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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Reaction to The Archives: Into the Blu and Out of the Black

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As expected, a huge reaction across the world on yesterday's debut of the long awaited Neil Young Archives.

Reaction seems to fall into two categories: 1) fans who greeted the news with "Well now it's really getting closer to reality" and 2) everyone else trying to figure out Blu-Ray DVDs, high resolution 24 bit/192kHz audio, high definition video, Internet update downloads, and Java scripted menu navigation.

Into the Blu (Ray) and Out of the Black.

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From geir ove rapp’s weblog » Neil Young will launch his “Archives” on Blu-ray: "This is fabulous news for those of us who are pure Neil Young fans and audio freaks."

From Linux News which notes that this will equate to 50 Blu-ray Discs (2500GB of storage):
With up to 50 gigabytes of storage, Blu-ray discs have five to 10 times the capacity of DVDs, which in turn can hold far more material than CDs. Young is planning a series of five volumes, each consisting of 10 discs.

It's unclear how many fans will have the equipment, and the time, to enjoy such a comprehensive archive. Young said he hopes fans will spend hours exploring an interactive time line, playing classic hits and unreleased tracks, while examining contemporaneous films, photos, recording notes and other documents.

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From Steve Hoffman Audiophile Forums:
"I think that Neil is seeing this project as his life story legacy and wants to be as exhaustive as possible while embracing the highest quality digital audio available at the moment so that his effort does not easily become technologically obsolete. In light of this, perhaps leaving the project open to future internet updates is the way for him to finally let it go and release it.

Of course, this can wreak havoc with the fans' patience and nerves, spawning snarky remarks and attitudes from them. But I think he is just trying to get it right."

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But not all are happy with the momentous news.

Why Neil Young Is Wrong To Go With Blu-Ray Only | Medialoper:
"I’ve been waiting 20 years for this?

In essence, what this decision has done is to reduce me from a life-long fan who has spent decades waiting to spend money on Neil Young’s Archives to someone who might end up waiting for someone else to rip it and post it for me.

The point is that limiting yourself to a single format in this day and age — no matter the quality of the format — is just bad form. Here’s hoping that it comes out not just in Blu-Ray, but versions on CD, and as high-quality .mp3z or .flac files.

I don’t need the highest quality possible, I just want to hear the music."

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From Thrasher's Wheat comment on the announcement, in response to some of the Archives outcry and blowback, UWS81 said...
I can't believe you consider yourself a fan base after reading many of these comments. Neil is an artist. His first priority is his art. Even more so since he has more than enough money to not need any one person's or group's approval. I am sure he would love a positive response from his fans but how could it be the thing that motivates him on a daily basis? If it did, especially with fans like you, he would no longer be around to create new art. In other words, your opinions are catty, petty, and inappropriate. If you can't trust an artist like Neil, with 40 years of credibility, you should stop following his work. It will be doing a favor to yourself and all of us who love to see what's coming next."

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Steve Hoffman Audiophile Forums fasteddie113NL said:
"you all sound much like some of my friends when the cd was introduced in the 80's and again a few years later when the first albums weren't released on vinyl but only on cd; 'no no, , I will not buy...'. etc

yet, by 1990, they all had a player AND at least a shelf full of discs (some of them went back to mainly vinyl in recent years, but that's another story...)

having said that, I have my doubts too whether this is marketable in the near future (meaning this Fall), whether I will buy it then (or wait for the audio-rips on the torrent-sites), whether the visual part isn't overrated, whether the internet updates will work out (no, they won't, I have yet to see the first artist that follows-up on promises in that direction)....

let's just wait what actually happens and when before final judgement, right?

for the record, I do believe something like this is the future; it will only be a matter of a few years before computer/internet/streaming video & audio/TV/stereo will be available in fully integrated systems

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From Steve Hoffman Audiophile Forums mrmaloof writes:
I'm really kind of surprised by this thread! People on this forum have been whining for years about the demise of the high-res SACD and DVD-Audio formats. The reason for their lack of success is obvious: high-res audio by itself is not a sufficient reason for people to buy a new technology.

Now here comes Blu-ray with high-res audio, high-res video, and enhanced interactivity and network connectivity. That's hopefully enough of a feature set to get people other than audiophiles interested in a high-res audio format, especially since it's being including in game consoles. Yes, the price is high, but Blu-ray just won the format war with HD-DVD. Wait a year or two and prices will be at a reasonable level.

Neil's announcement seems like a great thing to revive the prospect of having a high-res digital audio format that actually wins widespread consumer acceptance, though the consumer acceptance may come because of other features of the format. It's not for everybody, sure, and I understand some of the disappointment if all you're thinking about is Neil's Archives. But I expected to see a lot more enthusiasm for it on this forum based on its implications for high-res audio in the future than all the negativity being expressed here.

