A lot of people don’t realize that Indigo Studios in Malibu was a special place to be on August 11, 1976. That day, Neil Young took to the studio, recorded ten songs on acoustic guitar, and then never released the album, called Hitchhiker. Now, though, Young has dug into the archives and surfaced with the full record, which is set to be released on September 8 via Reprise Records.
The album features a bunch of tracks that went on to appear on later releases: “Hawaii” and “Give Me Strength,” the latter of which Young has performed live before. “Hitchhiker” eventually appeared on Young’s 2010 album Le Noise as a distortion-heavy rock song, but now he’s shared the more stripped-down original version:
“I spent the night there with David and recorded nine solo acoustic songs, completing a tape I called Hitchhiker. It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances. Dean Stockwell, my friend and a great actor who I later worked on Human Highway as a co-director, was with us that night, sitting in the room with me as I laid down all the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer, or coke. Briggs was in the control room, mixing live on his favorite console.”
Check out the Hitchhiker cover art above, and find the tracklist and a 1976 live performance of “Give Me Strength” below.
3. “Captain Kennedy”
5. “Give Me Strength”
6. “Ride My Llama”
9. “Human Highway”
10. “The Old Country Waltz”