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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Mythical "Meadow Dusk" Album by Neil Young: NYA Online Archives

Neil Young w/ Poncho
The "Meadow Dusk" Year?

During our recent speculations on "So What Might We Find on The Neil Young's Online Archives ... Someday?", a number of fascinating possibilities have emerged from Neil's fan base.

Even we are often humbled by the detailed research of Neil's fans ("The Rusties") and their vast musical knowledge . Exhibit A being the possible inclusion of "The Mythical Meadow Dusk" album.

So does the "The Mythical Meadow Dusk" album really exist? Well, only Neil knows for sure, but here we go beginning with a comment by kahunasunset with his suggestions for The Neil Young's Online Archives:

Time Fades Away 2
Tonight's The Night (alternate)
Chrome Dreams
Island In The Sun
Old Ways
Crazy horse sessions 1984 (maybe)
***Meadow Dusk
Times Square
Crazy Horse sessions 1995
Silver and Gold solo
Road Rock Vol. 2
Twisted Road/Le Noise solo acoustic
Crazy horse sessions 2010

So "Meadow Dusk"? To which a comment by Scotsman:
Kahuna: The best available information is that Meadow Dusk doesn't actually exist, it was a concept that was aborted when Neil was dropped by Geffen.

Syscrusher: Likewise, Meadow Dusk doesn't actually exist, it was a conceptual idea that never made it past the planning stage, abandoned immediately when Neil was dropped by Geffen. There may be some archival documents from the same time period, but I wouldn't expect much/any actual music.


McDonough's book describes Meadow Dusk as an album that was started (planned) but cancelled ("ground to a halt") before it was finished. Neil's comments in the book says it was "just a concept", and the way he describes it enforces the idea that it was "going to be" something, rather than something that "actually was".

Like I said previously, I imagine there will be some record of this period in the Archives, but very little (if any) finished music. He could of course pick up where he left off, finish it 30 years later, but that would cease to be a historical Archives project.

The period of time between Meadow Dusk being conceived and then cancelled must also have been extremely short. Neil toured extensively through 1987 with Crazy Horse (with work being done on the Life album during tour breaks). As you know, towards the end of the tour he began to introduced a few blues songs into the live set. The Crazy Tour concluded at the beginning of September. Just two months later, Neil began his next club tour with the Bluenotes, expanding on the Blues style he experimented with on the last tour.

Within those two months, Meadow Dusk had been planned and then cancelled. Also in the same time period, he was dropped by his record company, began negotiations to rejoin Reprise, formed the Bluenotes, booked a club tour, began assembling songs for the new band, quickly taught them the songs and then resumed touring in early November.
Thanks Kahuna, Scotsman & Syscrusher & all for the intriguing comments.

Next up... The "Ranch Romance" Album: Mythical or Not? Discuss.

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At 8/11/2017 06:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher: Thanks for hosting the discussion on this one, an interesting and mysterious subject. In your quotes above you've taken out Syscrusher's commment and replaced it with one of mine. No big deal, but I have enough of a reputation for long-windedness without being accused of writing other folks' comments for them, as well! ;-)

So if only due to the very-tight time constraints surrounding this period, I don't expect much music from Meadow Dusk (and I'd rather expect nothing and get something, rather than vice versa). What with recovering from the Crazy Horse tour, being dropped by Geffen (which immmediately axed Meadow Dusk), writing songs and forming/rehearsing with the Bluenotes, there would have been precious little time in late-summer 1987 for working on an album. Even for someone as speedy as Neil Young.

I do concede to Syschrusher's worthwhile comment that (with the information we have) I can't write it off completely: there may well be some music that was started on, but almost certainly not a completed (or semi-completed) album's worth.

I did a quick search for Ranch Romance (this is one I personally am very unfamiliar with) and the only links I found traced back to a certain Mr S. Chrusher. Having said that, I do recall reading the title somewhere a few months ago in connection with the 1975/1976 bar tour. If this is the case then it is improbable, seeing as these gigs almost certainly were not recorded. Hopefully someone here knows better than I do.


At 8/11/2017 06:25:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

In 1987 Neil recorded another batch of songs, probably between the European tour leg and the American Tour, for a project of which David Briggs wasn't satisfied. Again this doesn't leave much room for Meadow Dusk.
So Tired

At 8/11/2017 08:41:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Scotsman - apologies. We noticed when posting that a bunch of code got mangled and thought we got that fixed. we'll get this cleaned up shortly.

Thanks for looking into Ranch Romance. If anything else turns up for discussion, pls share.

@ So Tired - always good to hear from you, our friend. Hope you're having a nice summer.

At 8/11/2017 09:43:00 AM, Blogger wardo said...

The Shakey book quotes Poncho describing Meadow Dusk as "an album of crickets farting." Considering he had plenty of recording equipment on that ranch, Neil had plenty of time to capture any ambient sounds of nature since the first day he moved in. It doesn't sound like the type of thing that would take months to write. All of his albums (save maybe A Letter Home) have gone through post-production, so whenever such an album would be "finished" is up to Neil, ultimately. Again, if only there was some kind of Archives timeline to provide answers... (wink wink sarcasm)

At 8/11/2017 11:05:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I have never been a fan of speculation, especially with Neil, but these resent posts have been enjoyable reading and informative. My fellow rustles are a wealth of knowledge on the epic journey and prolific career of Mr. Shakey. Thanks to everyone for all the information. Real or imagined.

Looking forward to hearing Hitchhiker next month. There's nothing more satisfying than hearing unreleased Neil Young.


At 8/11/2017 11:12:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Thank you!I think that the unreleased album as Hitchhiker and the return of the Archives saga are nice surprises for everyone.
So Tired

At 8/11/2017 07:43:00 PM, Blogger G2CU said...

Well I can only say don't count out the other part of the equation. Neil & Bryan Bell could still have something special up their sleves.
Meadow Dusk is just another fork in the road. It was never over, just on hold.
But what would I know.

At 8/11/2017 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

Great string of posts!
I may be the one who started this recent discussion of Ranch Romance... sorry, another obscure highly unlikely unreleased Neil album. But hey I figure it wouldn't make it into a book if it was just an idea mentioned in passing. Could be just a list of song titles like we see in the AB1 book? Anyway this is from the first or second Neil book I ever read, along with the great 'Neil And Me', when I was about 14 and an instant Neil freak.

From John Robertson's 'The Visual Documentary', from the December 22, 1975 entry and speaking of the Northetn California Bar Tour: "The songs debuted at these December shows were briefly intended for release on an album to be called 'Ranch Romance', which would include both Crazy Horse and and Young compositions."

At 8/12/2017 06:18:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

So we're talking Country Home, Don't Cry No Tears, Homegrown, Hurricane, Lookin' For a Love (though it technically debuted at SNACK), Drive Back and White Line, plus One Thing I'm Sure Of, New Orleans, She's Hot and Lost and Lonely Feeling.

At 8/12/2017 08:43:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

The Reprise masters files list some recordings for the November or December period. This is a rare event for then unreleased recordings and generally it means some work for the production of an album. Then Crazy Horse were also in studio for recording their songs.
So Tired


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