Neil Young is the self-titled debut studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, which was his debut release as a solo artist following his departure from the band Buffalo Springfield. Released first in November 1968, it was then partially remixed and re-released in January 1969.
Many sources cite that Neil Young was released in January 1969; however, the album was originally released on November 12, 1968 (Young's 23rd birthday). The first release of the album used the Haeco-CSG encoding system. This technology was intended to make stereo records compatible with mono record players, but had the unfortunate side effect of degrading the sound in both stereo and mono.
Young was unhappy with the sound quality of the first release, so the album was partially remixed in January 1969 and then re-released without Haeco-CSG processing. The "Neil Young" header was added to the album cover; previously the cover art had consisted of only the portrait. Copies of the original 1968 version are now rare and highly sought-after, because legions of Neil Young fans believe that the 1969 mix destroyed much of the beauty of the songs, especially "Here We Are in the Years."
Neil Young was remastered and released on HDCD-encoded CD and digital download on July 14, 2009 as part of the Neil Young Archives Original Release Series. It was released on audiophile vinyl in December 2009, both individually and as part of a box-set of Neil's first 4 LPs available via his official website (this box set was limited to 1000 copies – a CD version of 3000 copies also exists). A high resolution digital Blu-ray disc is planned, although no release date has been set.