Psychedelic Pill

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Psychedelic Pill
Psychedelicpillcover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 30, 2012
Recorded2012
StudioAudio Casa Blanca, Broken Arrow Ranch, Redwood City, California
Genre
Length87:41
LabelReprise
ProducerNeil Young, John Hanlon and Mark Humphreys
Neil Young chronology
Americana
(2012)
Psychedelic Pill
(2012)
Live at the Cellar Door
(2013)
Crazy Horse chronology
Americana
(2012)
Psychedelic Pill
(2012)
Colorado
(2019)

Psychedelic Pill is the 32nd studio album by Canadian / American 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.

Recording[edit]

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 near 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".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[10]
The A.V. ClubA-[11]
Chicago Sun-Times[12]
NME8/10[13]
Paste9.0/10[14]
Pitchfork7.0/10[15]
PopMatters[16]
Rolling Stone[17]
Spin7/10[18]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5[19]

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." Robert Christgau suggested in 2018 that he appreciated the album and may have underrated it at the time of its release, writing it "showed up in my Neither file, which these days is kind of an honor, because I seldom add to it now that I don't feel obliged to nail down every possible Honorable Mention."[20]

The album was listed at number 10 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying, "This is as inspiringly strange as anything he's done."[21] They also named the song "Ramada Inn" the fifth best song of 2012.[22]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Driftin' Back"27:36
2."Psychedelic Pill"3:26
3."Ramada Inn"16:49
4."Born in Ontario"3:49

Disc two[edit]

No.TitleLength
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:87:41

Vinyl[edit]

  • 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

Blu-ray[edit]

  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

Personnel[edit]

  • Neil Young – vocals, guitar, pump organ, stringman, whistling

Crazy Horse

Audio production[edit]

  • Produced by Neil Young and John Hanlon with Mark Humphreys
  • Recorded by John Hanlon
  • Engineered by John Hanlon with John Hausmann and Jeff Pinn, Except "Driftin' Back" acoustic intro- Recorded by John Nowland, assisted by Charles Brotman
  • Recorded at Audio Casa Blanca, Broken Arrow Ranch, Redwood City, CA, Except "Driftin' Back" acoustic intro-Recorded at Lava Tracks, Kamuela, HI
  • Mixed at Redwood Digital's Analog Mixing Room by John Hanlon and Neil Young
  • Digital Mastering to 24-bit/192 kHz by Tim Mulligan at Redwood Digital
  • Analog to digital transfers by John Nowland at His Master’s Wheels

Blu-ray production[edit]

  • Director: Bernard Shakey
  • Producer: Will Mitchell
  • Executive producer: Elliot Rabinowitz
  • Post production at Shakey Pictures and Upstream Multimedia
  • Art direction: Toshi Onuki
  • Editors: Mark Faulkner, Benjamin Johnson, Will Mitchell
  • Motion graphics: Kris Kunz
  • Film research: Cameron Kunz, Mark Faulkner, Will Mitchell, Sarah Yee
  • Licensing and clearances: Marcy Gensic
  • Blu-ray authoring, programming at MX San Francisco, CA

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[23] 28
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[24] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[25] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[26] 20
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[27] 7
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[28] 11
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[29] 11
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[30] 18
French Albums (SNEP)[31] 19
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[32] 4
Irish Albums (IRMA)[33] 9
Italian Albums (FIMI)[34] 19
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[35] 20
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[36] 6
Scottish Albums (OCC)[37] 10
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[38] 25
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 7
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 12
UK Albums (OCC)[41] 14
US Billboard 200[42] 8
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[43] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andy Greene (24 August 2012). "Neil Young and Crazy Horse Double-Disc 'Psychedelic Pill' Due in October". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. ^ Tomas Franta (23 January 2012). "Neil Young se na novém albu znovu spojí s Crazy Horse". Rockandpop.cz. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. 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". hasitleaked.com. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Psychedelic Pill [Blu-Ray Audio]: Neil Young & Crazy Horse". Amazon. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Neil Young Discography". Neilyoung.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-10. 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". Metacritic. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  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. ^ "Neil Young's 'Psychedelic Pill' tough to swallow - Chicago Sun-Times". Suntimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  13. ^ "Neil Young - 'Psychedelic Pill' A gnarly whopper of a treat". NME. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  14. ^ Heselgrave, Douglas (2012-10-30). "Neil Young and Crazy Horse". Paste. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  15. ^ "Neil Young / Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill Album Review - Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. ^ Mistich, Dan. "Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  17. ^ Fricke, David (30 October 2012). "Psychedelic Pill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  18. ^ Jarnow, Jesse (29 October 2012). "Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 'Psychedelic Pill' (Reprise)". Spin. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  19. ^ Viney, Joseph (Nov 4, 2012). "Album Review - Neil Young: Psychedelic Pill". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Robert Christgau: Xgau Sez".
  21. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2012: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 'Psychedelic Pill'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  22. ^ "50 Best Songs of 2012: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 'Ramada Inn'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  23. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  27. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  28. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  30. ^ "Neil Young / Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  31. ^ "Lescharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  32. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 8 November 2012". GfK Chart-Track. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  34. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  35. ^ "Charts.nz – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  36. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  38. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  39. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Young / Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  41. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  42. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  43. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2020.