“I set out to make a real album, a conventional record, the kind I made when I started,” he says. “I decided I’m not going to be scared to have involved melodies. I’m not going to shy away from things that take a lot of time or sound really pretty.”
Previously: MP3: Neil Young – “Ordinary People”
More Neil quotes after the jump…
Discussing his previous album, Living with War:
“Some subjects warrant that you zero in. One or two songs were not enough for Living With War. I couldn’t make a stronger statement about this war than dedicating a whole record to it.
“After an album like that, you kind of have to cleanse your soul. You can’t go around saying, ‘This is how I feel’ for the rest of your life, especially when there’s so much else to talk about: spirituality, relationships, survival, the human condition.”
While Young was eviscerated for his anti-war rants, he says War arrived when “a lot of people were changing their minds. That doesn’t mean you don’t have convictions. It means you have the brains to re-evaluate. We all make poor decisions. I’ve been doing that all my life.”
Discussing the original, unreleased Chrome Dreams:
“I put down all those songs, and it sounded like a good record to me,” he says. “I got a pressing of it, and then I must have gone on the road and forgot about it. I got distracted and started doing something else.”
That’s a familiar pattern to fans who’ve been waiting years for Young’s elaborate Archives series, billed as an exhaustive audio biography. A taste was delivered with the recent Live at the Fillmore East and Live at Massey Hall discs, expected to be bonus discs in the opening volume, an eight-CD, two-DVD box set due in the spring.
“We had one last delay,” he says of the labor-intensive project that’s entailed processing and cataloging heaps of unreleased studio tracks, live cuts, photos and artifacts. “When people see it, they’ll understand why it took so long. People haven’t seen music and history presented in a document this way.”
Uh huh. Okay, Neil, just release the motherfucker already. Let it go. Give it up.