Legendary Neil Young Returns With ‘Hitchhiker’

It’s Strange To See An Album Release 41 Years After It Was Recorded…

The somewhat mysterious cover of this surprising release sets the perfect tone for the songs to follow. With a dark and ominous feeling carrying itself throughout the entirety of the album, Hitchhiker shows Neil Young on top of the musical world transporting listeners back to classic albums like Harvest and After The Gold Rush.

Originally recorded between 1975 and 1977 during only nights of a full moon, these beer and coke filled sessions brilliantly showcase Young‘s ability to fully embody the emotions and characters of his songs when it’s just him and a guitar. The only extra accompaniment during his tracks lies within the magic of his iconic harmonica lines and the occasional piano.

Although the album was previously unreleased for many years, (thanks to the unimpressed record execs of seeing the songs as merely demos) most of the tracks had already seen life on past albums. Recordings such as “Pocahontas“, “Powderfinger“, and “Ride My Llama” were originally released on Rust Never Sleeps. “Old Country Waltz” on American Stars ‘n Bars and even the title track “Hitchhiker” was granted a new life on the 2010 album Le Noise. Really, the only unreleased tracks are the optimistacally somber “Hawaii” and the heartbroken “Give Me Strength“.

However it’s almost pointless to state that most of the tracks have already been heard, albeit in a new body. Each song has such a raw and powerful energy to it that within every word and percussive strum, you can hear the dust of forgotten memories being swept away.

Like almost every other record that Young released from this period, there is something for everyone to relate to. Whether it be from the melancholic feelings of “Give Me Strength“, the visual story driven “Powderfinger“, or the backwoods sound of “The Old Country Waltz“, both fans or new comers of young and old can relate to the messages that Neil Young performs in such a cathartic manner. I wonder if the full moon helped…