Young revealed his plans to drop ‘Toast’ – named for the San Francisco studio in which it was minted – in a post shared to his blog, the Neil Young Archives, on Thursday (May 26). Though that post has since been deleted, ‘Toast’ is locked in for release on July 8 via Reprise. CD and vinyl pre-orders are available from Young’s webstore, The Greedy Hand, with a sell describing the record as “heavy and distressed, brimming with electrifying tension”.
The news came alongside a track from the record titled ‘Standing In The Light Of Love’ – a rough and raw, barn-stomping rock’n’roll tune. When he opened up about the material on ‘Toast’ last May, Young described the song as “sort of like a Deep Purple hit”.
Have a listen to it below:
According to Young, ‘Toast’ is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”. He cited the record’s melancholic tone as a reason why it never left the studio, explaining in last May’s aforementioned blog post: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”
He went on to say that the record was “about a relationship”, chronicling a particularly bleak point in its dissolution. He continued: “There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the break up, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it’s over. This was that time.
“The sound is murky and dark, but not in a bad way. Fat. From the first note, you can feel the sadness that permeates the recording… These songs paint a landscape where time doesn’t matter – because everything is going south. A lady is lost in her car. The dark city surrounds her – past present and future. It’s a scary place. You be the judge.
“Then the scene changes to a religious guy who just lost his job. He’s turning on Jesus. He can’t cut any more trees. He’s a logger.”
Young admitted that in the years following the ‘Toast’ sessions, he “had forgotten about these songs, put them out of [his] mind and went on living [his] life”, but now looks back on the record fondly. “It must be said that here Crazy Horse shows a depth never seen or heard before,” he boasted. “The greatest group I have ever met. This is a pinnacle.”
Have a look at the cover art and tracklisting for ‘Toast’ below:
2. ‘Standing In The Light Of Love’
3. ‘Goin’ Home’
5. ‘Gateway Of Love’
6. ‘How Ya Doin’?’
7. ‘Boom Boom Boom’
The release of ‘Toast’ comes amid Young’s ongoing series of archival reissues. In April, he released the ‘Official Release Series Volume 4’ box set, comprising three classic albums from the 1980s – one of his own, and two collaborative efforts – as well as a rare EP that was only ever sold in Australia and Japan.
His most recent album was another effort with Crazy Horse, ‘Barn’, which landed last December. NME gave it a four-star review, with Rhys Buchanan writing: “Raw and rugged at every turn, the album captures the telepathic bond that these rock’n’roll renegades have cultivated over the years.”