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Saturday, October 11, 2014

NEW ALBUM + VIDEO: Storytone by Neil Young - November 4, 2014 release

Storytone by Neil Young

(Click photo to enlarge - check out license plate closeup)

Neil Young's newest album Storytone is now set for a November 4, 2014 release and available to pre-order on (For those keeping track of such things, this will be Neil's only 35th studio album release, not including live, comps, etc. slacker)

Track List:

Plastic Flowers
Who's Gonna Stand Up?
I Want To Drive My Car
Say Hello To Chicago
Like You Used To Do
I'm Glad I Found You
When I Watch You Sleeping
All Those Dreams

Storytone was recorded live in the studio with a 92-piece orchestra and choir. Production by The Volume Dealers (Neil Young and Niko Bolas), recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt with additional co-production, arrangements, orchestration, and conducted by Michael Bearden and Chris Walden.

Apparently, Neil Young does not play guitar or piano on the album?! Now that seems to be really different.

In what will certainly -- as always -- drive fans nuts will be the various release configurations. At the moment, options include: a standard CD edition that features the 10 orchestral song versions of Storytone, the deluxe CD edition (containing both standard and solo versions), and the deluxe 180 gram double vinyl pressing, which will be released on December 16th and will feature both versions of the album. If you pre-order the deluxe CD edition , deluxe vinyl edition or the PonoMusic edition you'll receive instant downloads of both the orchestral and solo versions of "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" Exclusive album bundles include a limited edition, heavy stock lithograph of the album artwork by Neil Young.

And here's a new music video of "Who's Gonna Stand Up?". enjoy!

p.s. - ANSWER: Rusties

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At 10/11/2014 12:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn the dams....take on the big machine...

Is that it? Is that how were going to change the world?

Neil, some of us need the big machines for work.

Oh to live on Sugar Mountain.

At 10/11/2014 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Neil seems to have jumped the shark musically, personally and now comes the preaching of nonsense. What a shame for a guy that was known as the most relevant hall of famer. Call it a career or karma

At 10/11/2014 09:07:00 PM, Blogger Soldier Steve said...

Does License Plate Say Peace, Love Life?

At 10/12/2014 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 10/11 6:25pm
so why are you here?
and why are you posting?
fucking doubters....

At 10/12/2014 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember Neil, "just singin' a song won't change the world".

At 10/12/2014 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

467I like it when Neil leans towards environmental issues. People complain for different reasons. He bring attention to the problems. Maybe if everyday we did one thing to make the planet a better place to live. One plastic bag in the recycle system. Maybe we could change the big machine a little. be the rain one drop at a time

At 10/12/2014 12:34:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@David P - nice. well played. (golf clap)

Might have to use that line "be the rain one drop at a time" sometime.

Maybe on a doubter, OK?

At 10/12/2014 01:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 10/12/2014 10:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil wouldn't go up in the helicopter in McMurray, I know this because as the owner took me up, he said Neil was a good guy but scared to go up. He actually thought he had talked some sense into him, then he makes the outlandish Hiroshima comment. He is so far off base on pipelines it's unbelievable, rail is warren buffets way and it so much more dangerous. Hey Neil how about a concert to raise money for 100yr old pipelines? Including water lines as your Calif dries up. Fix our infrastructure if your a environmentalist

At 10/13/2014 12:44:00 AM, Anonymous eddy said...

"Neil always follows his muse"

What a load of bullshit that is

At 10/13/2014 01:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 10/13/2014 10:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a horrible piece of kitsch and hypocrisy is this stupid song!!

At 10/13/2014 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil didn't go up in the helicopter in Fort McMurray because he had to drive Lincvolt while they were doing the filming.
Nothing to do with being scared.


At 10/13/2014 12:01:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@10:47:00 AM - so "kitsch and hypocrisy"?

Please elaborate on what exactly is "kitsch and hypocrisy" about a 92-piece orchestra and choir, production by Niko Bolas & The Volume Dealers, recording by Al Schmitt with orchestration by Michael Bearden and Chris Walden?

Besides, Neil doesn't even play guitar or piano on his own album. That's a first.

Oh, that's right, you liked A Letter Home better.

At 10/13/2014 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please do not conflict with people who state they do not like the song. This is a Neil Young appreciation site but people need to be allowed to critically appreciate Neils output on this site without censorship.

