Psychedelic Pill

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Psychedelic Pill
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 30, 2012
November 19, 2012 (Blu-Ray Disc)
StudioAudio Casa Blanca, Broken Arrow Ranch, Redwood City, California
ProducerNeil Young, John Hanlon and Mark Humphreys
Neil Young chronology
Psychedelic Pill
Live at the Cellar Door
Crazy Horse chronology
Psychedelic Pill

Psychedelic Pill is the 32nd studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on October 30, 2012.[1] It is the second collaboration between Young and Crazy Horse released in 2012 (the first being Americana) and their first original work together since the Greendale album and tour in 2003 and 2004.[2] The album was streamed on Young's website on October 24, 2012,[3] and leaked onto the Internet the same day.[4]

A High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc version of the album, with 24-bit/192kHz resolution and two bonus tracks, was released November 19, 2012.[5][6] A vinyl version is also available.


At 87 minutes in length, Psychedelic Pill is Neil Young's longest album and his only studio album to span two discs.[7] Many of the songs on the album came out of extended jam sessions with Crazy Horse while recording Americana, released earlier in 2012. Three of Psychedelic Pill's nine tracks are more than 15 minutes in length. The album was recorded at Young's ranch in Redwood City, California.

The opening track "Driftin' Back" makes references to Young's new memoir Waging Heavy Peace and his disdain for MP3s in between segments of extended jamming. Another of the album's extended tracks, "Walk Like a Giant", laments the failure of his generation to change the world for the better ("We were ready to save the world / But then the weather changed"). Elsewhere on the album Young recalls listening to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and The Grateful Dead on the radio ("Twisted Road"), and his Canadian roots ("Born in Ontario").[8] A review of the album for Rolling Stone noted that the riff and lyrics of the title track share similarities with Young's previous work such as "Cinnamon Girl". The main riff is borrowed from Young's "Sign of Love". That track also features the recording filtered with a phaser effect, giving it a "psychedelic" feel (although the alternate mix removes the effect).

The 3-LP vinyl version contains the same tracks as the 2-CD set, though in a slightly different order, and with "Driftin' Back" split into two parts over sides A and B. The Blu-ray version contains two bonus tracks: the 37-minute "Horse Back", and a second alternate mix of the song "Psychedelic Pill".


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[10]
A.V. ClubA-[11]
The Boston Globe(favorable)[12]
Chicago Sun-Times2/4 stars[13]
Paste Magazine(9.0/10)[15]
Pitchfork Media(7.0/10)[16]
PopMatters7/10 stars[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[18]

Overall, Psychedelic Pill received positive reviews. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and said "it has the roiling honesty and brutal exuberance of their best records." Douglas Heselgrave, writing for Paste Magazine, said: "Psychedelic Pill may be the best album Neil Young has ever done with Crazy Horse. It'll take years to figure out." Dan Stubbs, giving the album 8 out of 10 stars for NME, writes: "two tracks here – 'Ramada Inn' and 'Walk Like a Giant' – could sit among Young's best." Other reviewers were less generous, such as the Chicago Sun-Times, which stated that the album "boasts a few brilliant moments amid numerous typically thundering and meandering dull diversions."

The album was listed at #10 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying, "This is as inspiringly strange as anything he's done."[22] They also named the song "Ramada Inn" the fifth best song of 2012.[23]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one[edit]

1."Driftin' Back"27:36
2."Psychedelic Pill"3:26
3."Ramada Inn"16:49
4."Born in Ontario"3:49

Disc two[edit]

1."Twisted Road"3:28
2."She's Always Dancing"8:33
3."For the Love of Man"4:13
4."Walk Like a Giant"16:27
5."Psychedelic Pill" (Alternate Mix)3:12
Total length:1:27:41


  • A1 - Driftin' Back (Part 1) - 18:14
  • B1 - Driftin' Back (Part 2) - 9:56
  • B2 - Psychedelic Pill (Alternate Mix) - 3:11
  • C1 - Psychedelic Pill - 3:26 (mislabeled "alternate mix")
  • C2 - Ramada Inn - 16:52
  • D1 - Born in Ontario - 3:49
  • D2 - Twisted Road - 3:28
  • D3 - She's Always Dancing - 8:34
  • D4 - For the Love of Man - 4:13
  • E1 - Walk Like a Giant - 16:31
  • F - etched art


  1. Driftin' Back - 27:42
  2. Psychedelic Pill - 3:28
  3. Ramada Inn - 16:50
  4. Born in Ontario - 3:50
  5. Twisted Road - 3:28
  6. She's Always Dancing - 8:33
  7. For the Love of Man - 4:13
  8. Walk Like a Giant - 16:28
  9. Horse Back - 37:05
  10. Psychedelic Pill (Alternate Mix 1) - 3:12
  11. Psychedelic Pill (Alternate Mix 2) - 3:11


Crazy Horse

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart 7
Finnish Albums Chart 18
German Albums Chart 4
Scottish Albums Chart [24] 10
UK Albums Chart [25] 14
U.S. Billboard 200 8
U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums 2


  1. ^ Andy Greene (24 August 2012). "Neil Young and Crazy Horse Double-Disc 'Psychedelic Pill' Due in October". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. ^ Tomas Franta (23 January 2012). "Neil Young se na novém albu znovu spojí s Crazy Horse". Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  3. ^ Alex Young (24 October 2012). "Stream: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Neil Young & Crazy Horse : Psychedelic Pill". 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Psychedelic Pill [Blu-Ray Audio]: Neil Young & Crazy Horse". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill Blu-ray". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Neil Young Discography". Archived from the original on 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  8. ^ "Looking at Neil Young's new album, 'Psychedelic Pill,' his memoir, 'Waging Heavy Peace,' and his late career". Grantland. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  9. ^ "Psychedelic Pill Review". Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  10. ^ "Neil and Crazy Horse: Review". Allmusic. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  11. ^ Helier, Jason (2012-10-30). "Neil and Crazy Horse: Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  12. ^ Reed, James. "Neil Young's new journey through the past". The Boston Globe. Christopher M. Mayer. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Neil Young's 'Psychedelic Pill' tough to swallow - Chicago Sun-Times". Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  14. ^ "Neil Young - 'Psychedelic Pill' A gnarly whopper of a treat". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  15. ^ Heselgrave, Douglas (2012-10-30). "Neil Young and Crazy Horse". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  16. ^ "Neil Young / Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill Album Review - Pitchfork". Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. ^ Mistich, Dan. "Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  18. ^ Fricke, David (30 October 2012). "Psychedelic Pill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  19. ^ Jarnow, Jesse. "Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 'Psychedelic Pill' (Reprise)". SPIN. Buzzmedia. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  20. ^ Viney, Joseph (Nov 4, 2012). "Album Review - Neil Young: Psychedelic Pill". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  21. ^ Mulvey, John. "Neil Young & Crazy Horse: "Psychedelic Pill" - Full review -". Uncut Magazine. IPC Media. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  22. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2012: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 'Psychedelic Pill'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  23. ^ "50 Best Songs of 2012: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 'Ramada Inn'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  24. ^ "2012-11-10 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts. 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  25. ^ "2012-11-10 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts. 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2013-05-27.