I don't have a Blu-ray player yet either, but I'm going to start investigating that now!

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Steve Hoffman Audiophile Forums EveryLittleThing posted:
Assuming that this set actually comes out sometime this decade (a big, possibly unsafe assumption), this would actually give me a reason to buy a Playstation 3. (Then again, I like video games, anyway. Someone who does not would obviously have a different perspective on the matter.)

It is, at least, a relatively future-proof Blu-Ray player, since the firmware can be updated via the Internet or game discs. Too bad they removed SACD compatibility; the only model now on the market, the 40GB, can't play them.

The big obstacle for me is that I can't afford a 1080p-capable TV, but I'll worry about that if/when this release starts to look more likely.

I've been a Neil Young fan for years, and frankly, I don't care what format it comes out on. It could come out on four-track tape, or PlayTape, or flexidiscs, or Edison cylinders, and I would still probably buy it. Besides, if this encourages a brief renaissance of hi-rez audio, how is it a bad thing? Better Blu-Ray than nothing at all. I realize this opinion will probably be unpopular, so... YMMV, it's only one man's opinion. I don't feel like arguing about it, and I don't want to upset anyone, either.

I can completely understand why some people are very leery and upset, it's just that I expect Neil to be unfathomably perverse. It's been a very long time since any decision he's made has actually fazed me in the slightest. My default mode with Mr. Young is to assume that I have absolutely no idea what he will do next, or what he will choose to release. For all I know, he'll postpone the Archives yet again in favor of recording an album consisting entirely of a 43-minute duet between comb and tissue paper and xylophone.

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From industry analyst Bob Lefsetz Letter:
"But the reason we all care is that Neil Young has a body of work. From the Springfield (and before!) to 'After The Gold Rush' to 'Rust Never Sleeps' all the way to 'Greendale'.

Today, as a result of MTV and now the Net, all people care about is the track. Forgo the hit, figure out how to penetrate a fan’s consciousness, to make him a fan of your career. That’s where the satisfaction and the remuneration truly reside."

Also see:
Archives Preview Video and Partial Track Listing

Report on Archives Announcement at JavaOne Conference

Webcast (re-broadcast link), Photos and Press Release of the Archives at Sun JavaOne Conference

Photos of JavaOne 2008 - Day 1 - 05/06/2008

The never ending speculation on what the Archives will eventually be someday...


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61 Comments:

At 5/07/2008 07:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finding it astounding that at first people were bitching about whether or not the f*cking Archives ever release. Now, when the Archive appear to be within reach, people b*tch about the format.

If it were up to half of the posters, they would prefer vinyl--of course, there are those without a working turntable, and there would be THAT to bitch about.

I, for one, am thrilled.
No I haven't got a Blue-ray player. No, I'm not filthy rich. But somehow, I know I will have it.

peace

 
At 5/07/2008 07:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above persons comments. I'm not rich either, but I'd like to buy a PS3 with a Blu-ray, so I can play games and listen to the Archives. I'm finding out more about Blu-ray as I look into it, and the technology really is amazing.

 
At 5/07/2008 11:31:00 PM, Blogger whitewatersky said...

I JUST CAN'T WAIT !

hurry hurry hurry !

 
At 5/08/2008 12:49:00 AM, Blogger Veg said...

Anyone whining about the format really need to get in perspective.

Things which we should all know;

1. Neil doesn't care how accessible the archives are to fans. He's said it before, even if he only produces 10 copies of it, all he CARES about is that it will be out there how HE wants it to be. He isn't going to concede just because the large majority of his fanbase don't have the equipment to play it.

2. Neil wants a complete, uncompromising archive, that's it. Regardless of cost, technology, and production time, it doesn't matter.

Do you think he really cares AT ALL about selling these? Let me answer that for you: he couldn't give a shit if it sold 1 copy or 1,000,000, and I guarantee you he'd agree with that statement.

3. Blu-Ray offers many, many advantages over traditional DVD and CD; not only in terms of audio quality (same quality as DVD-A, but with hugely greater capacity), but in interactivity. You can browse it while you listen, and I'm sure it will be easy enough to rip the songs off via explorer utilities.

4. If you're whining about the cost of a Blu-Ray player, a Blu-Ray drive for a PC costs $120-200, or you could fork out for the high-quality Sony model found in the PS3 (much better build quality) and just buy a PS3 (as I am going to). But if not, YOU HAVE OPTIONS. They even make Blu-Ray drives for laptops for about $200.

5. Neil has delayed this so many times before, it IS conceivable (though it FINALLY seems highly unlikely) that he could back out.

But let's hope not.

As for all of the "analog" purists, you degrade the quality of your record (and thus the sound) every time you play it. A Blu-Ray disc can be read a practically infinite amount of times over a decade if well-kept, transferred to digital format so it can last INDEFINITELY, and is actually interactive.

