Neil Young announces his reluctant return to Spotify

By Sarah Baines on March 14, 2024
Neil Young
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After making the decision over two years ago to remove his music from Spotify, Neil Young announced his discography’s return to the streaming giant with a tongue-and-cheek post on his website Wednesday. The singer-songwriter originally removed his work in protest of Joe Rogan’s top-charting podcast, which Young claimed was spreading misinformation surrounding COVID vaccines.

The statement on Young’s site has since been taken down.

At the time the decision was made, in January 2022, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was exclusive to Spotify, which is no longer the case as of February 2024. 

The change spurred Young’s decision, as the 78-year-old noted that both Amazon and Apple are “serving the same disinformation podcast features” as Spotify, and that he is not willing to leave other streaming platforms as well, because his music “would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all.” 

Rogan doesn’t appear to be the only gripe the “After the Gold Rush” singer has with Spotify.

“​​Spotify, the #1 streamer of low res music in the world – Spotify, where you get less quality than we made, will now be home of my music again,” Young posted. He further urged the platform to commit to improving its sound quality.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s catalogue, including classic hits such as “Harvest Moon”, “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold”, has not yet returned to the streaming giant. Spotify has not announced when the music will make its reappearance.

His departure, which reportedly cost him about $16,000 in royalties each month, created a domino effect, as musicians Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young joined him and removed their music shortly thereafter. Mitchell and Lofgren’s boycott stands, while Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young returned their work to the platform in July 2022.

In lieu of his solo work’s absence, Young could still be heard with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Crazy Horse.

Young released his latest album, “Before and After”, in December 2023, and announced a new Crazy Horse album in February, “Fu##in’ Up”, which will be released in April.

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