Neil Young to issue ‘Hitchhiker’ an unreleased 1976 solo album

David Briggs produced album is ‘a gem from the Neil Young archive’

Neil Young is once more digging into his archives to issue Hitchhiker, an unreleased album originally recorded in 1976.

The album was committed to tape live, during one 24-hour period in Malibu 41 years ago and includes early versions of songs that would appear on later albums including Pocahontas and Powderfinger (Rust Never Sleeps) and Human Highway (Comes A Time). Hitchhiker also features two previously unreleased songs Hawaii and Give Me Strength. You can preview the title track, below.

Hitchhiker was produced by Young’s lifelong friend David Briggs, although the new release features post-production by John Hanlon.

The album is being issued on 8 September on 140g black vinyl and CD. The US/Canada links aren’t correct (or aren’t live) right now, so fans in those countries should check back.

  • 1. Pocahontas
  • 2. Powderfinger
  • 3. Captain Kennedy
  • 4. Hawaii
  • 5. Give Me Strength
  • 6. Ride My Llama
  • 7. Hitchhiker
  • 8. Campaigner
  • 9. Human Highway
  • 10. The Old Country Waltz

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Powder Finger

Unboxing here:


Anyone care to unbox the vinyl edition?

James Bigelow

Okay, so I ordered Official Release Series 5-8 and 8.5-12 from Amazon and they arrived 2 days ago. Overall, packaging leaves something to be desired, but the CDs sound great to my ears, especially Time Fades Away. As for Hitchhiker, I pre-ordered mine a few weeks ago through Neil’s official store and I got an email this morning stating that it has been shipped. This indicates that he intends to get the CD to me to hld in my hands as close to the official release date as possible. I will take that! Thanks Neil!

[…] project signals the death knell for future physical box sets, although SDE suspects not. The forthcoming release of Hitchhiker on CD and vinyl indicates that Neil hasn’t abandoned physical releases, […]


Typical Neil, and not surprising in the least. Hitchhiker was formally canceled Thursday, 3, 2017.

ban that bloody band from England games!

I was hoping that the release of Hitchhiker means that Archives II is not too far away just like Fillmore and Massey Hall came out not too long before Archives I. Then I looked up allmusic.com and saw that Fillmore came out in 2006 and Archives in 2009 – bummer.

In relation to Hitchhiker, does anyone know if Neil Young is still releasing music on HDCD. I have the his first six albums reissued around 2009 and they sound great on a player that recognises the format. Bluenote Café though seems to be a standard audio CD.

Any thoughts/advice welcome.


Please let this NY release come out when promised…I remember being “promised” Archives Vol. 1 in 2007 and waiting 2 years for it…But I LOVE NY that is I love Neil Young…especially in this deep, dark and mysterious period.

I can’t wait for this CD to come out (yes, CD b/c I still love the expanded dynamic range they offer, even at the price of a lower bit rate).


Have not bought Neil vinyl in a while – does he provide a download card with it?


Paul is this site OK? I keep getting a box asking for a user name and password for superdeluxeedition even when I`m on another site.


$40 for a vinyl album that cost him almost nothing … next.


Looking forward to this , big time ! As for Stars n Bars being a slump in quality , erm , not for me , love it . Then again , one of my favourite NY albums is Old Ways so i’m maybe not the best judge .

Mic Smith

I agree Stars n Bars is an album that has grown over time. I first bought it in 1983 when I pretty much buying his entire back catalogue in a matter of weeks and it sort of disappeared among his more established classics but I revisited it over 15 years later when I wrote an article for Broken Arrow for the NYAS and really enjoyed it. Played it the other day and it still stands up. Was ahead of its time in many ways when you think what The Waterboys were doing 10 years after it appeared for what became Fisherman’s Blues.

Paul Wren

Ordered via Amazon UK an absolute bargain at £16.70 to my door via Amazon Prime!

Paul Wren

From Neil Young’s website:
Side A:
1. Pocahontas
2. Powderfinger
3. Captain Kennedy
4. Hawaii
5. Give Me Strength
Side B:
1. Ride My Llama
2. Hitchhiker
3. Campaigner
4. Human Highway
5. The Old Country Waltz

Jim Ackerman

There’s no reason for these Neil Young vinyl releases to be so expensive.

David M

This one isn’t


Young is quite the environmentalist – he truly knows how to recycle. This “Hitchhiker” is an early version of the same song from Le Noise. Nice to be able to hear the earlier, shorter version.

