Neil Young has announced his plans to release ‘Noise & Flowers’, a live album and film compiled from material recorded during his most recent tour of Europe and the UK.
Young embarked on the nine-date run with Promise Of The Real as his backing band, taking in four shows in Germany – as well as one each in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Ireland – across July of 2019. The album and film will feature recordings from all of the shows; the CD and two-disc vinyl release will sport 14 tracks, but it’s unclear if the film (which was co-directed by Bernard Shakey and DH Lovelife) contains the same content.
Both iterations of the release will land on August 5 via Warner Records, with pre-orders available here. The first preview of the release – Young and the Real’s performance of ‘From Hank To Hendrix’ – was shared alongside the announcement. Have a look at that below:
The tour that ‘Noise & Flowers’ chronicles took place shortly after the death of Young’s longtime manager, Elliot Roberts. In a new blog post, Young explained that he and his wife were en route to the airport – where they would fly to Europe ahead of the tour’s start – when he learned of Roberts’ passing. They returned home for his funeral, but powered on with the tour nonetheless.
“During the tour,” Young wrote, “we had a poster of Elliot on a road case, right where he always stood during all shows. Everyone who was with us felt that this tour was amazing for its great vibe. The Real and I delivered for Elliot.”
In the liner notes for ‘Noise & Flowers’ (per American Songwriter), Young further expounded: “Playing in his memory [made it] one of the most special tours ever. We hit the road and took his great spirit with us into every song. This music belongs to no one. It’s in the air. Every note was played for music’s great friend, Elliot.”
Check out the cover art and tracklisting for ‘Noise & Flowers’ below:
1. ‘Mr. Soul’
2. ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’
4. ‘Field Of Opportunity’
6. ‘Throw Your Hatred Down’
7. ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’
8. ‘Comes A Time’
9. ‘From Hank to Hendrix’
10. ‘On The Beach’
11. ‘Are You Ready For The Country’
12. ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’
14. ‘F***in’ Up’
Before dropping ‘Noise & Flowers’, Young will release ‘Toast’, a previously shelved album he recorded with Crazy Horse back in 2001. Described by Young as “heavy and distressed [and] brimming with electrifying tension”, that album – named for the San Francisco studio in which it was minted – will be released on July 8 via Reprise.
According to Young, ‘Toast’ is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”. He cited the record’s melancholic tone as a reason why it never left the studio, explaining in another blog post: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”
Both the release of ‘Toast’ and ‘Noise & Flowers’ come amid Young’s ongoing series of archival reissues. In April, he released the ‘Official Release Series Volume 4’ box set, comprising three classic albums from the 1980s – one of his own, and two collaborative efforts – as well as a rare EP that was only ever sold in Australia and Japan.
His most recent album was another effort with Crazy Horse, ‘Barn’, which landed last December. NME gave it a four-star review, with Rhys Buchanan writing: “Raw and rugged at every turn, the album captures the telepathic bond that these rock’n’roll renegades have cultivated over the years.”