Neil Young knew he wanted to make a purely solo album — just himself and a guitar — when he recruited Daniel Lanois to produce the upcoming “Le Noise.” That it finds him primarily playing electric guitar, however, came as a surprise.
“It evolved from being solo acoustic into being solo electric,” Young tells Billboard.com. The singer-songwriter says that after a few acoustic songs were initially recorded, he pulled out “The Hitchhiker,” an autobiographical song Young first wrote around 1975, and began working it up for “Le Noise.” “Then I thought to myself, ‘This is definitely going to be better electric than acoustic,” Young recalls. “So we tried it and it sounded really interesting and really good and strong…So I went home and got my white [Gretsch] Falcon out…and I wrote a sound or two like that and then brought them in and that kind of opened the door for us.” Neil Young Announces New Album, ‘Le Noise’ Lanois adds that the transition to electric “was not a deliberate move or anything. Neil was able to go off and write some additional songs, and I think there was
(click to continue reading Neil Young Goes Electric for ‘Le Noise’ | Billboard.com.)
Plus there is supposedly an iPad app or something
“Le Noise” will also be released as an App that Young says “is based on my ‘Archives’ Blu-ray set” with a variety of interactive extras including original lyric manuscripts, photos, a career timeline and possibly alternate or live takes of the songs, the latter of which come from preview performances while he was on tour earlier this year. “What it does is bring you back to the album cover experience we used to get when the album cover was something tangible and big enough to actually read and see,” Young explains. “(The App) creates a version of it for the iPad or for a computer or a smart phone.”
Amazon blurb Le Noise:
This eight-song album is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and producer Daniel Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others. As producer or co-producer Lanois won Grammy Awards in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, and 2001.
Young and Lanois have crossed paths musically over the course of many years, including Lanois’ performances at Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert and Young’s performance at Farm Aid when Lanois was Willie Nelson’s music director, but this is the first time the two have recorded together. Recorded in Lanois’ home in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, ‘Le Noise’ features Young on acoustic and electric guitars with Lanois adding his trademark sonic textures, creating one of the most sonically arresting albums Young has ever recorded. No band, no overdubs, just ‘a man on a stool and me doing a nice job on the recording,’ as Lanois puts it.
‘Neil was so appreciative of the sonics that we presented to him,’ Lanois says. ‘He walked in the door and I put an acoustic guitar into his hands – one that I had been working on to build a new sound. That’s the multi-layered acoustic sound that you hear on the songs ‘Love and War’ and ‘Peaceful Valley Boulevard.’ I wanted him to understand that I’ve spent years dedicated to the sonics in my home and that I wanted to give him something he’d never heard before. He picked up that instrument, which had everything – an acoustic sound, electronica, bass sounds – and he knew as soon as he played it that we had taken the acoustic guitar to a new level. It’s hard to come up with a new sound at the back end of 50 years of rock and roll, but I think we did it.’