A Letter Home

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A Letter Home
Neil Young A Letter Home.jpg
Studio album by Neil Young
Released April 19, 2014
Recorded Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Folk rock, lo-fi
Length 39:25
Label Third Man Records
Producer Jack White III and Neil Young
Neil Young chronology
Live at the Cellar Door
(2013)Live at the Cellar Door2013
A Letter Home
(2014)
Storytone
(2014)Storytone2014

A Letter Home is the thirty-fourth studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young. It was released on April 19, 2014 on Record Store Day by Third Man Records. The entire album, which consists of covers of classic songs by artists Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gordon Lightfoot and others, was recorded in a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph vinyl recording booth at Jack White's Third Man Records recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Of this method, White said, "we were obfuscating beauty on purpose to get to a different place, a different mood."[1] The opening spoken-word track, and other spoken lines throughout the album, were addressed to Edna "Rassy" Young, Neil's mother who died in 1990.[2][3] A message on Young's website described the album as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever".[4][5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
The A.V. Club B[7]
MusicOMH 3.5/5 stars[8]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[9]

The A.V. Club considers A Letter Home one of the best albums of the first half of 2014, calling it the "most surprising record by a guy who’s built his career on surprising you".[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "A Letter Home Intro"   2:16
2. "Changes" Phil Ochs 3:56
3. "Girl from the North Country" Bob Dylan 3:32
4. "Needle of Death" Bert Jansch 4:57
5. "Early Morning Rain" Gordon Lightfoot 4:24
6. "Crazy" Willie Nelson 2:16
7. "Reason to Believe" Tim Hardin 2:47
8. "On the Road Again" Willie Nelson 2:23
9. "If You Could Read My Mind" Gordon Lightfoot 4:04
10. "Since I Met You Baby" Ivory Joe Hunter 2:13
11. "My Hometown" Bruce Springsteen 4:08
12. "I Wonder If I Care as Much" The Everly Brothers 2:29

Bonus tracks from box set singles:

No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Blowin' in the Wind" Bob Dylan  
14. "Crazy (alternate take)" Willie Nelson  

Box set[edit]

The box set includes:

  • 1 standard 12” LP pressed on 180-gram black vinyl
  • 1 “direct feed from the booth” audiophile 12” LP pressed on 180-gram black vinyl
  • Seven 6" vinyl 33 RPM discs pressed on clear vinyl
  • 1 standard CD
  • 1 standard DVD with footage from the recording
  • 1 32-page, 12” x 12” book
  • Download card to redeem the digital album of the “direct feed from the booth” audiophile version

The 7th 6" disc of this set features a version of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind" backed with an alternate take/arrangement of "Crazy"

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[12] 46
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[13] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[14] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[15] 53
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[16] 17
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[17] 11
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[18] 18
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[19] 45
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[20] 19
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[21] 6
Italian Albums (FIMI)[22] 41
Irish Albums (IRMA)[23] 8
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[24] 37
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[25] 46
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 29
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 17
US Billboard 200[28] 13

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tingen, Paul (October 2014). "Inside Track: Jack White", SoundOnSound.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  2. ^ Fusilli, Jim (21 May 2014). "When He Was Young". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Young, Jon (27 May 2014). "Neil Young Evokes an Imaginary Past, Fetishizes Lo-Fi on 'A Letter Home'". Spin. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Greene, Andy (18 April 2014). "Neil Young's New Covers Album Available Right Now: Surprise!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Young, Alex (18 April 2014). "Surprise! Neil Young releases new album, A Letter Home, featuring Jack White". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "A Letter Home Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  7. ^ Cosores, Philip (2014-05-27). "Album Review". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  8. ^ Paton, Daniel (2014-05-27). "Album Review". Musicomh.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  9. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Album Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  10. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 2, 2014). "Neil Young A Letter Home review". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ Bray, Ryan (July 22, 2014). "Bigger and Bitchier: A Superlative Rundown of the Best Records of 2014 So Far". The A.V. Club. 
  12. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Neil Young – A Letter Home". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neil Young – A Letter Home" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – A Letter Home" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – A Letter Home" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "Neil Young – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Neil Young. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Neil Young – A Letter Home". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Young – A Letter Home" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "Neil Young: A Letter Home" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  20. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  21. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2014. 22. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ.
  22. ^ "Artisti – Classifica settimanale WK 22 (dal 26-05-2014 al 01-06-2014)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Irish Albums Top 100 - 29th May 2014". Irma.ie. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Neil Young – A Letter Home". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  25. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Neil Young – A Letter Home". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Young – A Letter Home". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  27. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  28. ^ "Neil Young – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Neil Young. Retrieved June 9, 2014.