Neil Young – Chrome Dreams

Neil Young
Chrome Dreams

Download FLAC: Google Drive

Tracklist for Rust Edition:
01. Pocahontas
02. Will To Love
03. Star Of Bethlehem
04. Like A Hurricane
05. Too Far Gone
06. Hold Back The Tears
07. Homegrown
08. Captain Kennedy
09. Stringman
10. Sedan Delivery
11. Powderfinger
12. Look Out For My Love
Bonus Tracks:
13. River Of Pride (‘White Line’, Unreleased Studio Version, 27 NOV 75)
14. Campaigner (Unedited, Unreleased Studio Version, Summer 1976)
15. No One Seems To Know (Live, Tokyo, Japan, 10 Mar 76)
16. Give Me Strength (Live, Chicago, IL, 15 Nov 76)
17. Peace Of Mind (Live, Chicago, IL, 15 Nov 76)
18. Human Highway (CSNY, Unreleased Studio Version, April 76)

Setlist for Black Label Edition:

1. Powderfinger
2. Captain Kennedy
3. Pocahontas
4. Will To Love
5. Sedan Delivery
6. River Of Pride
7. Too Far Gone
8. Star Of Bethlehem
9. Like A Hurricane
11. Look Out For My Love
12. Hold Back The Tears
13. Homefires
14. Ride My Llama
15. Peace Of Mind
16. Stringman

Source 1:

(Rust Edition)
Source/Lineage: Remastered from the best available sources of each track.
No other version of Chrome Dreams can compare to this.
SHN > foobar2000 1.1.2 (convered and bitverified identical) > FLAC

Artwork by Paleojack.

Not For Sale
Share The Music!

Source 2:

‘Chrome Dreams’ (black label)
disk says ‘made in Italy’

lineage: silver disk > eac > flacs > upload
comments: got this at a ‘record convention’ a few years back. scans included. enjoy!
i’m not up on the skinny on this.
found this info at ericscdrtradesite and the setlist artwork matches for the black label version.

Notes: Source: Studio/Live. Tracks 9 & 14: Live, Nov 1976. Track 12: Live, 1982. Track 13: Live at the Boarding House, San Francisco, May 1978.
This album never made it to release. Many tracks were released on other albums, some were not. This album features the black “Blowjob” cover.

Notes from Rust Edition:
Neil Young was on a creative high in 1975. By the end of the Summer,
“Zuma” was finished, though still not released, yet Neil carried on
recording his new songs. Sometimes he recorded solo and sometimes with
Crazy Horse. Lots of these songs would remain unheard by the public until
quite a while later, but by late ’75 Neil had already written and recorded
versions of such future classics as Like a Hurricane, Powderfinger, Sedan
Delivery, Pocahontas and Ride My Llama.

He carried on recording in 1976. More great songs were put down on tape,
such as Will To Love, Stringman and Campaigner. Some of us may feel that
the “Long May You Run” album with Stephen Stills robbed us of the natural
successor to “Zuma”, but Stills always suspected that Neil was holding
back his best stuff for his solo album. That solo album was a work in
progress throughout this period. Titles were reported in the press. “Ride
My Llama”. “In My Neighborhood”. “American Stars ‘n Bars”. “Chrome

When “American Stars ‘n Bars” was released in 1977, Neil had scrapped most
of the material he’d been recording since late ’75, replacing much of it
with a series of rough hewn cowboy songs. Fun stuff to be sure, but had
Neil committed the latest in a series of difficult to explain career
suicides? Who else, except maybe Bob Dylan, would sit on a stash of such
quality songs and not let the public hear them?

Tracks 1 to 12 of this compilation are thought to be the unreleased
“Chrome Dreams” album, readied for release weeks before Neil recorded
those country hoedowns and rethought his strategy. Some of these song
titles will be more than familiar to you, but actual the performances may
surprise you. Powderfinger is performed as an unadorned solo acoustic
song; Sedan Delivery, a second song destined for ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ is
presented in its pre-punked up arrangement and in many people’s opinion
sounds all the better for that; you’ll also find the definitive Stringman,
a song not given an official airing until Neil’s ‘Unplugged’ set, heard
here in a 1976 live performance enhanced by subtle yet beautiful studio
vocal and guitar overdubs; Hold Back the Tears is another solo
performance, longer and more ghostly than its later remake for “American
Stars ‘n Bars”; Pocahontas is the same performance as the one that made
“Rust Never Sleeps”, but in its original ‘naked’ mix; Too Far Gone
wouldn’t be officially released until the “Freedom” album in 1989, yet
here’s a version from 14 years earlier with Poncho Sampedro adding a tasty
mandolin part.

