Jan 312019

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

best neil young covers

Neil Young released his self-titled debut solo album on January 22, 1969. Well, technically he re-released it that day. It had initially landed without much fanfare the previous November, only for Young to quickly pull it from shelves due to what he deemed a subpar mix. Even in his professional infancy, decades before Pono and the Neil Young Archives, he was a stickler for quality control.

We hope this list would pass muster with him. At 50 songs, it’s our longest to date (tied only with The Rolling Stones) and still barely scratches the surface. We could have quite easily listed the best 50 covers of “Heart of Gold” or “Like a Hurricane” alone. He gets covered about as much as any songwriter alive, and about as well too.

Neil hasn’t slowed down in his own age, and neither has the flow of new covers. Some of the covers below came out near 50 years ago themselves. Others only landed in the last year or two. No doubt another contender will arrive tomorrow. Neil never stops, and, thankfully, neither do covers of his songs. Continue reading »

Jun 302010

Tribute Throwback shines some light on an underexposed tribute album. Enter to win a copy!

A few years ago I was poking around a Chicago record store and came across an intriguing album: Headed for the Ditch: A Michigan Tribute to Neil Young. I thought I knew all Neil Young cover collections, but this one I’d never heard of. I only knew one band on there, but the packaging looked nice and the price was right, so I picked it up. It worked out better than most impulse purchases I’ve made (incidentally, anyone want a lava lamp nightlight?).

The album contains eleven new covers by Michigan artists, ranging from Edward’s beautiful slow-building “Birds” to the Hard Lessons’ seven-minute blast through “Hey, Hey, My, My.” The disc hit the right blend of acoustic and electric, faithful and exploratory. Plus how many Neil Young tributes include “We R in Control,” the song from Neil’s ill-fated electronic venture Trans?

Now before you run off to iTunes, I’ll save you some time: You won’t find it. The old-school purists at Lower Peninsula Records only release their stuff on vinyl. But boy do they do a fine job. The beautiful gatefold packaging features a stitched 16-page booklet with handwritten lyrics and drawings by every band on the album. It sounds great and comes in a coffee table-worthy package to boot.

Oh, and did I mention we have one to give away? [EDIT: This contest is now closed.] Continue reading »