Recently, Canadian troubadour and cranky old man — who was once a lot like we are — Neil Young made it known he was no longer going to make his music available via streaming music sites like Spotify because he is not impressed with the quality of the sound. And he is a man of his word, because he has pulled just about every album of his from Spotify — every album except for the weird albums he recorded in the 80s when he signed to Geffen Records and was ultimately sued for by the label for making music that was “unrepresentative” of Neil Young.
Those albums — “Trans,” “Everybody’s Rockin’,” “Old Ways,” “Life” and the hits package of those albums “Lucky 13” — are mostly misses in Young’s catalog to many fans, though there are some pretty decent tracks to be found. This was a turbulent era for Young anyway — he and his wife were participating in a controversial therapy program for their son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy, of which inspired much of the electronic vibe of “Trans.” He would pretty much spend the rest of the decade butting heads with Geffen Records and releasing albums that the label seemingly hated. Sometimes it felt like he was doing it on purpose.
The albums were not big sellers. In fact, Young would release “Freedom” after he left Geffen — an album that picks up musically pretty much where “Rust Never Sleeps” left off at the end of the 70s — a huge hit of an album which almost felt like Young was giving the middle finger right at Geffen.
Since Geffen probably still holds the publishing rights to those albums, that’s probably why they are still available — unless this is Young messing with his fans, which would not be totally surprising.