The video is quite moving. it works better than the song does alone. I will admit, I am not a fan of this song. However, I think in the correct context it may work. For example, if the song was in Greendale from the perspective of Sun Green or Earth Brown it would have fitted well. Maybe, the album will put the song in context and it will be an anthem to a more complex analysis of mother earh's contemporary issues. But when this part of Neil's art surfaces on an album out of context I tend to think it does not work. An example of that was Mother Earth (Natural Anthem) on Ragged Glory. If I am honest, the final track on Ragged Glory from my perspective is 'Love and only Love'. That's not disrespectful but it is my opinion. I do not want to be pressured by 'The Big Machine' AKA Thrasher's Wheat, to pretend that everything Neil does is pure gold. Greendale and Living with War are both fantastic tours of duty. Yet since then the quantity has been phenomenal but quality....less so. Neil remains my favourite artist but I tend not to feel the level of excitement and anticipation I felt about a Neil Young release I did 15 even 10 years ago. My love of music has not changed. I still queue up (metaphorically as most purchases are now online) for new LP's on release date. Now I approach Neil's releases in a quizical, apprehensive manner, hoping for one or two good songs supported with good production.

At 10/13/2014 12:49:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Don't't forget the acoustic version of the album. I think that it's his first acoustic album, if you don't consider the joke A Letter Home. I'm very curious about this new album.
So Tired.

At 10/13/2014 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a diehard Neil Young fan. His music, passion and attitude have helped shape my life. I follow everything he does pretty closely and see him live whenever possible. I'll give "Storytone" a fair listen, as I do everything he puts out. But I realized sadly this morning that, with a few small exceptions, I have not loved anything Neil has put out since about '97 (Year of the Horse). With the exception of Le Noise and some of the archival releases, I just don't go back to any of the albums he's released over the last 15+ years. I'd love it if "Storytone" broke the streak. Must be tough to be an artist like Neil: You produce original, beautiful and definitive work again and again, and then your fans just want more, more more. I'm guilty of that, but also happy to watch Neil ease into old age as crankily and idiosyncratically as he wants to, even if it means he's making music that doesn't move me much. It's a bittersweet thing.

At 10/13/2014 05:57:00 PM, Anonymous eddy said...

The sad thing to me is that the music is taking a back seat to everything else.

From the recent RS article :

"Those are the things that matter to me." What about music? "Music is the offspring of all 
of it. Music is a conversation that happens while I'm doing these other things."

If you're going to do something, do it all the way. Don't release a half-assed record just because it touches on a certain subject matter. That's just my personal opinion.

At 10/13/2014 06:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed some of his new songs when I saw him at the Wang Theatre last week, but, let's call a spade a spade: This song is a total stinker. The lyrics could not be any more hackneyed and shallow. But I assume Neil knows this and just doesn't care. Which is okay, I guess. I look forward to moving onto the rest of the album.

-Big Old Rig

At 10/13/2014 07:10:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

I've loved all the music Neil has done with Crazy Horse especially the last three albums that everyone is always ragging on, and most of the other stuff he's done in the last 15 years but when he gets on his 'causes' for some reason it's like he can't put words or melodies together like normal and he just sounds bad. It wasn't that way in the 70's and he was more abstract then as well, not so simplistic. Yeah we're going to give up oil and dams and coal Neil. It's just insulting to the listener's intelligence. I'm all for solar and wind and conservation and research etc but I think he loses most thinking people when he preaches such trite naive pablum.

At 10/13/2014 10:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like others here, I still listen to everything Neil releases but no longer with the sense that his next album might be great. Like it or not, people evaluate musicians in terms of their albums, not just individual songs, and it's been a long time since Neil's released an album that's really resonated with a wide array of fans.

If only he took a little more time and care, and not assume that the first take of every song is a magical moment that cannot be improved upon or embellished in any way. But that's not his approach and I respect his decision to release his music however he wishes. The way I look at it, Neil's provided so much great music over the years that everything now is just gravy. So even if it only results in the occasional good song once in a while at least it's better than when he's no longer with us.

Btw, is that LincVolt on the album cover?


At 10/13/2014 11:07:00 PM, Blogger Grey Rider said...

Maybe the "preaching" on the new song is annoying some in the choir and making them defensive. I think Neil would like that. He enjoyed annoying people with the "Living With War lyrics too. Liked it when they walked out of the show angry. Don't think the "Stand Up" lyrics are to be taken literally. It's a goal, an aspiration, not a piece of legislation. John Lennon did not give away all his money after writing "Imagine". He was a hypocrite too, or also a dreamer?

At 10/14/2014 06:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the waste of packaging in Archives Vol 1 - badly packaged lots of air, didn't use recycled board??? Damn the packaging.

At 10/14/2014 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil is messing with people's livelyhoods. And using misinformation for his cause. Not cool at all. I think he forgot what its like to be poor.

