Did Neil Young really buy 150,000 copies of his own Comes a Time just so he could destroy them?
Nope–Young bought 200,000 copies. Young, as is his habit, tinkered with Comes a Time until its release, switching around the running order and also repeatedly changing album covers. Then, just before the release, he discovered that he had approved a test pressing of the record made from a damaged master tape–some of the high frequencies were missing. When Young alerted his record company, he discovered that they had already printed 200,000 copies and shipped them around the world. He acknowledged that it was his mistake but insisted on recalling the records–his bill was over $160,000. “I don’t like throwing money around,” he told his father. “But I wasn’t going to have this album circulating around the world in bad quality.” How did Young guarantee that the recalled records wouldn’t leak out? He kept the cases of albums on his ranch–after firing at each box with a rifle.
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)