You'll all fork out if you really want the archives, and you know it, so no one has the RIGHT to complain on this. If you can afford the actual discs (I am imagining $250+ price tag), then you can afford a player.

 
At 5/08/2008 03:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it astounding that people have some sort of issue with the format that the Archives will be released?

Why is it good enough that the format is the choice that Neil wants (at the moment)?

Why is it OK that Neil doesn't care whether he sells 1 or 1,000,000?

Why is it acceptable that Neil's stance towards his fans is perverse? Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen?

My own take is that he is a fairly obsessive guy and whilst he loves the idea of the archives, I think he can't let them go for a number of reasons:

1 Every base has to be covered. Nothing will ever be complete or finished in his mind, therefore there's always a reason to hold back.

2 He lurches between vanity and wanting to be anonymous. There are times when it must feel self indulgent and irrelevant to release this whilst he is still working.

3 There's always a new project to get started.

4 What happens if the archives comes out? Is that it? Is that the sum of his working life? Is there nothing that's private about him anymore?

Anyway Neil, do yourself and your fans a favour, be nice to us for 24 hours straight!

I'll give you an idea - use your website to play one or two gigs that you've recorded. Don't worry about the quality, were all sure to listen!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, I still think you're a f**kin' great artist!

 
At 5/08/2008 08:46:00 AM, Blogger david.corr said...

We have been talking about the archives for years.

I am reserving judgment untill it is in my hands.... if it ever is.


Dayton Dave

 
At 5/08/2008 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Tai-Pan said...

the most important question is:WHEN?????? I WANT THEM!!!!!!!!!

 
At 5/08/2008 09:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you think he really cares AT ALL about selling these? Let me answer that for you: he couldn't give a shit if it sold 1 copy or 1,000,000, and I guarantee you he'd agree with that statement.


If ^this^ is the case Neil should just donate copies to libraries and offer them for sale through his own business. If anybody but Neil has money invested in this then Neil should listen to the fans and supply the demand.

Bottom line - if the first volume of the Archives don't sell the next volumes will not see the light of day...unless somebody has a lot of money to burn.

 
At 5/08/2008 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, it's strange how people who declare being huge neil's fan they didn't understhe man after all these years.
Neil is wise, very talented,intelligent, smart.
so he has a big amount of material he could deliver to his audience. Why don't deliver it in the best way possible?
why didn't make some money out of it (afer all it's a lifetime work)
and what he could possibly does with that money?
As far as we know thw man...inventing a device for disable people to ran model trains..make movies out of the mainstream to express his thoughts and eventually open up eyes among his fans....doing the lincvolt project...feed bridge school...and many other things that we do not know, I'm suer very personal isuues.
So do we prefer he uses his popularity in make commercial (and big bucks)ror anothe beer or credit card?
Or another stupid new car?
Buyng drugs?
Mess around with young top models?
C'mon we love the man 'cause he's different, he's not obvius and predictable...(sorry for my english but I'm italian)

 
At 5/08/2008 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Crris said...

SACD &DVD-A have such a superior sound-always wanted more. Personally, I reckon Blu-Ray will not just be a flash in the pan. In the event it was then Neil's legacy would still be on a high quality format, ready to be converted to whatever might supersede it.
( Tennyson wrote 2 poems - "Everything will Die" & "Nothing Will Die". Guess he was hedging his bets. {I'll go with the latter, that everything changes ...... eventually. Meanwhile I want Blu-Ray}.)

 
At 5/08/2008 06:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy,

Well Neil releasing Archives vol.1 on Blu-ray only is disappointing to me.It just furthers my point when I say that a lot of people in this country are favoring their own haves than the have nots.Not everyone is so fortunate that they can go out and buy Blu-ray players and or psp 3's at a moments notice.Or want to for that matter.But when you're and I quote "Rich and elitist" like Neil then you might not think or care about that stuff at first.There's no reason why the audio portion couldn't be offered on cd.I think the sound quality on the Massey Hall and Filmore cd's are amazing.And the visual portion could be buyers choice of DVD or Blu-ray.I don't know if anybody from Neil's camp ever reads this stuff but that's one man's two cents worth.

 
At 5/08/2008 08:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who complain only care about themselves (unlike somebody we know).A year from now cd's and dvd's are gonna be in the backstore.Don't be afraid of the 'machine'.Hey Italian guy, your english is pretty good and what's important is that we,Neil fans,can all communicate together(thanx Thrasher) not matter our mother tongue by using a 'machine' that scared people not so long ago.

A french Canadian NY fanproud and true.

 
At 5/08/2008 08:49:00 PM, Blogger UWS81 said...

