Storytone

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Storytone
Neil Young - Storytone.jpg
Studio album by Neil Young
Released November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)
Recorded Spring 2014
Studio Capitol Studios (big band) and Sony Pictures (Orchestra versions)
Genre Folk rock, symphonic rock, big band, swing
Length 41:32
Label Reprise
Neil Young chronology
A Letter Home
(2014)A Letter Home2014
Storytone
(2014)
The Monsanto Years
(2015)The Monsanto Years2015
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic60/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
American Songwriter3.5/5 stars[3]
The A.V. ClubD[4]
Exclaim!7/10[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]
Mojo3/5 stars[7]
Paste7/10[8]
PopMatters6/10[9]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[11]

Storytone is the 34th studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on November 4, 2014 on Reprise Records.[12] The album was released in two formats: a single disc, which features orchestral and big band arrangements of the songs, and a deluxe edition which includes stripped-back recordings of the songs. Young subsequently released a third version of the album, Mixed Pages of Storytone, merging elements of both, later in the year.

Storytone is the second studio album Neil Young released in 2014, following the predominantly lo-fi release, A Letter Home.[13]

Background[edit]

In March 2014, Neil Young expressed interest in recording an album alongside an orchestra, stating: "I'd like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live - a mono recording with one mic. I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that's a challenge and it's a sound that's unbelievable, and you can't get it any other way."[14]

During Neil Young and Crazy Horse's summer tour, the band performed a new track, entitled "Who's Gonna Stand Up?", which subsequently appeared on the album, without Crazy Horse.

Recording[edit]

Writing on his official website, Young detailed the recording of the two versions of Storytone: "First, I recorded the songs at Capitol Records with my old friends Niko Bolas and Al Schmitt. I sang them alone with only the instruments I desired to use. There was no over dubbing or enhancing. The resulting music is from my heart, directly to you. Then, I entered the hallowed MGM sound stage where The Wizard of Oz soundtrack was recorded. Surrounded by the finest musicians in Hollywood, with arrangements and orchestrations by Christ Walden and Michael Bearden, I sang seven of the Storytone songs live for the second time. I sang into Barbara Streisand's microphone, a perfectly cared-for antique with a wonderful tone that I loved. I also went to Sunset Boulevard to record the remaining three songs with a big band in an old Hollywood studio rebuilt and now known as East West. All the performances are live with no added effects or recording. I just stood singing into the microphone with occasional harmonica notes blown in between verses, while the musicians played."[15]

Writing and composition[edit]

Many of the album's tracks were inspired by Young's burgeoning romance with actress Daryl Hannah, and his divorce from his wife of thirty-six years, Pegi Young. Regarding the tracks, Young stated: "These songs were written during a period of profound change in my life. Everything I want to share is there."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at No. 33 on Billboard 200,[17] No. 2 on Folk Albums,[18] and No. 4 on Top Rock Albums,[19] selling 10,768 copies in its first week.[20] It has sold 40,000 copies in the US as of June 2015.[21]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Plastic Flowers" (Orchestral)4:06
2."Who's Gonna Stand Up?" (Orchestral)4:23
3."I Want to Drive My Car" (Big Band)3:08
4."Glimmer" (Orchestral)4:59
5."Say Hello to Chicago" (Big Band)4:57
6."Tumbleweed" (Orchestral)3:37
7."Like You Used to Do" (Big Band)2:39
8."I'm Glad I Found You" (Orchestral)3:39
9."When I Watch You Sleeping" (Orchestral)5:30
10."All Those Dreams" (Orchestral)4:25
Deluxe edition[22]
No.TitleLength
1."Plastic Flowers" (Solo)4:02
2."Who's Gonna Stand Up?" (Solo)3:49
3."I Want to Drive My Car" (Solo)2:22
4."Glimmer" (Solo)3:10
5."Say Hello to Chicago" (Solo)4:54
6."Tumbleweed" (Solo)3:22
7."Like You Used to Do" (Solo)2:38
8."I'm Glad I Found You" (Solo)3:22
9."When I Watch You Sleeping" (Solo)5:34
10."All Those Dreams" (Solo)3:52

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[25] 47
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[26] 17
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[27] 28
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[28] 28
French Albums (SNEP)[29] 54
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[30] 11
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 7
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[32] 42
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[33] 21
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[34] 18
US Billboard 200[35] 33
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[36] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[37] 4
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[38] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Critic Reviews for Storytone". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Thomas. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  3. ^ Beviglia, Jim (2014-11-04). "American Songwriter Review". Americansongwriter.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  4. ^ Fowle, Kyle (2014-11-04). "A.V. Club Review". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  5. ^ Greene, Sarah (2014-10-31). "Exclaim! Review". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  6. ^ Costa, Maddy (2014-10-14). "The Guardian Review". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  7. ^ "Neil Young Storytone". Mojo. December 2014. p. 88. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Heselgrave, Douglas (2014-11-04). "Paste Magazine Review". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  9. ^ Garratt, John (2014-11-03). "PopMatters Review". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  10. ^ Hermes, Will (2014-11-05). "Neil Young's New Album: Storytone". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  11. ^ Winograd, Jeremy (2014-11-03). "Album Review: Neil Young Storytone". Slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  12. ^ Hiatt, Brian (8 October 2014). "Neil Young Fights On: Inside His New Book, 'Storeytone' LP and New Crusades". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  13. ^ Cooper, Leonie (9 October 2014). "Neil Young reveals new LP 'Storytone' tracklisting and artwork". NME. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ Graff, Gary (12 March 2014). "Neil Young's Agenda: Jack White Project, Second Book, 'Full-Blown Orchestra' Album". Billboard. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Neil Young Times". Neilyoung.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  16. ^ "Neil Young Times". Neilyoung.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  17. ^ "Billboard 200: November 22, 2014". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Folk Albums: November 22, 2014". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Top Rock Albums: November 22, 2014". Billboard.
  20. ^ "First Look/ On TV/ Soundscan/ Powerball". Keely's Korner. November 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015.
  22. ^ "iTunes - Music - Storytone (Deluxe Version) by Neil Young". iTunes. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neil Young – Storytone" (in German). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – Storytone" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – Storytone" (in French). Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Young – Storytone" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "Neil Young: Storytone" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Young – Storytone". Hung Medien.
  35. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  38. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.