Neil Young Talks Recording with ’40s Technology, Says Archives II Is on the Way

Neil Young Talks Recording with ’40s Technology, Says Archives II Is on the Way

Danny ClinchRecording an album in a 1947 Voice-o-Graph recording booth probably seemed like a romantic idea to Neil Young, who famously is a fan of vintage recording technology.  But it did present challenges.

Young’s upcoming album, A Letter Home, was recorded in the Voice-o-Graph booth at Jack White‘s Third Man Records in Nashville.  Besides having to play a smaller guitar than he normally does — so that singer and guitar could both fit into the booth — Young tells Rolling Stone he had to deal with other challenges.  “We had to do the songs in pieces,” he says. “You can only record for 140 seconds. If the song is longer than that, it’s gonna have cuts in it.”

And how did Young mange to record a duet with the former White Stripes leader playing piano with the Voice-o-Graph? “We put the piano right up against the booth and left the door open. Jack was playing it, singing over the piano, past me,” Young says.

Besides having a new album, and a second memoir in the works, Young also reveals that his long awaited Archives: Volume II collection — which will include historical material from unissued albums Chrome Dreams and Homegrown and an alternate version of Time Fades Away — is almost finished. “It’ll be finished this summer,” he says. “All of the music will be done. It goes just past  Rust Never Sleeps. It’s full of albums that weren’t there before – stuff I did that I never put out.”

The CD, downloadable and deluxe box set editions of A Letter Home are due May 27.

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