Still love his music, but tough to support him anymore. He is just an escentric rich old dude now that is losing it.

PS, thanks for allowing us anons back on here thrash. good to hear the different points of views.


At 10/14/2014 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dug (and others).

The livelihood argument is the worst one of all - "Don't ban the use of poisonous greenhouse-gas-emitting fossil fuels, for which there are safer alternatives, because my job relies on it." etc.

I am not equating the two things, but in 1833 (UK) or 1863 (USA) there were people who argued that slavery should not be abolished because their own livelihood depended on it. Thankfully, those voices were not listened to.

Whilst employment is obviously vital for personal wellbeing, some issues need to be solved on a grander scale, and are for the good of all humanity (your children, and their children, and so on). For this reason, serious discussion needs to take place about how we (as a species) will deal with our reliance on fossil fuels in the medium and long term. At the end of the day, these planet-damaging resources are finite anyway and will run out, so that discussion will need to happen anyway in the next 100 years or so (though I personally hope it happens before big oil company rape and destroy the Arctic and Antarctic).

Inevitably such a debate will involve tough decisions being made on an international, national and local level, and sadly some industries will have to change/evolve/cease which will surely lead to job losses - although we will always need energy, so new jobs will be created in the wind/solar/tidal/hydro energy industries as a consequence.

So sorry to sound unsympathetic, but international bodies such as the UN or World Bank will soon need to look seriously at the looming environmental crisis and legislate on it, and I hope they make some bold and well-informed decisions for the sake of all humanity, rather than for the sake of protecting labour-markets in certain economies.

However, I do agree with the sentiment expressed so often above: these lyrics by Neil Young are over-simplistic, I much prefer the thought-provoking poetry of Peaceful Valley Boulevard.

At 10/14/2014 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

What I find sad is that every time Neil Young decides to do something different than usual, or even simply puts out an album, Thrasher's beautiful forum becomes host to whining babies who can't stand anything Neil does.

And then when Thrash kindly adds his two cents, he's accused of "censorship."

Whatever. Neil will continue his excellent songwriting long into the future, and I'd love to hear the jealous, arrogant haters qualify their ignorance with references to all the beauty that THEY have added to the world throughout the years... or simply shut up.

As far as the pipeline issue, the doubters on that one obviously hate the environment, and are just run-of-the-mill drill-baby-drill anti-environmentalism conservatives who have no brains.

- Grouchy Matt

At 10/14/2014 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Taylor said...

I agree with a lot of people on this song. It's a clunker. It comes across fantastic live though, and he gets the entire crowd into it, so I can appreciate it for what he's trying to do. I will pick up the album (deluxe, because while I'm interested in the orchestra, I know I'll keep going back to the acoustic) and I hope it works with the rest of the tracks. If all I had heard from this album was "Who's Going To Stand Up", I would be hesitant to add this to my collection. But "While I Watch You Sleeping" is so beautiful and sad, and some very very strong lyrics and imagery. So I still hold out hope.

As an aside, I think "A Letter Home" had some amazing moments (Girl From North Country, If You Could Read My Mind) and some not so great, but I really respect it for what it is. It's a piece of audible art, a letter to his mother who is in the great beyond, and an earnest and romantic piece of his past. It's a fabulous idea, even if it's not for everyone. It's not an album I will grab every day, but if you're in the right state of mind, and you're feeling meloncholy and want to connect with someone you are unable to in the physical world, the record might just touch you a bit more if you give it a chance.

At 10/14/2014 04:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lying that effects peoples livelyhood just isn't right. If he sticks to the facts thats a different thing.


At 10/14/2014 05:37:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@12:48:00 PM - good points and thanks for sharing.

Someday folks will look back at the burning of coal, oil & gas and say "What were they thinking once they knew there were better solutions?"

@Matthew L. - good to see you. it's been awhile. As you can see, somethings never change.

The doubters will always doubt.

OK, we'll declare it ... the song is a success. Folks are standing up and can now clearly see who's just sitting around.

After last week's Philly concerts with Neil solo on a full moon in a small theater and a thrasher encore, could it get any better?

At 10/15/2014 10:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Continue his excellent song writing' well that would be good as I reckon it's been a few years since we heard any very good Neil Young songs. Have we all forgotten the abysmal Are You Passionate with his 9/11 song 'Let's Roll' just an out and out stinker. As someone said on this site when Neil gets on the bandwagon for a cause lyrics and melody disappear. Take on the big corporation....what on earth does that mean??? Ok it's simplistic, wearing a t-short with Earth on it - all ludicrous.

