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Listen to the Title Track From Neil Young’s New ‘Hitchhiker’ LP

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Neil Young has unveiled the title track from his upcoming Hitchhiker album, offering fans the first glimpse of a set that’s been sitting in the vault since summer 1976.

As previously reported, the Hitchhiker session took place on a single day — Aug. 11, 1976 — and found Young working solo with producer David Briggs behind the board. The tapes, which include the previously unreleased songs “Hawaii” and “God Give Me Strength,” underwent post-production work at the hands of longtime Young associate John Hanlon. The album, due Sept. 8, is available to pre-order now.

Hitchhiker‘s existence has been common knowledge among the Young fan community for years, but like a number of projects, it remained an unreleased footnote because Young wasn’t completely satisfied with it. Looking back on the session in his Special Deluxe memoir, he seemed to argue that his performance wasn’t entirely up to par.

“It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances,” wrote Young. “Dean Stockwell, my friend and a great actor who I later worked on Human Highway as a co-director, was with us that night, sitting in the room with me as I laid down all the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer or coke. Briggs was in the control room, mixing live on his favorite console.”

The Hitchhiker release marks one of the few bursts of public activity for the typically prolific Young this year. Although he remains on what appears to be a self-imposed touring hiatus, he does have some projects in the works; in an interview with the Forterie Times, filmmaker Adam Vollick said he’s directing Young and his girlfriend Daryl Hannah in an upcoming movie he described as a “post-apocalyptic western fantasy musical.”

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