Old Ways

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Old Ways
Studio album by Neil Young
Released August 12, 1985
Recorded January 1983 - April 1985
Studio House Of David, Nashville; The Castle, Franklin TN; Pedernales Recording Studio, Spicewood, TX and live at The Opry, Austin TX
Genre Country, country rock
Length 36:43
Label Geffen
Producer Neil Young, David Briggs, Ben Keith, Elliot Mazer
Neil Young chronology
Everybody's Rockin'
(1983)Everybody's Rockin'1983
Old Ways
Landing on Water
(1986)Landing on Water1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau(B)[2]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[3]
Kerrang!0.5/5 stars[4]

Old Ways is the 14th studio album by Canadian musician and singer-songwriter Neil Young, released on August 12, 1985 on Geffen Records.


Young has referred to this album in interviews as Old Ways II, as he had originally planned to release a country album titled Old Ways in 1983. Young's record label, Geffen, objected to this, asking Young for a "rock 'n roll" album, which Young would give them in the form of Everybody's Rockin'.

After a lawsuit with Geffen ended in a settlement in favor of Young, he proceeded to complete the unfinished Old Ways by writing a few additional songs to fill it out. Old Ways I would have contained many still-unreleased songs, one of which, "Depression Blues," would later appear on Young's Geffen-era compilation Lucky Thirteen.

The title track and "Get Back to the Country" were released as singles with accompanying music videos, but like with his previous videos, MTV largely ignored them. The album was a near-total commercial and critical failure, and remains one of Young's lowest-selling albums to date. Despite the poor reception, he nonetheless toured Old Ways and played material from it live along with some of his old concert staples. Young received far more attention during this time for his reunion with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash at Live Aid for the first performance of the quartet in a decade.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Neil Young, except where indicated.

Side one
1."The Wayward Wind"Herb Newman, Stanley Lebowsky3:12
2."Get Back to the Country" 2:50
3."Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" 3:03
4."Once an Angel" 3:55
5."Misfits" 5:07
Side two
6."California Sunset"2:56
7."Old Ways"3:08
8."My Boy"3:37
9."Bound for Glory"5:48
10."Where Is the Highway Tonight?"3:02


Recording personnel[edit]

  • Neil Young - producer
  • Ben Keith - producer
  • David Briggs - producer
  • Gene Eichelberger - engineer
  • Keith Odle - second engineer
  • Clark Schleicher - recording assistant
  • J.T. Cantwell - recording assistant

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Albums 31
U.S. Billboard 200 75
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 24


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Neil Young Old Ways review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1987). "Neil Young 'Old Ways' review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Neil Young Old Ways". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Howard (17 October 1985). "Neil Young 'Old Ways'". Kerrang!. 105. London, UK: Morgan Grampian. p. 20.