If you’ve been reading my pieces for Music Monday for the past year, you have probably noticed that I really love vinyl. Last weekend I was at Sonic Boom in Toronto, scrolling through records with my friend, and was stoked to find a 7-inch Third Man Records released this year for RSD (Record Store Day). During checkout, my friend asked one of the guys about the limited edition box set Neil Young just released with the label. Now, I’m not a Neil Young fan, but when I saw him recently on the Jimmy Fallon Show with Jack White, I was graced with a unique and lovely musical performance. Jack White found an old recording booth from the 1940s that he restored to its functional glory. Young got into the booth with a guitar, shut the door and started singing “Crazy,” originally sung by Willie Nelson. I felt like I was taken back in time. The sound was so sweet and crackly… warm like a cozy fire.
Two days later, we went and picked up the box set excited to get home and open it all up. The box is black with faded edges and has two stripes of brown packing tape across the front holding down an original Polaroid of Neil in the booth. Along the tape in Neil’s handwriting is the album title, A Letter Home, along with his name rendered underneath. Although this copy in particular has a wrinkle in the tape that bumped Neil’s writing, it makes it that much more unique and personal.
Watching upside down as my friend was flipping through the booklet, smelling the ink and paper wafting up as each page turned, the 12-inch was playing next to us and I couldn’t help but think of excited kids on Christmas opening their presents. A Letter Home is an album full of cover songs, all of which have a personal meaning for Young. Along with the 12-inch and 32-page 12″ x 12″ booklet, the boxset includes the standard LP 12” vinyl, 1 “direct feed from the booth” audiophile 12” LP, a CD of the record, a DVD of Neil recording A Letter Home in the restored record booth, seven 6″ clear vinyl records from the booth, and, of course, a digital download of the album.
Being a vinyl lover I couldn’t recommend this box set more. For only $110 (before taxes) this limited edition goldmine of a release is an absolute steal. It’s a mouthful naming off everything that’s included in the set, but that aside, it’s one of the most personal and unique pieces of music I’ve seen in a very long time. Each one is 100% one-of-a-kind and personally signed by Neil Young himself. What more could you possibly want? Young fan or not, A Letter Home is a beautiful record and needs to be in your collection. Head out to your local record store to request an order if they don’t carry it in stock.
Are you a Neil Young fan? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.