Chrome Dreams II was produced by Young and Niko Bolas (aka The Volume Dealers), and features the ensemble of Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, pedal steel guitarist and dobro player Ben Keith (Harvest, Comes A Time, Harvest Moon) and bassist Rick Rosas (Freedom, Living With War, This Note's for You). The Blue Note Horns are on one track, "Ordinary People," and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City on "The Way." Most of the recording was done live with few overdubs at Feelgood's Garage studio near Redwood City, California, with two vintage gas pumps out front and vintage studio gear inside.
According to Young, "It's an album with a form based on some of my original recordings, with a large variety of songs, rather than one specific type of song. Where Living with War and Everybody's Rockin' were albums focused on one subject or style, Chrome Dreams II is more like After the Gold Rush or Freedom, with different types of songs working together to form a feeling. Now that radio formats are not as influential as they once were, it's easier to release an album that crosses all formats with a message that runs through the whole thing, regardless of the type of song or sound. Some early listeners have said that this album is positive and spiritual. I like to think it focuses on the human condition. Like many of my recordings, this one draws on earlier material here and there. I used to do that a lot back in the day. Some songs, like 'Ordinary People,' need to wait for the right time. I think now is the right time for that song and it lives well with the new songs I have written in the past few months. I had a blast making this music."