Neil young

Why Neil Young’s Spotify boycott is a mistake

When Neil Young issued his threat to Spotify – get rid of Joe Rogan’s podcast or remove my music from your platform – he was probably hoping a chorus of other musical artists would weigh in behind him. After all, Spotify paid a reported $100 million to Rogan for the exclusive rights to host his podcast and, given that each episode attracts 11 million listeners, it must be quite a money spinner for the music streaming service. I’m sure Young’s music does alright on Spotify, but from a purely commercial point of view it was a no-brainer. Thankfully, only Joni Mitchell seems to have joined Young’s boycott so far, and

Lovely and wistful: Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Barn reviewed

 Grade: A I have persisted in buying everything Neil Young releases since I first heard On the Beach as a callow but pretentious 13-year-old. To tell you the truth, the past 27 years have somewhat tested this commitment. There has been a fatal laziness in the songwriting, lyrically and melodically, since 1994’s Sleeps with Angels and the preaching has become ever more tiresome. But I continued forking out in the increasingly forlorn hope that he’d turn out something if not wonderful, then at least reminiscent of wonderful things past. And for lo, the grizzled old troubadour has done exactly that. This is a subtler incarnation of Crazy Horse, helped incalculably

A soulful man with a blistering voice: Sipho, at Studio 9294, reviewed

When I were a lad — back when you could buy the entire back catalogue of the Fall for thruppence and still have change to get into a New Order show on the way home — record labels mattered. Well, a cohort of independent labels mattered, because their imprints stood for something. There was Creation, with its dedication to a twin axis of 1977 and 1967 as the only years that counted; 4AD, with its arty sleeves and its wafty, diaphanous music; there was Factory, somewhere between an elaborate practical joke and home to the most forward-thinking musicians in the country. You don’t get many labels like that any longer.

The problem with livestreaming heavy metal? No moshpits

There was only so long anyone could put up with the live musical performances of the early days of lockdown: musicians in their living rooms, performing stripped-back versions of their songs in broadcasts that froze or stuttered. The time would come, inevitably, when everyone wanted more. Viewers would want something more closely approximating a full show; musicians would want to be paid. Laura Marling was early through the gates: last month, she promoted her latest album with two concerts at the Union Chapel in London, played to an empty hall but streamed for UK and US audiences. There was a certain excitement about it all: here was a way for

Ranges from the slight to the first-rate: Neil Young’s Homegrown reviewed

Grade: B+ Neil Young has been mining his own past very profitably for a long time now, disinterring a seemingly endless catalogue of stuff which, at the time it was recorded, failed to see the light of day. And people like me fork out each time. I remember looking forward to this album in 1975 — but just before the release date he shelved it in favour of Tonight’s the Night, easily the finest rock album of the 1970s (or, to my mind, since). This doesn’t come close but, as it’s from Young’s most rewarding period, it holds a certain interest. Five songs have been released elsewhere, including the lovely