Neil Young – Unreleased “Give To The Wind” Album Cover Proof 1978 / One of Two Known

We’re proud to offer here one of only two known examples of the album cover proof for Neil Young’s unreleased Give to The Wind (see more about this album below).  The only other example to surface was offered on Ebay in 2005, and it’s believed it was purchased on behalf of Neil Young, for his archive.

We acquired this from a former Warner Bros. Records executive who saved it after the album title and lineup was changed. It measures 25” x 12 ¼” and is printed on album cover stock. Typically a small number of album cover proofs were printed for artist, management and label approval before finished LP covers were printed. In this case, Warner/Reprise must have called back the proofs that were printed, as only this example and the one mentioned above have ever surfaced.

This example is in excellent condition, with toning to the back (from being in a frame backed by non-archival cardboard), and some very minor fraying to the left edge (it looks as if some minor moisture got into the left edge of the frame, causing some very minor paper loss to the bottom left edge, on the back only.) Overall it looks great, as you can see from the scans below. We have watermarked the scans, but the proof is of course unmarked.

The stories about Give to the Wind vary, but according to a 2005 post on the Neil Young news site Thrasher’s Wheat,
In 1978 Neil Young released the seminal LP: ‘Comes a Time’.For a while prior to its release this album was known as ‘Give to the wind’.
The story behind this LP, title & running order changes is one of Neil Young legend. It is believed the album was finished by December 1977, however nothing was heard until test pressings of the ‘Give to the Wind’ LP were distributed to Warner Bros executives in March 78. The record was greeted enthusiastically by everyone except Neil, who identified an audio flaw (that no one else could hear!)
A second test pressing of ‘Give to the Wind’ was subsequently issued – some with normal stock copy labels (as opposed to plain white with a photocopy A4 sheet).

Soon after another batch of test pressings were issued with the name changed to ‘Comes a time’. The story of this records release doesn’t end there at all, it goes on to include Neil putting a .22 caliber bullet through each box of the initial pressing & more test pressings & a change in running order – but this is another story for another day.

The point is that ‘Give to the Wind’ was never issued in its original form. Some test pressings have shown up & some with stock copy labels.

However what is not largely known is that at some point Warner Bros artwork dept prepared a provisional cover design for this LP which was never to be released.

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