Journey Through the Past is a soundtrack album from the film of the same name by Neil Young, released in November of 1972 on Reprise Records, catalogue 6480. It peaked at #45 on the Billboard 200. Its initial release was on vinyl, cassette tape, reel-to-reel tape, and 8-track tape cartridge; there has never been an official CD reissue of the album.
Journey features music derived mainly from four sources: television broadcasts with Buffalo Springfield; live recordings with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; rehearsal outtakes from the Harvest sessions with The Stray Gators; and recordings by The Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation Orchestra and Chorus. It functions in part as a retrospective of Young's work, the first of his career.
Side one, tracks one and two are performed by Buffalo Springfield. The medley on track one are studio recordings, including a rare alternative version of "Mr. Soul", mimed to by the group for the television program The Hollywood Palace on January 20, 1967. The second selection derives from the group's appearance in 1967 on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The Harvest album outtakes on side two, tracks two and four, and side three derive from sessions on September 26 and 27, 1971 at Young's ranch inLa Honda, California. Interspersed are conversations with Young, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills from the vocal overdub sessions done later in New York.
Side four, tracks two and three, respectively an excerpt from Messiah by George Frederic Handel and the musical theme composed by Miklós Rózsafor the film King of Kings, are performed by the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation Orchestra and Chorus, recorded on February 10, 1972.
The album contains only one new song by Young, "Soldier", recorded in a sawmill to the accompaniment of a roaring fire from a sawdust burner. It would later reappear in edited form on Young's Decade compilation. The record closes on side four with a track from the 1966 classic album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, the instrumental "Let's Go Away for Awhile".
All songs written by Neil Young except as indicated.
- "For What It's Worth/Mr. Soul" (Stephen Stills/Young) – 3:54
- "Rock & Roll Woman" (Stills) – 2:53
- Stills - electric guitar, vocal; Young - electric guitar, vocal; Furay - electric guitar, vocal; Palmer - bass; Martin - drums
- "Find the Cost of Freedom" (Stills) – 1:59
- "Ohio" – 4:23
- Young - electric guitar, vocal; Stills - electric guitar, vocal; Crosby - electric guitar, vocal; Nash - vocal; Calvin Samuels - bass; Johnny Barbata - drums
- "Southern Man" – 6:47
- Young - electric guitar, vocal; Stills - electric guitar, vocal; Crosby - electric guitar, vocal; Nash - electric piano, vocal; Samuels - bass; Barbata - drums
- "Are You Ready for the Country?" – 1:52
- "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" (Leo Friedman/Beth Slater Whitson) – 1:05
- unknown announcer and female chorus
- "Alabama" – 6:23
- Young - electric guitar, vocal; Keith - pedal steel guitar; Nitzsche - piano; Drummond - bass; Buttrey - drums; Stills, Crosby - backing vocals. Includes studio dialogue as above, a political statement by David Crosby, and an excerpt from Irving Berlin's song "God Bless America" performed by an unnamed choir.
- "Words" – 16:30
- Young - electric guitar, vocal; Keith - pedal steel guitar; Nitzsche - piano; Drummond - bass; Buttrey - drums. Includes studio dialogue as above.
- "Relativity Invitation" (dialogue from the film) – 1:09
- "Handel's Messiah" (George Frideric Handel) – 2:49
- "King of Kings" (Miklós Rózsa) – 5:07
- Tracks 2-3 performed by The Tony & Susan Alamo Christian Foundation Orchestra & Chorus
- "Soldier" – 3:39
- Young - piano, vocal
- "Let's Go Away for Awhile" (Brian Wilson) – 2:08
- Jim Getzoff, Bill Kurasch, Lenny Malarsky, Jim Reisler, Ralph Schaeffer, Sid Sharp, Tibor Zelig - violins; Joe DiFiore, Harry Hyams - violas; Justin DiTullio, Joe Saxon - cellos; Roy Caton- trumpet; Jules Jacob - flute; Steve Douglas, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson, Jay Migliori - saxophones; Al de Lory - piano; Lyle Ritz - double bass; Carol Kaye - bass guitar; Julius Wechter -tympani, vibraphone; Hal Blaine - drums