Neil Young makes a timely Return To Greendale

Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Return To Greendale

Warner Records

Out Now

DELVING into his vast archives, Neil Young has released his multi-faceted live concert experience from 2003 – ‘Return To Greendale’, which was recorded on the tour in support of his 25th studio album ‘Greendale’.

More a rock opera than a traditional concert, it embraces themes of corruption and environmentalism, that seem more relevant today than they were back then upon its original release.

Young’s full-blown presentation of the album features all ten songs, which are set in a fictional California seaside town.

A narrative stage play, it’s acted out in real time by more than 20 people at some points in the show, with a series of stories that, I’m pleased to say, sound just as poignant now as they ever did.

For the unacquainted, the story of Greendale follows several generations of the Green family as they go about their lives.

Grandma, grandpa, Edith, Earl, the doomed Jed, and eco-warrior Sun Green, all form part of Young’s poignant story about small-town America and the urgent need for action to save the planet.

Performed in sequence, some of the tales on ‘Return to Greendale’ are 10, 12, even 13 minutes long, yet they don’t feel it, which is to the credit of Young and Crazy Horse’s playing, and the blistering intensity of the songs.

Neil Young. Picture by DH Lovelife

The release is one of many from Young’s archives that are forthcoming, and it is available in limited-edition deluxe box set, including a Blu-ray of the concert, two LPs and two CDs, and a DVD of ‘Inside Greendale’ – a documentary capturing the making of the album, which, together with the concert film, are directed by Bernard Shakey and produced by L.A. Johnson.

‘Return to Greendale’ is also available separately on double vinyl, a two-CD set, and digitally from the Xstream store at Neil Young Archives.

James Iles

Published by James Iles

Journalist, production editor, features writer, music lover, gardening enthusiast and published author. Get in touch if you would like to work with me.

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