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 a year later, in November 1969. In neither case did it appear on the Billboard 200 album chart.
The album was originally released on November 12, 1968, on Young's 23rd birthday. The first release 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. "The first mix was awful," he was reported as saying in Cash Box of September 6th 1969. "I was trying to bury my voice, because I didnʼt like the way it sounded." The album was therefore remixed in the summer of 1969 (as announced in Rolling Stone #47, from December 13th), and re-released without Haeco-CSG processing. The words "Neil Young" were added to the album cover after what was left of the original stock had been used up, so copies of both mixes exist in the original sleeve. Copies of the original 1968 mix are now rare and sought-after, because many[who?] Neil Young fans believe that the 1969 mix diminished the songs, especially "Here We Are In The Years."
Neil Young was remastered and released on HDCD-encoded compact discs 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 four 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.