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Neil Young to Release 1976 Live Acoustic Album Songs for Judy

There’s already been an insane wealth of Neil Young archival material released this year, and there’s more coming. Today, the veteran songwriter/guitarist announced Songs for Judy, a collection of solo acoustic songs recorded live during Neil’s November 1976 U.S. tour.

At the time, Young was playing two sets per night: one acoustic, and one with his band Crazy Horse. Recordings of the solo performances have long been traded among fans under the informal title the Bernstein Tapes, because they were taped by photographer Joel Bernstein, who was traveling with Young on tour. The mid-’70s was Young’s most prolific songwriting period, and the Bernstein Tapes contained songs that would not surface on official releases until years later, if at all.

The official Songs for Judy release will contain plenty of well-known Neil tunes—“Heart of Gold,” “After the Gold Rush,” “Mr. Soul,” and others—as well as some of the aforementioned deeper cuts. “White Line” didn’t get an official release until 1990’s Ragged Glory, for instance, and “No One Seems to Know” has never been officially released at all until Songs for Judy. 

In April, Young released Roxy: Tonight’s the Night Live a document of live 1973 performances by the band that cut the classic studio album of the same name. In September, he released Hitchhiker, a “lost” studio album recorded in August 1976—just before the Songs for Judy tour—whose tracklist overlaps considerably with the songs he was playing live at the time.

Songs for Judy will be released November 30. Hear “Campaigner” for the album below and see the full tracklist at Young’s site.

Tags: Neil Young