I think Neil is a great artist and continually strives to do more. He pushes the technology envelope so that his art can be delivered with higher quality and fidelity. He doesn't have control over the price of the technology. I am sure he wishes it was all free but he is also realistic about how things work in the marketplace. Why would anyone assume a negative intent on his part? He is rightly selfish about the quality of his art but has demonstrated nothing but positive intentions about sharing it. You guys are seeing ghosts where there are none.

 
At 5/09/2008 05:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will it still be possible to rip this Blue-Ring stuff to MP3?

I wanna be able to play the archives on the bus or on my lunch break, etc.

 
At 5/09/2008 08:15:00 AM, Blogger Jonboy said...

I had the same question and got an answer from an expert who laughed at the question. He believes, (paraphrasing him), the market demand (and money) for lower quality versions for MP3 and iTunes will be huge and can not be stopped. This ultimately should satisfy those fans that are too cheap or too poor to dish out the money for the earliest versions of this new technology.

 
At 5/09/2008 09:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many questions on this issue.
C'mon guys where's the problem?
The arcives in a open project and it's gonna take years to be over.
neil will work on new records/movies or wathever in the meantime.
By the time the 5th volume will be on the market blueray will be cheap.
Don't you remember the cost of a digital camera at the beginning? Or a cell phone? DVD player? Laptops?
Navigators?
and the !st volume will be still on the market!
Too many worries on just nothing.
This is the biggest neil's project and we;tha fans, the ones to this is bound are complaing in having it at the best?
This discucussions are no senses also because nel did his choice....do you think he, java, warner, reprise is goin' to change their mind because of some fans worries.....

 
At 5/09/2008 09:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...everybody is worring on the format...nobody noticed Neis fat belly?
HEY NEIL DO SOME GYMN, STOP DRINKING TOO MANY BEERS.....
we want you fit and shape to promote archives...you still have to keep on rockin' in a free world

 
At 5/09/2008 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the fellow who mentioned the haves and have nots.

I cannot justify buying a blue-ray player, a high-definition TV set, and the blue ray discs themselves within the context of my family's budget simply to play Neil's music. It's just not feasible. You're talking over $1000. I'm not complaining, just saying that this 20+ year fan will have to seek out copies of the music on cd-r, which I'm sure will make their way into the public domain and sound fine. It's too bad--the Archives look really cool, if you can afford it.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Neil will lose 90% of the audience for this music due to the format. The overwhelming majority of people do not use a Blue-Ray disc player to listen to music, and they're not going to suddenly start because of Neil.

 
At 5/09/2008 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous MARIAN M. said...

I am very thankful that it will be available for us to not only own an individual copy of Neil's Archives for our personal enjoyment, but to have them in the best possible format.

If you'll just listen to what NEIL is saying in the Filmore East Trailer video (which is marked as 2/18/97), he is explaining exactly how he wants the format for the Archives...exactly what they're promising for the Blu-ray format.

What we REALLY want in life we make sure we get...no matter the cost!

I have been waiting since I was 11 years old (1966) to hear Neil's version of his song "Clancy," and I believe that it is worth the wait. Imagine all the songs that we'll be given that we haven't heard yet!!!

Look how magnificent the Chrome Dreams Tour was! What a great way to build our anticipation for the Archives! I literally had waited 40 years to hear Neil sing "Mr. Soul" live, and I was not a bit disappointed! That concert was absolutely the greatest! Neil held nothing back from us. What do you think the paintings and his clothing were all about? He is an artist, and he won't compromise. I am proud of him!

If one really loves Neil (like I do), proclaims to be fan, etc., there should never be any question of supporting him on what HE feels is the best way to present his art.

Marian M.

 
At 5/09/2008 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Mr. Disappointment said...

PAYOLA BLUES

Neil's attitude towards his fans is indifference at best and at worst, outright contempt.

Don't give me the arguments about sound quality. Does Pegi Young murdering the harmonies on Neil's recordings and tours for the last 8 years sound better in blu-ray? Methinks not.

It's fine if Neil wants to pioneer new technologies. But simply denying the collection he's been promising for 20 years (an exact figure, not an exaggeration) to those using normal audio equipment is offensive. There is little doubt Neil is being paid behind the scenes by the Blu-ray people to help move the consumer base over to their new format. Neil, you're giving me the Payola Blues.

Neil, Ordinary People are losing our jobs and our homes. We're paying $4 a gallon for gas. We can't afford this bullshit!

It's great if you want to create the "perfect" archives with all the bells and whistles, but why in the world won't you make the music available in normal, affordable formats as well?

Who the hell are you and what did you do with Neil Young? You're out of touch.

 
At 5/09/2008 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Mr. Disappointment, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why the archives shouldn't be released on normal cd and dvd as well as Blu-Ray.

