Neil Young – Neil-Owned Alternate ‘Comes a Time’ Acetate, With 2 Unreleased Songs

Neil Young’s personal acetate of an early version of his 1978 album Comes a Time, with two unreleased outtakes, and a completely different song order.

This disc includes an unreleased studio version of ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ (Young has never released a studio version of this classic, which appeared on Crazy Horse’s debut album,) and the unreleased ‘Spud Blues,’ later re-recorded as ‘Country Home’ for Ragged Glory.  It does not include ‘Lotta Love’ and ‘Look Out For My Love,’ which appear on the released album.

The provenance is best explained by the included letter of authenticity from longtime Young associate Joel Bernstein:

This letter is to authenticate a Sterling Sound acetate of an early version of Neil Young’s album Comes a Time, dated 1/6/78, with the handwritten notation EQ2 [The finished album was released 10/21/78]. Includes the outtakes ‘Dance Dance Dance’ and ‘Spud Blues’ (aka ‘Country Home’), replaced on the final album by ‘Lotta Love’ and ‘Look Out For My Love.’  This acetate belonged to Neil Young, who gave it to me.

I photographed Neil Young for the first time at his first East Coast show with Crazy Horse, at the Bitter End in New York City, in February 1969. I went on to work with Neil extensively, as both his and CSNY’s tour photographer, and shooting him for eighteen of his album covers (including After The Gold Rush, Harvest, Time Fades Away, Tonight’s The Night, Decade, and Rust Never Sleeps) plus numerous other official projects including publicity, advertising, songbooks, posters, et al. On various tours from 1973-1993, I also worked with Neil as his guitar technician; and served as his archivist for 20 years, researching and presenting him with every source for audio, artwork and text used in his massive box set Archives Vol. 1  1963-1972.

During the course of working for Neil, he gave me various acetates, test pressings, set lists and other memorabilia. Neil knew I was a collector and he wasn’t, so once he was done with things like this, instead of throwing it away, he often gave it to me.

Sincerely, Joel Bernstein.

As noted in Wikipedia, Comes A Time had a convoluted evolution: The album originally started out as a solo record, but when Young played it for Reprise executives they asked him if he would consider adding rhythm tracks to what he already had. Young agreed, and the end product was Comes a Time…Two songs on the album, “Look Out For My Love” and “Lotta Love”, featured Young’s long-time backing band, Crazy Horse.  Another song, “Human Highway”, was written several years prior to the album’s release, and was originally recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1974 for a proposed album to be called “Human Highway”, but in typical CSNY fashion the recording sessions were abandoned amid acrimony between the four group members and the album never came to pass.  For many years it was rumoured that Young had personally purchased some 200,000 vinyl copies of Comes a Time having been unhappy with the album’s sound, owing to damage that occurred to the master tape during shipment to the mixing facility. The version of the album most widely available today was personally remixed by Young from the safety copy of the original master. In a March 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Young claimed that he, in fact, used the 200,000 LPs as shingles for a barn roof.

In Near Mint- condition, with Joel Bernstein’s letter of authenticity, and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity. A professional digital transfer of the acetate is included.

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