Neil Young’s <em>Archives</em> Team Finally Gets To The Weird Stuff

Apr 2nd, 2008 // 14 Comments

AP04030204445.jpgLive albums from the halcyon days of Danny Whitten are great and all, but its a look at those aborted studio sessions that Neil heads like myself have been waiting for. So while, as with most of Neil’s Archives projects, there’s no release date and no real promise that we’ll see one, it’s great that his people are even bothering to mention the possibility of hearing Toast, an album of outtakes from a “depressing” 2000 session with Crazy Horse in a run down San Francisco studio of the same name.

Now, years later, John Hanlon, the original co-producer with Neil, is at work mixing all of the Toast material. Many songs share a bluesy, jazz-tinged vibe as a common thread. Three solid rockers are interspersed in the mix. Other songs are long with extensive explorations between verses, a Crazy Horse trademark, kind of like a down-played Tonight’s the Night, except these songs deal directly with love and loss, not drugs. The ambient atmosphere, foggy, blue and desolate, pervades many of the tracks, if not all, with Tommy Brea’s muted trumpet and dusky male and female counter-part BGs occasionally surfacing from Poncho and Ralph on one side, Nancy Hall and Pegi Young on the other. A cool and sleepy lounge piano rises in the fog occasionally.

Toast is coming, a dark Crazy Horse classic for the ages. This first NYA “Special Edition” is the beginning of a new series of unreleased albums.


CRAZY HORSE “TOAST” [Neil Young Times, via The Guardian/Photo: AP]


  1. GhostOfDuane

    This sounds cool. I’d be happy with more Danny Whitten gems too though. Of course I’ll believe all this when I see it get released. The bulk of the archives project will never see the light of day til Neil dies anyway.

  2. iantenna

    when/if this comes out it’ll be merely a shell of what it could have been, neil will tinker with it and overdub it and then decides he hates it and give up on it. yeah, i’m still bitter that they only put out some of the fillmore east show (have you heard the acoustic set that night? ace bunny killer) and overdubbed the massey hall dvd.

  3. Lucas Jensen

    Mynah Birds anyone?

  4. iantenna

    @Lucas Jensen: i still don’t believe that shit. there is no stranger pairing in music, ever.

  5. ZipZapZopZoup

    Toast, not Smoke

  6. Anthony Miccio

    @ZipZapZopZoup: While I’m embarassed to have
    dropped some mild freudian slip there (fixed, btw), I will use this
    opportunity to say that it is SO AWESOME that Neil may be putting out
    an album named “Toast.” Or maybe “The Toast Sessions.” Or “Songs From

  7. Anthony Miccio

    You know the ghost of David Briggs would want Toast out there.

  8. elvissinatra


    A set from 2000 that contains outtakes of songs that ended up on Are You Passionate? Could you even make up a less appealing collection?

    David Briggs would have never let this shit fly. Somebody needs to reanimate Briggs so he can kick Neil’s ass into shape.

  9. elvissinatra

    @iantenna: What overdubs are on Massey?

  10. Captain Wrong

    Please tell me there’s a Gorgio Moroder collaboration circa Trans somewhere awaiting release!!!

  11. mhale0

    I’d trade my bong for a disc full of different takes of Trans Am.

  12. iantenna

    @elvissinatra: from what i’ve heard – through the grapevine, yes, but the grapevine started at his archivist, who’s a friend of a friend – he wasn’t happy with the sound quality or performances of the show the video is taken from so he overdubbed other performances to which there was either no video, or he didn’t like the video. dude should just let shit be.

  13. Thierry

    @iantenna: The footage on the dvd is probably from a concert shot in Stratford, Conn. about a week later. You can read more about this here:

    You’ll notice that nowhere on the dvd does it say that this footage was shot at those Massey Hall shows.

  14. MrStarhead

    REM recorded their “Oh my God, Bill Berry is not walking through that door” album UP in ’98 at Toast. Explains a lot.

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