NEIL YOUNG – ” Johnny’s Island “

Posted: February 2, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

neil young, 1982

Neil Young is continuing his dive through his vast archives with the release of another “lost” album, 1982’s “Johnny’s Island”

The musician has announced the release on his website, Neil Young Archives, and noted that it will be available “soon.” This latest announcement follows the other archival releases, including his most recent release the Box Set “Archives Vol. 2: 1972—1976” which hosts a trove of unreleased material from a pivotal period in his career. “Johnny’s Island” was recorded at Commercial Recorders in Honolulu,  “Island in the Sun” was recorded in 1982 by the same creative team but rejected as his first LP for Geffen Records. He went on to deliver the controversial “Trans” instead, which featured three tracks that started life on its shelved predecessor with the same group of musicians that helped produce “Trans”, released that same year. A few of the songs originally recorded for Johnny’s Island ended up on “Trans”, including “Like An Inca”, “Hold On To Your Love”, and “Little Thing Called Love”. A note on the Neil Young Archives about Johnny’s Island states,

‘Johnny’s Island’ a complete album now being prepared for release at NYA, includes a majority of unreleased tracks including ‘Big Pearl,’ ‘Island In The Sun,’ and ‘Love Hotel,’ plus others you may have heard before.. it’s a beautiful record coming to you soon.

In 1995, Young discussed the lost album—which had been tentatively titled Island In The Sun—in an interview with Mojo, saying, “It was a tropical thing all about sailing, ancient civilizations, islands and water.”

Additionally, Young has shared a new animated video for “Computer Cowboy”, originally released on Trans. The new video, directed by Willie Nelson‘s youngest son Micah, is set to appear on another project called Trans – The Animated Story. Though Young didn’t go into too much detail on The Animated Story, he did state that it “includes all of the Trans music and characters, telling their whole story.” The project is expected to arrive at some point this year on DVD, Blu-ray. 

This latest “lost” album announcement follows the 2020 release of 1972’s Homegrown which was also rescued from the archives. In addition to Johnny’s Island, Young still has plenty of other projects in progress including his 1990 Crazy Horse concert film and live album Way Down In The Rust Bucket due out on February 26th, a bootleg of his solo debut at Carnegie Hall on 12/5/70 available on May 7th, and many more.

Released in December 1982, Trans was the 12th studio album of Young’s career. It began a series of records that have been described as “puzzling at best,” as Young indulged in the complete artistic control he’d been granted by his new label, including experimenting with synths and vocoders. Geffen sued him after the release of the 1983 follow-up Everybody’s Rockin’, claiming he had delivered “unrepresentative” and “uncharacteristic” albums.

“They told me they wanted me to play rock ‘n’ roll and told me I didn’t sound like Neil Young,” the singer recalled. “So I gave them Everybody’s Rockin’ and said, ‘This is a rock ‘n’ roll album by Neil Young after someone tells him what to do. This is exactly what you said you wanted.’ And we got way into it.” The label eventually apologized.

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