At 10/15/2014 08:11:00 PM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Stand up to oil , take on the big machine !....... Hmmm ?
I will continue to stand up to those that use big machines like jet planes , tour buses and diesel generators and record music in massive studios fueled by electricity ...... all the while wearing an Earth T-Shirt
The finger pointing message is weak and stale .
While out in Algonquin Park under a full moon last week cooking Canadian bacon , I used a Biolite stove ..... all the while harnessing thermo to charge batteries that allowed me to record some amasing Wolf-music provided free by Mother Earth
A simple analogy
Some are called " doubters " who don't agree , believers who question all are truly free .
When Ghandi changed his part of the world , he wove his own cloths on simple looms of the masses , and did not preach million dollar lintvolt technology unattainable by the working class everyday peasant .
A proud Canadian peasant EH !

At 10/16/2014 06:33:00 AM, Blogger dickie said...

Strange thing: I agree with much of what's said above about the song; but I can't dislike it, even though the lyrics are pretty dull, not to say dumb. It's got a nice hook, the break is vintage Neil. I think the problem with some of his more recent 'topical' or protest songs (starting with Living With War) is they're way too literal, preachy and heavy handed.
I mean, the strength of Neil's songwriting has, in my mind at least, always been its deceptively naive quality. The message seems clear, but on closer inspection it's ambiguous, or even obscure. His songwriting (and singing and playing of course) appeals to our emotions, and to our imagination, but he does not spell out what we should do with them - at least not in his best work.
Compare "Ohio" (one of the greatest songs he ever wrote) to "Let's Impeach The President". Or "Keep On Rocking In The Free World" to "Let's Roll". Or, on a more personal level, "I Believe In You" to "Such A Woman." The better songs are the ones that leave something to the imagination.
He can still do it: I think "Ramada Inn", but also "You Never Call" (incredibly absent from Le Noise) are terrific pieces of writing, comparable with the best he did in the Seventies. "Ramada Inn" being a kind of end of the line song all the way from "Pardon My Heart", like "You Never Call" makes you think of "Tonight's The Night", in a way.
Unfortunately, Neil tends to become literal and preachy as soon as Mother Nature turns up. It's a long, bumpy road from "After The Goldrush" and "L.A." to "Mother Earth", a song I was never able to listen to all the way through (please, dump the pump organ, Neil..)
Given the fabulous quality of his latest solo live shows, maybe we can expect a return to the less literal, more imaginative and secretive Neil Young. I sure hope so. He doesn't have to worry, we'll still buy Pono...

At 10/16/2014 10:26:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@EH - good to seeing you get outdoors with Mother Nature. She's awesome isn't she?

So are we getting somewhere when you mention Neil & Gandhi in the same comment?

@dickie - thanks for thoughts here and elsewhere on other threads.

Back around FITR, we went through our perspective on Neil's simple vs arcane lyrics and why that might be...

The thinking still applies, we feel. But check it out and report back on our thinking 5 years ago...

At 10/16/2014 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Yes Thrasher , have long enjoyed the solitude of Nature , long before you were born young lad .
Good to hear you have opened your eyes to the comparison with Ghandi who's message and actions are polar opposite to Neil .
Interesting to me , Neil is against fossil fuels , nuclear and hydro - electric power .
The most obvious and fitting of which is the above video , a huge studio powered by what !
His message is way over the top and out of touch with the common folk he preaches to !
He ain't using any loom to weave that tale .
Good Night and Good Luck EH

At 10/25/2014 08:06:00 PM, Anonymous traveller6 said...

So now that the album is legally streaming I caught a listen. There some good moments. When i watch you Sleeping is the best song on the album. But...
I miss the ambiguous imagery that once was the hallmark of his songs. Where are the metaphors? Where are the purple words on a gray background?
A song like 'who's going to save the earth' is just boring. Nice sentiments, but the plain exposition sounds like a 2nd grader wrote it.
I wish he was into tunesmithing his creations, instead of just moving on with them as quickly as they are created. And I think Neil is really missing David Briggs to tell him 'this is a piece of crap, don't put this out'.
And the orchestra versions? If there is a hell, this is the music playing in the waiting room. I've never liked his orchestrated work, going all the way back to Buffalo Sprinfield, and these versions are embarrassingly terrible.
But so what? It's just my opinion. I'm glad he has the freedom to still do what he wants musically, even if I don't connect to it as I once did.
And I'm very pleased he put out an version of the songs with simple guitar, recorded without gimmickry sonic alterations like Le Noise and Letter Home.
Thanks for doing the work to keep this site up!


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