The other six songs from the album were released unchanged on the albums
“American Stars ‘n Bars”, “Comes a Time” and “Hawks and Doves”, yet you
may still be able to pick out slight differences in the mixes. Homegrown,
for one, would seem to have a little more fire in the guitars. Have a
listen and see what you think.

We’ve chosen a select batch of bonus cuts to give you a further taste of
just how creative Neil was during this fertile period. If the version of
White Line (here retitled River of Pride, maybe because Neil forgot to
sing the actual “white line” lyric) didn’t make the “Chrome Dreams”
shortlist, then its continued circulation amongst collectors is something
of a mystery. Maybe it was pressed onto acetate as a possible contender
for “Decade”, which Neil was also preparing at this time. Whatever the
truth, it’s a stupendous version of the song, recorded in 1975 with a
loose and joyful Crazy Horse. Neil’s remake for “Ragged Glory” in 1990
may have been fine, but it doesn’t quite capture the spirit of this
earlier version. Campaigner did make “Decade”, but not before losing one
of its verses. You can hear the full length version here.

Three live cuts follow: No One Seems to Know is an aching piano ballad
that Neil once described as part 2 of A Man Needs a Maid, it’s first class
but remains unreleased; Give me Strength dates from an earlier ill-fated
album called ‘Homegrown’ (an album that would have also featured Star of
Bethlehem, the oldest cut in this collection) and is another lost classic;
Peace of Mind is heard as an electric rock song played with the Horse and
very different from the version Neil released on “Comes a Time”.

And as a nod to “Zuma”, we close with Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Human
Highway was recorded during the Stills-Young Band sessions in 1976. The
song was always meant to be a CSNY track, but Neil had run out of patience
by the “Comes a Time” LP. Now you can have a glimpse of what might have

Which, come to think of it, is also true of the whole collection.

Jules Gray, 20 May 2004

For more info on Chrome Dreams see



Notes from Black Label:

For those who aren’t aware of the album’s history, let me place it into context: In October of 1976, Neil was set to release the three-lp best-of Decade. At the last minute, however, he changed his mind and instead requested his record company, Reprise, to shelve the project for one year. He had plans for a new album, he said, that would be ready for a November release. He even proffered the title: Chrome Dreams.

November came and went, of course, and no new Neil product was in sight. Fast forward to March of 1977: acetates of the proposed album are pressed, with the track listing as follows: Side one: a solo acoustic “Pocahontas,” “Will to Love,” “Star of Bethlehem,” “Like a Hurricane,” “Too Far Gone” Side two: a solo acoustic “Hold Back the Tears,” “Homegrown,” “Captain Kennedy,” “Stringman,” a less frenetic “Sedan Delivery,” a solo acoustic “Powderfinger,” “Look Out for My Love.” Jump ahead to June, when American Stars ‘n’ Bars is released: five of the songs planned for Chrome Dreams make the cut. The rest? They’d surface in the years to come, some with nary a change in arrangement and others. . . refashioned for the times. The questions surrounding this album, then, are what has kept it firmly entrenched in the Neil pantheon as a “mythical” album. What if Neil had released it in instead of American Stars ‘n’ Bars? While ASnB is good–let’s face it, it doesn’t rank in the same league with this lost treasure. And what would have become of Rust Never Sleeps, which shares three tracks? And why, exactly, did Neil shelve this masterpiece? Of course, any answers are pure conjecture–which is half the fun. In short, this is a fine–nay, great–bootleg. Performances are topnotch throughout, especially the acoustic “red men run son” version of “Powderfinger” and … all of the other songs.