Bruno MacDonald

Shameless plug time: you can read about what the old loon was up to in 1976 in my book The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear. The chapter in question focuses on Chrome Dreams, featuring some of the tracks that have made it onto this.


I love your book. Highly recommended. hope there’s a volume 2 someday


Jim, are you Bruno`s wife in disguise?


$40 for the LP?? This shit has to stop.


I`m really happy that this seems to be finally being released. I`ve ordered the LP, will probably order the CD when it goes to £9.99. The same goes for the 5-8 & 8.5-12 box sets, these are way over priced. I reckon those awaiting Archives 2, me included, are as Bob Marley once sang, are `Waiting In Vain`.

Mike B

Great news but I wonder if he will now also release Homegrown, the album of songs he recorded after On The Beach. And then there’s all those songs he played live at Wembley with CSN in Sept 74 such as Hawaiian Sunrise, Love Art Blues, Traces, and Pushed It Over The Edge.

Tom of FIN

Fantastic. Young’s archives are like Prince’s, lotsa unreleased, ready studio tracks.


I will believe the Hitchhiker CD is out when I have it in my hands along with the Performance series 8.5 to 12 CDs. I too got an email from Amazon UK saying the PS boxes had been brought forward to 18th August but remain cynical. The pricing on those seems steep to me considering you can get 1-4 on CD for £12.99. If its due to fancy packaging, I hope its better than Archives vol 1, as in my initial copy, the CDs were stuck in the card sleeves and covered in glue.

Mic Smith

Maybe, but it seems strange that Amazon would move the date forward by 2-3 weeks unless they were sure that is the intended release date. It doesn’t stop Young changing his mind of course so maybe I should lower my expectations accordingly. Let’s hope these release dates are met, then we can all feel better for having waited so long rather than be annoyed further by his unpredictable behaviour, and his rather weak recent releases of new material.


@Mic, out of interest, I just checked on the official Neil Young store and only Hitchhiker is showing under whats new and still no mention of the PS boxes on CD. Seems strange when Hitchhiker is supposedly out after the PS boxes….

Mic Smith

Thanks DaveM – that is strange as you say. I guess we just have to wait and see….. I wonder if Amazon.com is listing them for August?

Mic Smith

September 8 in the States so really the should be on NY.com by now….
August 18 now seems like pie in the sky…..


DaveM–Original Release Series 1-4 is cheap now because it’s now in less fancy packaging than the original issue.


@noyoucmon, I realise that these at £12.99 are the budget version but as nobody knows the format of the new boxes I guess I was saying that these may be jewel cased… Hopefully we will know on the 18th:)

Ben Williams

Hopefully this definitely comes out in September! Mr Young has a tendency to change his mind on releases. I think Toast was due to come out finally a few years back only to canned.

Nice to see that this album and Time Fades Away finally coming to CD!


Fantastic! To clarify: this is just Neil Young and his acoustic guitar running through a bunch of new songs in the studio. 1976 wasn’t one of Young’s better years, however, and is remembered mostly for the sub-standard “Long May You Run” album and Young walking out on the tour in one of his huffier moments. He’d just finished releasing that messy and fascinating run of albums that followed “Harvest” and was beginning to coast. The next all-new album “Comes A Time” wouldn’t be released until 1978. In 1976 he recorded much of the unreleased album “Chrome Dreams” and this is presumably mostly tracks from that. It’s not going to contain the best-known Neil Young 1976 solo track “Will To Love” though (it appeared in the compilation “American Stars N Bars” the following year) since that was a home recording. But it will presumably contain the “Chrome Dreams” version of “Pocahontas,” which was overdubbed and released on “Rust Never Sleeps”. Was “Campaigner” on “Decade” also from this session? My suspicion is that most of these songs will be little better than the first side of “American Stars” — that is, a slump in quality — but it’s nice to see it on standalone CD.




Looks great!Any idea of the packaging?
Wonder if this will end up being included in the Archives 2 as well, assuming it ever happens that is!
Also anyone have any idea what is going on with the latest Original Series 8.5 to 12 that is supposed to be out in couple of weeks, preorder is in Amazon but info still pretty vague!

Mic Smith

The OS CD boxes are out on 18 August according to the email I got from Amazon.

I preordered Hitchhiker last night – surely the price will drop though?