Neil Young’s New Film ‘Harvest Time’ Will Document the Making of His Signature Album

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Neil Young released his album Harvest in February of 1972. While it got mixed reactions at the time, the record has gone on to become essential listening for Neil’s fanbase and anyone looking to dig into the catalog of the Canadian-American folk-rock icon.

 After Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young split in 1970, Young put together a band he dubbed The Stray Gators to record a country-rock album. Harvest featured guest vocals from his former bandmates as well as Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. Additionally, the London Symphony Orchestra played on “A Man Needs a Maid” and “There’s a World.” However, it was the standout hit “Heart of Gold” that elevated Young to a new level of fame.

This year, Young is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Harvest with a box set as well as a new documentary. Neil Young: Harvest Time hits theaters around the world on December 1st. Select cities will see encore showings of the film on December 4th. You can watch the trailer below.

Neil Young: Harvest Time

The Music Universe reports that Neil Young shot the footage for this film between January and September of 1971. The film will take viewers to Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch in California and to Nashville where he worked on the record. It will also feature interviews with Neil and members of The Stray Gators. Additionally, viewers will get to see Young perform with the London Symphony Orchestra. Overall, the combination of rehearsal and performance footage will create a window into the making of one of the iconic album

In the trailer, we can see some of the footage that made it into the film. It shows glimpses of the London Symphony Orchestra performance as well as plenty of shots of Neil Young and the band behind the scenes. Additionally, we learn that Young planned to release the film he just didn’t know when.

“We’re just making a film about, uh, I don’t know, just the things that we want to film. There’s not really a big plan about it…it just keeps changing,” Neil Young says in an off-screen interview as clips from the movie play. When the interviewer asks Neil if the film will be in theaters he said it would. “Yeah. I hope so. Maybe pretty soon,” he said.

Neil Young was a little off with that prediction. That footage has been waiting for more than five decades to hit big screens. Now, we’re less than a month away from being able to relive the journey that Young took while creating Harvest.

On December 2nd the Harvest 50th Anniversary Edition Box Set hits record store shelves around the world. It will contain the original album, studio outtakes, an unreleased live solo performance for BBC, and more.