I happen to own a PS3 but I still want to be able to put the unreleased stuff on my ipod too. I hoped we would be getting a normal cd releases, complete with artwork etc of albums such as Time Fades Away, Homegrown, Meadow Dusk, Chrome Dreams and Times Square.

I'm happy he's now got the technology to put this project out in the format HE wanted to but why not just let us have it in cd/dvd format too? I don't have a problem with cd quality at all, sounds prefectly fine to me.

 
At 5/09/2008 02:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...everybody is worring on the format...nobody noticed Neis fat belly? HEY NEIL DO SOME GYMN, STOP DRINKING TOO MANY BEERS "



Wow?! I guess the river has run dry on tact and grace. I guess living in his car and going hungry at the start of his journey doesn't count to some people about what it took to make it.

Pretty shallow man. I'm glad I'm not your neighbor. You must have heard that rehab is available to those who seek it.

 
At 5/09/2008 07:29:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I'd just like to give a big "SHUT THE FUCK UP" to the complainers. Nobody's interested in your sob stories about being ordinary people. If you don't want the set, don't buy it, but accept that it is what it is and don't come here complaining like Neil's going to see it and change his mind. Blu-Ray is better, period. This set wouldn't fit on CDs, unless you want to buy about 30 of them, which I'm sure you cheapskates would be railing about. So please shut up and let people who aren't afraid of the future enjoy it.

 
At 5/09/2008 09:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Ben!

 
At 5/09/2008 09:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Thrasher!
Absolutely off topic here but would you think about changing the pics (Bridge 2002) on the opening page.Please don't take it the wrong way but they're not very good...

 
At 5/09/2008 11:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there.It's me Waterface....yet again,
There's an old saying that goes "With great power comes great responsibility."Neil Young was bestowed a great gift thus a great curse.His gift being his musical and visual talents of course.I'd say the majority of his fans me being one of them aren't lucky enough to have such a great talent.The majority of his fans are just regular joe's and josie's.Blue Collar and White Collar alike.Not all of us are into or want to be into all the latest of everything that's out there.Nor afford it for that matter.I'd rather not own a cell phone even.I know this might sound crazy.Insane crazy even to some.But Neil and some of my other musical heroes are sorta like Super Heroes to me and maybe to some of you out there as well.Thus the gift/curse reference.I also consider them like friends I've never met.And Neil is the best of these friends.And when one of your actual friends let's you down it's a real bummer.You see music to me is like a day without sunshine.Well once again.Maybe the music and visuals could be offered on DVD Audio/Video as well as Blu-ray.?And whatever happened to the 150 page book?Reading and looking at pictures in an actual book is another passion of mine and many others.How's that for a concept.Remember the Old Ways?And that's all I've got to say about that.

 
At 5/10/2008 02:42:00 AM, Anonymous Mr. Soul said...

Hey Ben, thanks for your really insightful comments. Don't forget to say thanks to mommy & daddy for the trust fund. You wouldn't talk like that about other people's money if you had ever worked a day in your life. Are you the head of Republicans for Neil Young? Is Dick Cheney your daddy? You're right, fuck all the fucking poor people. They can just eat your shit, right?

 
At 5/10/2008 04:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO THE ONE WHO FELT OFFENDED BY "HEY NEIL DO SOM GYMN...etc.."
WAS JUST JOCKIN'...YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR HAS RUN DRY.....DON'T YOU READ ABOUT ALL THE ARGUES ON BLUERAY OR ATHORE FORMAT FOR THE ARCHIVES?
DO YOU THINK NEIL IS NOT LAUGHING ABOUT THAT?
MAYBE YOU DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT HE ALWAYS SAID:::"I DO WHAT I DO I DO NOT CARE IF IT?S SELLING ONE OR ONE MILLION COPY....IT'S JUST WHERE I AM AT THE MOMENT..."
...C'mon sloew down, relax a little bit....I didn't whant to offend anybody..there's no idol or gods 'round here right?
just a man we love the music he does (and in my case some godd example in his private life as far as I know it...you guys know what I'm talkin' about..even if I'm sure there some shit in his as in everybody else....Nothing personal my friend if you want to reply I'll be around and read your comments..ok?

 
At 5/10/2008 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Mr. Soul (yeah right)-
I suppose STFU is a pretty cliched thing to say, especially on the internet. I thought about whether to use the term. However, in this case I felt it was the most appropriate comment to make. Your trust fund comments are pretty hilariously misguided. I have no idea how or if I'm going to afford this. What you have to remember is than Neil isn't walking into your house in the middle of the night and taking your money out of your wallet. He's offering the opportunity to buy something of tremendous value. If you don't think the price is right, don't fucking buy it. That's totally cool. That's acting like an adult. But to come in here and act all entitled, demanding that Neil degrade the quality of his life's work, is just being an asshole. If you can afford an internet connection you'll get no sympathy from me. In the twenty years this has been discussed, did it really never occur to you that publishing an entire decade of work from one of the most active artists there ever was might be pretty expensive? Hey, the albums would be cheaper if he recorded them on a broken old cassette recorder, but he has no more responsibility to do that than to try to find some way to convert something as interactive and complex as this onto a format that just can't satisfy the need. That's why this took so long in the first place.

