Zuma marks Neil Young's second release of 1975, coming a mere five months after Tonight's the Night. Named after Zuma Beach in Malibu, California, the album finds Young backed by a new-look Crazy Horse in which the late Danny Whitten is replaced by Frank "Poncho" Sampedro. Standouts include the extended classics "Cortez the Killer" and "Danger Bird," which wonderfully highlight the grand Crazy Horse tradition and the final gem, "Through My Sails," an aborted Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young track from a 1974 recording session in Hawaii. Out of print for decades on domestic LP, this version is analog done right. Mastered from the analog tapes and pressed with the utmost care, Zuma has never sounded better. Per usual with vinyl releases involving Young, the detail, dynamics, warmth, and immediacy transport you into the recording.
Young's famous quote from the liner notes of his 1977 compilation Decade - "Heart of Gold put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch" - led to the three stylized yet less commercial follow-up albums to his 1972 smash Harvest (Time Fades Away, On the Beach and Tonight's the Night) being referred to as 'The Ditch Trilogy' while the more accessible Zuma found the singer/songwriter revitalized and reuniting with Crazy Horse for the first time since Whitten's tragic death in 1972.