Here's a fistful of EPs charting Neil Young's career resurgence in the late '80s through the mid-'90s. Following years of confounding inconsistency during his tenure on the Geffen label, the Japan-only 5-track Eldorado marked Neil's return to the legendary Reprise label for which he'd cut his most enduring early work. Three songs here were later remixed for the ensuing Freedom album, which firmly planted the comeback flag, and two -- "Cocaine Eyes" and "Heavy Love" -- appear nowhere else.
That comeback flag was hoisted again and hurled, javelin-like, into the face of music-biz complacency by Freedom's follow-up and the return of Crazy Horse, Ragged Glory. The Mansion on the Hill CD single added a "single version" of that album track and an instrumental charmingly titled "Don't Spook the Horse".
After following Ragged Glory with the live "Arc/Weld" set, and returning to acousticville with Harvest Moon and Unplugged, Neil and Crazy Horse recorded the underrated Sleeps With Angels album in 1994. Part of the promotion of that project included a 4-song live video release called The Complex Sessions; a very limited number of promo EPs of the four tracks were released and I was fortunate to win one in an online contest.
Sleeps With Angels' title track, a Cobain eulogy, was one way in which Neil Young responded to being called the "godfather of grunge"; the other was collaborating with Pearl Jam on the great (and also somewhat underrated) 1995 album Mirror Ball. Two additional tracks cut during those sessions, but with Eddie Vedder rather than Neil on lead vocals, were released as the Merkinball EP. "The Long Road" is a different version than the one Vedder cut with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack around the same time.
Here they all are on The Rare Stuff, as one 13-song file, encoded at 320 for your aural pleasure. Enjoy -- and please leave comments, I'm getting lonely here!