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A Letter Home

Neil YoungAudio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)

Price: $7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Vintage Sound Quality
This album was recorded in a refurbished 1947 recording booth at Third Man's Nashville headquarters. Recorded live to track to one-track, mono, the album has an inherent warm, primitive feel of a vintage Folkways recording.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2014 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2014 $7.99  
Vinyl, 2014 $17.99  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. A Letter Home Intro 2:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Changes 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Girl From The North Country 3:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Needle Of Death 4:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Early Morning Rain 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Crazy 2:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Reason To Believe 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. On The Road Again 2:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. If You Could Read My Mind 4:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Since I Met You Baby 2:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. My Hometown 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. I Wonder If I Care As Much 2:31$1.29  Buy MP3 


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Producer Daniel Lanois speaks about the making of "Le Noise"

Biography

Past is prologue, so someone said. But the acoustic prologue to “Driftin’ Back,” the epic (and we mean epic, clocking in as it does at more the 27 gripping minutes) opening song of Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s inspired album Psychedelic Pill, sets the calendar at right now. This is an artist, ever in the moment, fully grounded, firmly rooted, renewing the ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Young Store

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Frequently Bought Together

A Letter Home + Hypnotic Eye + The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
Price for all three: $29.58

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 27, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00JROMHM4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Neil Young recorded a collection of covers with Jack White on a refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph recording booth at Third Man's Nashville headquarters. Imagine a very simple recording studio not much larger than a phone booth and you ll get the idea. He describes the album as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever." Recorded live to track to one-track, mono, the album has an inherent warm, primitive feel of a vintage Folkways recording.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neil sets nostalgic tone. May 5, 2014
Format:Vinyl
I've read a few reviews highlighting the poor, wobbly sound quality of "A Letter Home." I think some are missing the point. With the opening intro spoken word "letter" to his mom, Young sets a very personal tone with this record that creates a true sense of nostalgia (Although, I do find it ironic that Young and White have created this artificially degraded sound at a time Young has been promoting his Ponto device as a higher quality music delivery system). The album sounds as though Neil turned on an old cassette recorder on the porch, punched record and plays a set of remarkable stripped down songs with the sole intention of mailing that tape just for Mom's ears. We, however, get to enjoy the audio letter as well. The sound quality is not an issue but rather an artistic expression meant to take you back in time, perhaps if you are older, to a younger, simpeler time. In fact, The back cover photo seems to suggest that Young recorded the album in Jack White's Third Man's Recording booth in Nashville. It's a photograph shot on film in grainy sepia tone (as the front cover suggests). Pure nostalgia, particularly since the entire album is comprised of covers and as such, each represent a road map in Neil's and quite possibly your time on this planet. As I write this, I am listening to A Letter Home for the first time on a quiet sunny and breezy cinco de mayo. The occasional crackle of my vinyl copy only enhances the peaceful ambience the album already endears ...And I'm enjoying what I'm hearing.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Concept Works on a Curious Level May 20, 2014
By Norm
Format:Vinyl
The scatter-shot song list, a voice and instrument filtered through a 1947 recording booth... and Neil Young following an impulsive concept, how does it add up and where does it lead? I had apprehensions and then listened since I've been tagging along his journey for decades.

There is a sweet melancholy in the way the elements come together on this record. There is a sense of time travel with the scratchy old sound in-which Young 'writes' a letter to his mother talking about the music that was an important shared bond back in the day. He mentions that he and Jack (White) have re-discovered a lot of the old songs.

The concept plays like a lost find being shared through a 1947 sound booth. I find some comfort in the antiquated sound and sentiment of family, community and the past."You know the ghost is me," Neil sings in Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." And I think Neil is the ghost from a wishing well of how our lives would like to have been.
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76 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars his aim is true May 8, 2014
Format:Vinyl
the ambiance and intimacy of this recording give it a warmth and sincerity that are almost totally missing from current music. no, the sound is not "perfect", but that is the point. there is heart in this music, and it will touch yours if you allow it. neil hasn't hit the target this effectively in years. ignore the negative reviews: don't run from this album; run to it.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Call Your Mom, Talk to Daddy, Say Hi to Ben! May 27, 2014
Format:Audio CD
More than a few things resonate here. It might be Neil being Neil...as if I knew him. Full disclosure, though. I've been a big fan since before "Harvest" and count "Time Fades Away", "On the Beach" and "Tonight's the Night" as desert island discs. They were about heart, soul, grief, love, and loss. Listening to his cover of Jansch's "Needle of Death", I immediately heard "Ambulance Blues" from OTB. Sent a few shivers down my spine. Never been a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan, but these covers got to me. Especially "If You Can Read My Mind". Neil obviously adores these songs, and sounds as if he's reminding himself and his mom in his audio love letter just what made them unique. They must have listened to these together when she was alive. They've got heart, soul, love found, love lost and that crazy melancholy baby thing going on....Just wants to make you drop the needle in the groove and listen one more time in spite of the old snap, crackle, and pop.

