Neil Young is not pleased with Spotify. A few days ago, it was revealed that in a letter to his management and label, Young wrote, “Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. […] I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Considering that Spotify paid Rogan over $100 million in 2020 to become the exclusive home of his The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, it wasn’t surprising to learn Spotify opted to stick with Rogan and let Young walk, as they revealed in a statement yesterday. Now, it is official: Young has removed most of his music from Spotify, although some key works from his discography remain.
While his solo LPs are gone (everything from 1969’s Neil Young to his 2021 album with Crazy Horse, Barn), some major albums by Young are still available on the platform — most notably the albums he recorded with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. That includes popular songs like Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” which has over 300 million streams on the platform, and CSNY tunes like “Our House,” “Helplessly Hoping, and “Ohio,” all of which have around 100 million streams.
As for Young’s Spotify-accessible solo work, though, it’s few and far between: Spotify’s “This Is Neil Young” playlist includes 52 songs from across Young’s discography, but not a single one of them is playable at the moment and none of his albums are listed on his artist page. Currently, the only Young songs that are playable on Spotify are two live performances from the Neil Young At Live Aid (Live At John F. Kennedy Stadium, 13th July 1985) single, his Shelley (then known as DRAM) collaboration “Campfire,” and various songs from other artists on which Young features, all of which Young and his team presumably had no control over.
So, while the majority of Young’s music is gone, Spotify-using fans aren’t completely up a creek, as Young hasn’t been completely stricken from the platform.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.