Neil Young - S/T (1969) Restored 1st Version
24bit/96kHz (High Resolution Audio)
01. The Emperor of Wyoming
02. The Loner
03. If I Could Have Her Tonight
04. I've Been Waiting for You
05. The Old Laughing Lady
06. String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill
07. Here We Are in the Years
08. What Did You Do to My Life?
09. I've Loved Her So Long
10. The Last Trip to Tulsa
11. Cinnamon Girl (45rpm mono mix)
All mixes did appear officially on CD With the exception of Tr. 03, 07, 08 & 11.
- Technics 1210mk2
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm (w/ JAC 501 cable)
- Audio Technica AT33PTG MC
- Pro-Ject Tube Box SE-2
- Yamaha CA-1010
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface
- Audition 3.0 used for editing, (incl. manual removal of clicks and pops) & adding gain.
- Click Repair 3.9.1 used with setting Cl: 15, Cr: 0
Transfer & Restoration by Prof. Stoned (2016)
Artwork recycled from 2009 version.
The album was recorded in the period from mid-August to late October 1968 at the TTG studio in Los
Angeles, CA, which was one of the first studio's to have a 16-track facility. The original USA stock
version was released on January 22, 1969. Initial sales of the album were modest; it's estimated that
less than 10,000 Reprise 7-Arts label copies sold in 1969.
Like more albums from this era, Young's debut fell victim to a new technology: the Haeco-CSG "Compatible
Mono/Stereo" Process. The idea behind HAECO-CSG was to create stereo records which when played on monaural
equipment would "fold-down" properly to mono. This was achieved by flipping the phase of the right channel
with 90 degrees, which leads to a less defined stereo image. The CSG decoding was usually applied during
the mixdown stage, ensuring it would appear on every future release of said album.* To add further insult
to injury, the union cutting engineers at Reprise rolled-off the high frequencies when cutting the master
lacquers to prevent the needle from skipping on the cheap phonographs of the day.
Young was unhappy with the sound of the record and requested a re-mastering. The remixed/remastering was
done in the summer of 1969, as announced in Rolling Stone #47, from December 13, 1969. "The first mix was
awful," Young was reported as saying in Cash Box of September 6, 1969. "I was trying to bury my voice,
because I didn't like the way it sounded." But apparently, his dissatisfaction lay mostly with
"Here We Are In The Years", "What Did You Do To My Life" & "If I Could Have Her Tonight" because only
those three tracks received a new mix.^
When released in October 1969, the new version seemed like an improvement; it does not sound as dull and
with the CSG reversed, it has a more stable stereo image. It came with a slightly different sleeve
which had "Neil Young" above the painting in black capital letters.� Arguably, the three remixes are no
improvement over the originals, especially the redone "Here We Are In The Years" suffers from its
botched-up ending. The overall sound was beefed up with further EQ'ing, with mixed results.
The revisited version has since become the standard version and has been used on nearly all reissues.
Quite what the whereabouts are of the original tape is unknown, but reportedly it has gone missing in
action. Different alternative mixes of Tr. 7 & 8 were used on the Archives box and considering Young's
extremely high audiophile standard, it would seem plausible his team would have revisited the original
album master for the current remaster.
There was to be only one re-release of the original version after its withdrawal. Kinney National
acquired Warner Bros Records in 1969, but control of the many labels worldwide was delayed due to
previous distribution deals. When Kinney Ltd. U.K. finally began repressing catalog LPs in 1971, they
used whatever original metal parts they could find in the archives. And so the reissue of Young's first
album contained the original mix. It stayed in print until Neil toured the UK with Crazy Horse in 1976
(he found one in a record shop).
I have used an original British pressing for this new release. The Brit cutting does have the CSG and
runs slightly off-speed but it does not have the aforementioned high-end roll-off present on the USA
version and is therefore a much better source. I have corrected the speed and decoded the HAECO-CSG
process. I feel the stereo image is better balanced than on my earlier effort and I consider the overall
result superior to the excellent official 2014 PONO remaster (save for two or three songs). But you be
the final judge.
As an extra, I have included the rare mono mix of Cinnamon Girl. It was released as a single in April
1970, eleven months after "Everybody knows this is nowhere" was released. It has been mistaken for
being an entirely different recording from the LP version. It's not, but it was mixed quite differently
(supposedly at the record company's insistence) with Danny Whitten's vocals quite upfront.
Some of the information contained in this article comes from extensive research by Jef Michael Piehler
who ran the now-defunct Neil Young discography website "sidestreetrecords.com". Why on earth did no one
think to save those pages for posterity on webarchive? :(
(*) for example: Cream's Wheels of Fire (1968) & S�rgio Mendes' Fool on the Hill (1968)
(^) Contrary to popular belief, "I've Been Waiting For You" was not remixed.
(�) Chances are that if you have a copy with the original sleeve, it may actually contain the standard
version. You can check by looking for the RE-1 inscription in the deadwax area.