A lot has already been said about the "vintage" audio and why this has come out right when Neil and his Pono team have just successfully "kickstarted" their new hi-res audio player. Ironic indeed. I got on board with that and can't wait to hear how Crazy Horse sounds in hi-res audio glory when my "signature" player arrives at the end of the year. So I get why some folks will be upset listening to this. For me, putting on the headphones and getting sucked into the "letter home" made me feel like there was no better way to do this, though. I love the sound of vintage vinyl as much as I love hi-res audio. On my records, I know where each pop comes on favorite albums, and it's almost like comfort food.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great record June 25, 2014
Format:Audio CD
I've never written a review on Amazon. I am moved to do so now, though, by the many misleading reviews that have been posted lambasting this release. As my score conveys, I've really enjoyed listening to this disc. Granted, I love Neil Young, but not to the point of blindness; I think I know a dud when I hear one, and I'm willing to admit that he, like most any other musician, is capable of making one. He's not in that habit, though, and this album is no dud; I love it. Here's what you need to know:

Firstly, it's an album of covers, classic songs, mostly from when he was 'young'. Willie Nelson takes two turns, as does Gordon Lightfoot; the Everly Bros are accounted for, and even The Boss gets a nod. Take a look at the track listing. The songs are uniformly strongly written, classic tracks. If you like them, read on; if you don't, this record obviously ain't for you; for the uninitiated, Youtube will help. Not a lemon in the bunch, though.

Secondly, please be aware that the tracks were recorded using what, by 1960s' standards, no less today's (2014), are ancient. There's 0 production value here. By way of comparison, I offer you the sound heard on Robert Johnson's or Willie Johnson's records: reasonably, mostly, kinda-sorta clean, but a bit hazy and fuzzy; totally discernible voice and guitar / piano (mostly guitar, though) accompaniment, but not at all sophisticated, not AT ALL similar to modern recordings. What does that mean? It means Neil and his guitar sound a wee bit distant, and there is a pinch of hiss and pop...but that's all. I don't quite get the perspective of those reviewers who've been awarding the record one star due to its sound; have they never listened to a recording prior to, say, the 1940s?!?! Call it a gimmick, a concept, what have you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Home
Really primitive and sweet like finding your way back home aftee a long time gone. Glad I found this
Published 1 day ago by D. Korosi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great.
Published 2 days ago by Nancy Bisco
1.0 out of 5 stars Greedy Hand Strikes Again!
Once again the 'old master' has churned out a plastic plop of no added value while asking a top price for a 'long player' (around 39 minutes) challenging The Shocking Pinks... Read more
Published 4 days ago by noAddedValue
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect, Thank You!
Published 4 days ago by Ib Roholt Jensen
2.0 out of 5 stars love Neil Young
Did not care for this CD, and I am surprised, love Neil Young ... but not this one!
Published 6 days ago by Don Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD AND OLD!
Yes, I decided to get the box set. It is something unique and THAT recording method...We probably won't find another artist doing something in that nature. Read more
Published 6 days ago by ShanghaiSally02
5.0 out of 5 stars Husband LOVED it!
I can't write an eloquent review chalked full of detail b/c I bought this as a gift and gave it w/out opening the sealed box. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Leslie Jeffers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 8 days ago by ronald philbrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great CD by Neil Young.
Another gold star for Neil Young. If you are a fan of Neil, you will want this CD. I have been a fan since Neil Young has been singing. He has a very unique voice. Read more
Published 9 days ago by William J. Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This one is awesome. Just buy it. Guarantee you'll love it.
Published 10 days ago by slim
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Topic From this Discussion
Concept Album: Neil
If one has to label or explain music or an album or need the acceptance of others that it is good when they are skeptical themselves, then there is a problem.

In the case of A Letter Home, there may be a concept in the idea that NY recorded a "letter" to his deceased mother using JW's... Read More
Jun 2, 2014 by Steve Feldman |  See all 7 posts
High Resolution Files?
High-res files can certainly be useful. A color photo of a black-and-white object is not the same thing as a black-and-white photo of the object. It's been my experience that good reproduction of even compromised sources still sounds better than bad reproduction of those same sources. (Who... Read More
May 31, 2014 by cundare |  See all 3 posts
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