So poor people are fine. It's the assholes with persecution complexes running into here to whine like babies that can eat my shit.

 
At 5/10/2008 03:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some very heated comments on here! It really is a slap in the face to Neil's fans that he won't even put out an abridged version or something on CD. Seems very arrogant to think that people will want to make such a big investment just to hear these archives that he's been dangling just out of reach for so many years. I agree with the person who said that Neil is surely getting some back-room sweetheart deal to try and get people to shell out big bucks for the blue ray things, whatever they are. Why the personal attacks on people who want to be able to hear this music by normal methods? Neil really does seem out of touch doing something like this when the economy is so bad.

 
At 5/10/2008 03:48:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

What would be a slap in the face of the real fans would to be to compromise himself like that. He's not getting paid off by the Blu-Ray people. He said twenty years ago that he wanted a system where you could browse photos and documents while listening to the music. Blu-Ray is the only way to do that. So I doubt they've been planning this conspiracy since the eighties.

 
At 5/10/2008 07:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the debate here to be thoughtful and compelling.

Of course, it's all academic because the goddamned Archives are never going to come out.

Neil utters "archives" and we all start flailing around. When will we learn?

Stupid, stupid fans.

 
At 5/10/2008 08:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from "definitive box sets" from other bands, it seems to me that what we'll get is some tunes that didn't make the label's cut back in the day and alternate takes of stuff that we know well.

That and some notes and family photos.

I hope it more than just the bottom of the drawer.

 
At 5/10/2008 09:19:00 PM, Anonymous think about it said...

It's very naive to the think the BlueRay company didn't give Neil a strong financial incentive to deny this product to his fans in all other formats. Not even highlights CDs or something. It definitely is a slap in the face.

 
At 5/10/2008 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil can do what he wants and should follow his own artistic vision. And you shouldn't bully him if he happens to disagree with you or make him downgrade his vison because you can't afford the Archives. I want a car, but I can't afford one, but I'm not going to complain about it and demand they make cars less expensive. It's just a reality I've accepted for the moment, because it's something I can't obviously change. Sometimes you can get things and sometimes you can't. So if Neil doesn't want to issue the Archives on CD then that's fine. Also, Neil wants to give a true representation of what his life was like from 62 to 72 and issuing the Archives on Blu-ray seems like the best way to do it. Then we can see pictures, videos and music and get the best idea of what his life was like back then. Isn't that what all the die hard fans want?

 
At 5/10/2008 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, "ben" sure is a douche-bag

 
At 5/11/2008 05:03:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Why? Because I seem to be the only one here who respects an artists' right to distribute material in the way they want it to be presented? On the contrary, I seem to be one of the only ones here not acting childish.

An abridged CD collection would miss the whole point of this project. As Neil said himself, "They're not gonna get part of it. Everything-the good, the bad, the ugly.

So you know the difference. Some of it is good, some of it is crap that wasn't released-there's a reason. Take a look, see what it is. That's what a fuckin' archive is about, not "Here's Neil Young in all his wonderfulness-the great, phenomenal fucking wonderfulness." That's not what I want.

I want people to know how fuckin' terrible I was. How scared I was and how great I was. The real picture-that's what I'm looking for. Not a product. And I think that's what the die-hard fans want - the whole fuckin' thing."

The archives is a complete portrait of what he was doing. The abridged archives would be his entire back catalog of studio albums.

 
At 5/11/2008 11:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ben.

What people don't seem to grasp is the Archives is not just music, pimped with film and memorabilia.
It's Neil's legacy. It's his autobiography. It's his freaking epitaph. This is what scholars will look at someday when they conduct research on popular music.

People just don't get it--that's why he's so obessed/paranoid/unreletless with the quality/sound/visuals.

Nevertheless, it is a daunting investment for many of us. Someone in Neil's camp should point him to the latest unemployment stats. People ARE hurting and some of those people are fans. And, I'm one of them.

In the end, I wouldn't be surprised if Reprise will issue a cd/dvd highlights. And don't forget, they are suppose to be available as dvds--not just Blu-ray.

As an aside, to cynically imply that Neil received 'a strong financial incentive' from Blu-Ray is akin to suggesting the reason he favors Martin or Gibson guitars is due to 'a strong financial incentive'. It's the tool needed to do the job. Period.

-Chicago

 
At 5/11/2008 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous The Restless Consumer said...