In late 1976, Neil Young was putting the final touches on his personally-sequenced career retrospective 3LP set, “Decade”. Scheduled for release in early November, test pressings were sent to reviewers and covers (for displays) were sent to stores. As November and then December came and went, Neil fans and retailers were left wonderin’ what had become of the well- publicized “best of” package. The “Decade” displays came down and Christmas displays went up. Six months later, Neil finally did release a new record, but it would be a single disc titled “American stars ‘n bars”, rather than the 3LP “Decade”. Unlike “Homegrown”, very little is known about the fabled “Chrome Dreams” LP (later known as “Ride My Llama”). An article published in the September 9, 1976 Rolling Stone mentions a ten-date tour with Crazy Horse “…scheduled for November, just about when he’ll release his next LP, planned as “Chrome Dreams”.Johnny Rogan mentions the album in his book as an early version of “American stars ‘n bars” that Photos of the labels “proved” that the acetate did in fact exist, and we all assumed that it was now just a matter of time before a bootleg appeared.

Sure enough, a year later the bootleg CD turned up, and some months later I actually acquired the acetate itself. It’s a bit noisier than the CD, but it sure sounds better. The album starts off with an “alternate” version of “Pocahontas” This solo acoustic version is in fact the same take that appears on the “Rust Never Sleeps” LP (July 1979), but without the overdubs. “Will To Love” (“American stars ‘n bars”), “Star Of Bethlehem” (“Decade” – October 1977) and “Like A Hurricane” (“American stars ‘n bars”) follow.The closing track on side one is an unreleased studio version of “Too Far Gone”. Although the lyrics and tempo are very similar to the 1989 “Freedom” take (it even times out within :07 of the released version), this sparse recording comes across hung-over and heart-felt; and it’s just plain better. Side two opens with an alternate version of “Hold Back The Tears”, which was apparently recorded about the same time as “Too Far Gone”. Unlike the version on “American stars ‘n bars”, this take is considerably slower, and definitely more intense. “Homegrown” follows, and although this is the same take as the “stars ‘n bars” version, the mix is noticeably different. The guitars are “pushed way up front” and have a much grittier sound.

“Captain Kennedy” (“Hawks & Doves” – October 1980) is next, with the live 3/31/76 Hammersmith Odeon version of “Sringman” next. Often bootlegged but but just another famous unreleased song until 1993’s 2. There’s been a lot of confusion about the “Chrome Dreams” acetate since this article was originally published in Broken Arrow (February 1993). A bootleg CD was released some months later containing all of the recordings discussed above plus three live Neil Young & The Ducks performances. Very nice booklet with “star ‘n bars” inner sleeve-style design & photo. Although a review eluded to the unlisted 8/22/77 Ducks’ tracks, there’s no mention of them anywhere in the packaging. Here’s where the confusion began. Soon after, another bootleg CD called “CHROME DREAMS” turned up, containing most of the same songs (but not the same recordings) plus a few additional recordings (most-notably the previously-unissued studio version of “White Line” and a live version of “Ride My Llama” –which was actually yet another working title for the “American stars ‘n bars” album).

This CD booklet front cover shows a circa-1978 B&W (& silver) photo of Neil. It’s really that simple. However, numerous reviewers have gotten the two CDs mixed up countless times, superimposing live versions where (acetate) studio versions are and vice-versa. The Ducks’ tracks aren’t even mentioned in some reviews. To further confuse the issue, supposedly a third bootleg CD has also been issued, adding tracks from the “Times Square” acetate as bonus cuts. I have not seen this one, but I read a review of it in Broken Arrow some time ago. I have actually seen, handled and taped the acetate discussed here, so despite what you might have read elsewhere regarding the recording dates &/or versions of the songs from this acetate, the information here is correct.

One thought on “Neil Young – Chrome Dreams

  1. Neil had recorded an earlier version of the album ‘Old Ways’. His record company rejected it. The released version of ‘Old Ways’ is considered version 2. The early version of ‘Old Ways’ wasn’t bootlegged and from what i have read the tracks are different than the tracks on the released version. Lastly, Neil had recorded tracks for ‘Old Ways 1’ which have never been released.

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