Guitar Aficionado

WATCH: Neil Young performs “Needle of Death”; ‘A Letter Home’ Deluxe Set Coming in May

The Jack White-recorded LP will be reissued as a CD, digital album and as a limited-edition set.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

Neil Young’s most recent album release will get the “deluxe box set” treatment in May.

A Letter Home, a collection of cover songs, will be issued as a CD, digital album and as a limited-edition set on Reprise Records on May 27. The box set is an expanded version of the vinyl edition of the album released earlier this month on Record Store Day by Jack White’s Third Man Records.

Here’s a video of Young performing the album track “Needle of Death.”

Young recorded the collection with 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.

Young describes the album as “an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology that captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever.”

For the album, Young chose songs that have personal meaning for him, such as British folk artist Bert Jansch's "Needle of Death" (which inspired Young to write 1972's "Needle and the Damage Done"), Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country," Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Don Everly's "I Wonder If I Care as Much," Bruce Springsteen's "My Home Town," and many others.

Reprise will release the complete box set, which includes a special "direct feed from the booth" audiophile vinyl version and a DVD that captured the original electro-mechanical process, along with comments from the producers and recording engineers. The set includes:

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• Standard audio LP pressed on 180-gram black vinyl
• Audiophile LP pressed on 180-gram black vinyl
• Standard audio CD
• DVD with footage from the recording
• 12" x 12", 32-page full color booklet
• A download card for the hi-res audiophile version of the album.
• Seven six-inch vinyl discs pressed on clear vinyl. The seventh disc of this set features a version of Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" backed with an alternate take of "Crazy."

Click here to pre-order A Letter Home.