Neil Young - Hitchhiker
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2017 Ratings: #67 / 668
User Score
Based on 42 ratings
2017 Ratings: #183
Your Review



Delivered off the cuff, with song after song flowing effortlessly, Hitchhiker could never be mistaken for careful and meticulous finished pieces of work, which is probably what makes them so appealing to listen to.

Rolling Stone

It's a journey through the past, but far darker.


Recorded over one night in 1976, Hitchhiker is an acoustic snapshot of Neil Young’s creative process, captured at a time when he was crafting music strong enough to last his whole career.

A.V. Club

For fans of Neil Young in the ’70s—his pretty undeniable peak—this one is fantastic. Beyond that, it could easily serve as an introduction to a generation that hasn’t heard his music.

Consequence of Sound

What makes Hitchhiker such a vital work within the Young catalog is its spontaneity, sharp vision, and spellbindingly sharp writing.

Under The Radar

Hitchhiker is the rare archival release that can appeal to both rabid superfans and casual listeners.

American Songwriter

Whether these recordings were meant to be an album that never materialized (until now), or well-recorded demos (more likely), it’s still revelatory to hear Young unspool these gems in the intimate confines of this studio session.


Hitchhiker holds together as a mood piece, an album where Young slowly reckons with a new dawn after surviving a hectic mid-'70s.


It's fascinating to hear these songs sequenced together, as the album takes on a bit of a new narrative that shows 1976-era Young as a man out on his own, fearing the unknown while dealing with the harsh realities of life.

The Line of Best Fit

It’s this ability to take the familiar and present it in dramatically different forms, with the potential for rediscovery that this allows, which makes Hitchhiker – faults and all – a must-hear for Neil Young fans.

The Independent

The two previously unreleased tracks are “Give Me Strength”, a moving reflection on despair and petrification, and “Hawaii”, where Young’s keening delivery of the title evokes the character’s yearning to return: but ending almost before it’s begun, it seems only half a song.

Drowned in Sound

Hitchhiker is a powerful document.


“Hitchhiker” adds very little to Young's back catalogue, which is bristling with incredible, surprising and occasionally baffling work.

Sep 8, 2017
Pocahontas - 10/10
Powderfinger - 10/10
Captain Kennedy - 9/10
Hawaii - 6/10
Give Me Strength - 8/10
Ride My Llama - 10/10
Hitchhiker - 10/10
Campaigner - 8/10
Human Highway - 8/10
The Old Country Waltz - 10/10

Overall Rating: 89 out of 100 = 89%

Overall Opinion: Those studio execs were higher than Neil for not releasing this as a stand alone album. However, would it be as special if it was released back then? You decide.
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Added on: July 11, 2017