Neil Young recorded his most recent album, A Letter Home, at Jack White's Third Man Records studio in Nashville. Above, watch Neil performing Bert Jansch's "Needle of Death" in Jack's novelty vinyl recording booth.
The lo-fi nature of the recording gives the song a very old feeling. You can hear the noise of the spinning machinery and the needle scratching the record, and there's a warbly fluctuation in the pitch at points in the recording that are reminiscent of some of the really old folk and blues recordings that were made before 1950. Still, there's a warmth and an immediacy that is soulful and touching. The guitar chord progression sounds a bit like "Ambulance Blues" - the closing track from Neil Young's 1974 album On The Beach. Compare Neil's version of the song with Bert's version from his 1965 debut self-titled album, which is quite a bit cleaner:
At the end of the video, as Neil walks out of the booth you can see how emotionally invested he gets in his work. Someone off camera says "that sounded good" and Neil breaths deeply and replies with intensity, "It's a heavy song... very heavy song."
The box set of the A Letter Home album is set to be released on May 27th, and will include:
- 1 standard 12" LP vinyl
- 1 "direct feed from the booth" audiophile 12" LP vinyl
- Seven 6" clear vinyl discs
- 1 standard CD
- 1 standard DVD
- 1 32-page, 12" x 12" book
- Download card to redeem the digital album of the "direct feed from the booth" audiophile version
Source: Neil Young YouTube