"As an aside, to cynically imply that Neil received 'a strong financial incentive' from Blu-Ray is akin to suggesting the reason he favors Martin or Gibson guitars is due to 'a strong financial incentive'. It's the tool needed to do the job. Period."

You miss the point. If Neil wants to make his pictures and film clips part of the total experience with the Blue-Ray thing, fine. It's the DENIAL of the music to folks using normal technology that must have carried a big price tag. Think about it. The archives as proposed will bring Neil very little $, because the typical fan can't listen to it on the CD player, ipod, stereo etc. Why would Neil put this stuff out knowing that his fans can't hear it? Answer: he's being paid by Blue-Ray to give people an incentive to buy their system. Hasn't 7 years in Bush's America taught you to understand how these people think and do business?

Eventually Neil will probably relent and release the music on formats people actually use for music. The iPod format has swept the field and become dominant in music. Arguing whether that's good or bad is irrelevant. Music lovers have just settled in and gotten comfortable with it. They aren't going to throw it out the window now. Neil is taking payola to try and move part of the consumer base over to this other format, but it's too little, too late. If they'd done this 1999 or something, they may have won people over. It won't work now. Very few people will ever experience this material unless Neil comes to his senses and puts it out through the proper channels.

My advice to fellow Neil fans: wait. Don't reward this corporate conspiracy with a multi-thousand dollar investment of your hard-earned money. The tracks will leak out in useful formats on torrent sites.

(by the way, did i read somebody saying they will try to listen to it on their playstation console? lol...do you see how ridiculous this is? Neil's attitude toward the listener is.....less than admirable)

 
At 5/11/2008 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello fellow commentors,

As far as I know Neil hasn't officialy come out and said that Blu-Ray is the ONLY format that the Archives are gonna be released on.I just read an interview in the May issue of MOJO where he said and I quote "Now we have the technology to put it(The Archives)out.So it's coming out this year,we've finished vol.1.It will be 8 DVD's AND Blu-ray,that'll be it."As for the costs?I just went to Best Buy's site.The lowest priced Blu-ray player is over $400 after taxes.A Playstation 3 comes to over $400 as well.And who knows what the cost of vol.1 itself is gonna be.The cost of a good DVD player is probably $100.And I'd guess that the majority of Neil's fans already do have a DVD player not a Playstation 3.Remember the Devo song Freedom of Choice?Hopefully we'll have one and The Archives WILL be offered on DVD Audio/Video as well as Blu-ray.Thanks for reading.

 
At 5/11/2008 07:15:00 PM, Blogger heywally said...

I don't really care about the archives (there, I said it) - I'm 55 and am confident that I have heard all of Neil's best songs (and that's what I've liked about Neil - his great songs). The archives will most likely be throwaway stuff and alt takes on songs that I don't really need to hear. Thanks for all of your great songs though, Neil - no one wrote more great melodies than you in my lifetime.

 
At 5/11/2008 09:48:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Restless consumer I swear I'm not usually so hostile about other subjects but your comments leave me wondering if you're even serious. The reason he DENYING!!!!11 music to people who don't have the technology is because the way he wants to present it is only made possible by blu-ray. Why should he have to put out a half-assed version for people who don't even care about getting the whole package? How can you ignore the fact that he's said for years that this is the way he wants to do it? How can you even dream that the quality of the sound is "irrelevant?" How many times does Neil have to say BECAUSE SOUND MATTERS? I just can't imagine that anybody who knows dick about Neil's history of audio perfectionism (why do you think Time Fades Away isn't out?) could seriously argue that his decision to go with Blu-Ray is motivated by money. What's he going to do, buy another 1500 acre ranch?

 
At 5/12/2008 02:58:00 AM, Anonymous thom said...

ben:
well, "time fades away" is a whole other story. he never felt comfortable with the album, with the content itself, even today. it reminds him of a period of his life where things weren´t that good. that´s the main reason why the album isn´t out on cd - or whatever - yet..

cheers, thomas

 
At 5/12/2008 06:33:00 AM, Anonymous HE Pennypacker said...

"He said twenty years ago that he wanted a system where you could browse photos and documents while listening to the music." Oh yeah Ben? Please give us your reference for that statement. I've been following Neil's career a long time & I've never seen any comment like that from that far back...

 
At 5/12/2008 06:51:00 AM, Anonymous HE Pennypacker said...

