OnlineRock Blog

24 September 2010

The Making of Le Noise: the new album from Neil Young

Neil Young is releasing brand-new solo album, Le Noise, Sept 28th on Reprise Records. The eight-song album is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician/songwriter/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.

Young and Lanois have crossed paths musically over the course of many years (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.”

Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, digital download, and as a deluxe CD/DVD. The DVD portion, shot by cinematographer Adam Vollick, will feature eight black and white films of Young performing each song solo on acoustic and electric guitar at Lanois' home.

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