Neil Young’s Homegrown, recorded throughout 1974 and 1975, finally has a release date for June 19, 2020. Young first announced the album last year, stating it would be released in 2020. Along with stating the album release date, Young dropped the first single, titled “Try.”
Young first intended to release the album after Harvest, but kept it away because he considered the songs to be too painful. Inspired by heartbreak after his separation from actress Carrie Snodgress, the muse behind 1972’s Harvest, Young describes the album as beautiful and laments that he should have released it sooner. Homegrown is considered to be the bridge between Harvest and Comes A Time, showing how Young transitioned from a more pop sound to a slower emotional tune.
Fans have been listening to bootlegs of the album for years, so the album finally having an official release date is welcome news for those who listen to Young. The album wasn’t released in part because Young chose to put out Tonight’s the Night instead, as both were recorded around the same time.
“Try” offers a slower ballad as Young describes trying to move on from heartache. Emmylou Harris harmonizes backing vocals and joins Young between verses as he sings “And I try to wash my hands/And I try to make amends,” “Here’s looking up your old address” and “We got lots of time/To get together if we try.” This is the song’s first official release and Young only sang it live 20 times.
Young’s vocals remain upbeat with a sweet country twang while the lyrics do their best to remain optimistic as they lament Young’s heartbreak. He contemplates whether it is best to move on or if he should try to make things work while the slow drum beat and strums of the guitar match the lyrics as they try their best to sound upbeat but include the underlying theme and feeling of loss.
Levon Helm and Karl T Himmel contribute drums to Homegrown while Emmylou Harris sings backing vocals. Robbie Robertson, Ben Keith, Tim Drummond and Stan Szelst also contribute to the album with John Hanlon restoring the analog mixes and Chris Bellman mastering the new release.
Several of the album’s songs, including “Love Is A Rose,” “Homegrown,” “White Line,” “Little Wing,” and “Star of Bethlehem” have been released on various Young albums. Young also announced he will be releasing another album in 2021 from his archive, Road of Plenty, which he recorded throughout the mid to late-’80s.
Homegrown track list:
- Separate Ways
- Love Is a Rose
- We Don’t Smoke It No More
- White Line
- Little Wing
- Star of Bethlehem