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The Year in Rock 2022: Neil Young takes on Spotify

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Gary Miller/Getty Images

Neil Young is certainly known for standing up for what he believes in, and he did that in a big way this year, taking on Spotify.

It all started in January when Neil, upset about the COVID misinformation he believed was being spread on Spotify thanks to Joe Rogan’s podcast, demanded his music be removed from the streaming platform. Spotify did comply, but Neil wasn’t the only artist it was about to lose over the matter.

Not long after his declaration, in solidarity with Neil, Joni Mitchell and E Street Band/Crazy Horse member Nils Lofgren stood by him, demanding their music be removed from the service for the same reasons.

Then in February, Neil’s Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate Graham Nash backed him up by removing his catalog from Spotify. Not long after, David Crosby and Stephen Stills demanded their solo work, plus any Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby-Nash music be removed. 

But the battle with Spotify wasn’t the only thing Neil had going on this year. He also released a new Crazy Horse album, World Record, as well as the album Toast, which he recorded with them in 2001 but had not released. He also released a 50th anniversary deluxe reissue of his fourth album, Harvest, along with a companion documentary, Neil Young: Harvest Time, chronicling the making of the record. Neil also released the live album and concert film Noise & Flowers, which was recorded during his nine-date 2019 European tour with Promise of the Real.

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