soon. They are just waiting for it to come from the printing press.

At 4/21/2014 01:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! listen to anon 11:46am! Do not pay the disgusting ebay scapler prices! A few fans who've already bid $150+ are getting royally shafted!

At 4/21/2014 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that ALH will be used as a booster for Pono... not that I would be happy to see that kind of move though i've backed for my yellow one. We'll see after summer i believe :-(

At 4/21/2014 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CD now listed on Amazon Canada (though not U.S. yet):

At 4/21/2014 02:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Release date May 19

At 4/21/2014 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous Johan said...

The obvious question to me is how the heck does releasing an album on the internet support local record stores??? wft is wrong with Neil Young???

At 4/21/2014 03:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't an actual Record Store Day release (see their website for the full list), timing was coincidental.

At 4/21/2014 05:20:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Seems to be in stock again on the Third Man site. Avoid the ebay flippers!

At 4/21/2014 07:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't an actual record store day release. Apparently Jack Whites physical record store had some copies. Apparently those buyers are the ones scalping on ebay. what
doesnt make sense is why not have the vinyl as a RSD release and available on jack whites site.

it seems like something somewhere got screwed up. It also appears
that the vinyl version will come out first then the cd version. This appears to be neil saying ok if you want to hear A letter Home now you can on vinyl otherwise wait until it comes out on CD (May 19th) or Pono(whenever) Seems like us loyal fans are getting screwed over

At 4/21/2014 07:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does releasing an album on vinyl screw over the "loyal fans"?

At 4/21/2014 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Shamrock said...

I am a very loyal fan and I managed to score a copy. I like the fact that Third man put it without any big announcement for this strange but innaresting vinyl.

At 4/21/2014 10:10:00 PM, Anonymous Preacher Man said...

Album is back in stock on TMR website. Just ordered 2 copies.

At 4/21/2014 10:15:00 PM, Anonymous Johan said...

Kinda surprised there aren't more reviews of the record itself. Don't tell me that everyone that got one isn't even going to open it or play it.

At 4/22/2014 10:40:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

I sure hope he releases this on CD!!!! I can't afford a Pono. :( I so badly want to hear this!!!!

At 4/22/2014 11:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew: CD now listed on Amazon Canada (though not U.S. yet) Check out post from 4/21/2014 02:27:00 PM.

At 4/22/2014 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard this album or seen any reviews online?

At 4/22/2014 02:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now back in stock at Third Man. Ordered mine online this morning posting to UK . Retail price $20, feeling sorry for unaware punters bidding mega $ on EBay!

At 4/22/2014 09:14:00 PM, Anonymous Mauro said...

Just ordered mine: $20 + $24 shipping to Rio de Janeiro ;-))

At 4/22/2014 09:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just listened to the first side…about to listen to side B here in a second…thoughts so far…very personal sounding especially with the letter home intro to his mother…its got the snap crackle pops of the booth but it adds to it…Needle of Death and Changes are highlights for me so far…now that ive listened to it, he must've found a good stopping point on these 2 songs and picked it back up where he left off but who knows…Nice little charming version of Crazy to close out the first side…Early Morning Rain was good too…hell so was Girl from North Country...

At 4/22/2014 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is third man shipping these?

At 4/23/2014 08:44:00 AM, Blogger John said...

I got a shipping confirmation this morning.

At 4/23/2014 04:06:00 PM, Anonymous J Criswell said...

A little bit of Neil covering Gordon Lightfoot's "If Could You Read My Mind" from A Letter Home;

At 4/23/2014 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A letter Home now up on amazon for $59.99 This semi roll out release
now seems to be a publicity stunt gone south. A lot of folks pissed at the way the release has gone down.

At 4/24/2014 04:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazon preorders now available:


Vinyl box set:

At 4/24/2014 07:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$117.00 for "Vinyl Box Set"
$22.00 for the CD THESE PRICES SUCK
time to call a spade a spade A ripoff of the fans

At 4/24/2014 09:20:00 AM, Anonymous Preacher Man said...

Cheaper on Neil's site. The box set comes with the standard vinyl, direct from the booth audiophile vinyl, 7 6" clear discs, the cd, a dvd and a 32 page book. Really not that bad of a price. Got mine ordered.

At 4/24/2014 09:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was excited to receive a notice from Third Man that vinyl copies were available again and ordered one right away for $20 + $6.98 postage. Now I find where there's a nice box set available from Neil's site that is a much better value than buying the vinyl alone. Wish I had waited another day. The marketing of this record has been pretty lame. If it weren't for Thrasher's Wheat I wouldn't have known it even existed.


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