Friday, 2 September 2016

Art of the Cover - Neil Young's "A Letter Home" (2014)

Love the artwork on this beautiful collection, released a few moons back on Third Man Records.

Yap, Young does his best Dr. Who impersonation in this minimalist, delightfully decorated, stylised shot of himself recording in Jack White’s 1940s-style vinyl recording booth.

And there's definitely no need to have the words Neil Young anywhere!

Yap, Neil relocated to a phone booth to record an album of sparse lo-fi cover versions of songs he loves.

The eclectic A Letter Home features covers of songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, and many others. 

The album features White on a number of the songs. 

Young  recorded all of the album in the vinyl recording “Voice-o-Graph” booth at Third Man - a 1940s-style straight-to-vinyl recording setup that seems guaranteed to leave plenty of warm crackles on the actual record.

Talking to Kamps recently, Young called the album “retro-tech” and then clarified: 
Retro-tech means recorded in a 1940s recording booth. A phone booth. It’s all acoustic with a harmonica inside a closed space, with one mic to vinyl.” 
Neil also said that the record sounds “like Jimmy Rogers or something.” 

Interestingly, later in the interview, he mentioned that he regrets the digital mastering he used for some of his older records, most notably the classic Harvest Moon and Freedom LPs.


01 “Changes” (Phil Ochs)
02 “Girl From The North Country” (Bob Dylan)
03 “Needle of Death” (Bert Jansch)
04 “Early Morning Rain” (Gordon Lightfoot)
05 “Reason To Believe” (Tim Hardin)
06 “On The Road Again” (Willie Nelson)
07 “If You Could Only Read My Mind” (Gordon Lightfoot)
08 “Since I Met You Baby” (Ivory Joe Hunter)
09 “My Hometown” (Bruce Springsteen)
10 “I Wonder If I Care As Much” (Everly Brothers)

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