" just can't imagine that anybody who knows dick about Neil's history of audio perfectionism (why do you think Time Fades Away isn't out?)" Ben, you have a history here of trying to sound like you're a Neil expert, but you slip up all the time with uninformed comments like that one. Neil's history of audio perfectionism? LOL!! This is the same Neil who would rather try and 'capture the moment' than waste time 'perfecting the sound' isn't it? The same Neil that's been accused of releasing demos and calling them albums? Never can remember if it was Don Henley or Glenn Frey who said that...You ever heard Tonight's The Night? He had more than 2 years to clean that one up after recording it - and still didn't! And for your information, Time Fades Away isn't out on CD for the same reason that it isn't represented on Decade. Neil would rather forget that tour, with Whitten dying before it even got off the ground, arguments with the band over how much of the cut they should be getting etc. It's got nothing to do with the sound quality. I think it's you who knows 'dick" about some of Neil's history Ben...

 
At 5/12/2008 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"TO THE ONE WHO FELT OFFENDED"



I'm cool. You're cool.
I figured it was a little tongue in cheek. I just remember when my daughter was told by her uncle that she should hit the gym (and yeah he was jokin'), but that didn't dry her tears any.

Physical criticisms put me out. I've often wondered if we were all blind how much prejudice would remain.

Anyhow.....peace

 
At 5/12/2008 05:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still can't quite believe all the complaints regarding the format and what Neil does or doesn't stand for. The one thing we do know with Neil is that he does what he wants, when and how he wants to do it. This is one of the things I respect about him. That won't always be what I want him to do, which is why he is still doing things that are relevant when every other musician of his time ( and many since) are doing nothing exciting or different. Just the same old shit day after day.

In relation to the bluray argument- the cost of blurays will drop substantially in the next 6-12 mths , the same as the cost of CDs , DVDs and every other new technology has and will do over time. PS3 will be an expensive player really, as stand alone players will become much cheaper.The PS3 has other benefits though.

I'm sure if people can't afford or justify the conversion (cost will be an issue for me, but I'm going to do it ) they will be able to track them down on the web for free at some point.

The presentation of the archives on Bluray looks amazing and I can't wait.

Cheers,

Mick

 
At 5/12/2008 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Pennypacker-

1. Cool name. Did you get it from Seinfeld?

2. Let's bring down the hostility a little. I know I've been a dick but I've had time to settle down.

3. TFA was recorded on the Quad-8 Compumix system, which David Briggs referred to as the "compufuck." This system created a murky sound which Neil came to regret. Yes, I'm well aware of the awful memories he has of that tour, but I'd say the impossibility to remix the album due to the recording method has at least as much to do with it. A lot of times he does indeed opt for more raw or sloppy musicianship, but this is really irrelevant to the fidelity of the recording and mastering process. He definitely has a history of trying to put out the highest quality sound, especially by releasing some of his back catalog in DVD-A, and the extremely refined sound of the Massey Hall DVD. But the point is that he's had a long history of criticizing digital audio, and it seems DVD and Blu-Ray is the first time it's had a high enough resolution for him.

4. I guess I misspoke, I can't find a quote about him saying he wanted simultaneous pictures and audio in the past. However:

"'Previously, there was no way to browse archival material on a Disc and listen to a song in high resolution at the same time. The technology had not yet evolved to that capability,' said Young. 'It is important for me that the user experience the high resolution music along with the archival visual material. Previous technology required unacceptable quality compromises. I am glad we waited and got it right.'"

Frankly, I don't think he would just straight up lie like that. I also don't think he would scrap years of extensive planning just to take a cheque from the Blu-Ray people. I think this means more to him than it does to us.

 
At 5/13/2008 12:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's going to be some interesting stuff on the Archives. In the DVD of the Massey Hall package it says 'There's A World' and 'A Man Needs A Maid' recorded with the LSO will be included on the Archives. The Archives trailer that came out last year also showed Neil playing 'Mr Soul' 'The Loner' and 'Alabama', which cut to him singing with DS and SS. There's bound to be more interesting footage on there as well. Why then would you not buy the Archives in favor of just CDs? I thought the fans would want it all, so it doesn't make much sense. Also, if you've been waiting for the Archives for twenty years then stop complaining about the price. You've had plenty of time to save up for the Archives and a Blu-ray player. I'm not rich, but i put away a little extra every so often so i could afford them.

 
At 5/13/2008 12:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody minds paying for the archives, it's the idea that Neil expects people to buy a whole new system, one not associated with music listening, that people find galling.

Oh I forgot, I'll just rock it on my PS3. 'Cause jamming classic music on a video game console is how I roll. Thanks again Neil.

 
At 5/13/2008 01:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"TO THE ONE WHO FELT OFFENDED"

I can understand.
Idid not mean to put an eye on neil phisical aspect.
It was just a joke on the here blablabla on the archives.
which is interesting as far as we are arguing on the tech aspect but kind of boring when people is commenting about neil's morality on the choice he did.
You're right, we still have lots of pregiudisms and you can tell also from the posts here.
Most of the critics is about neil making money out of it.
As far as I concern making music is his job and he's doing it fine. So he has all the rights to get money from it.
As far as he delivers artistic and high quality product is fine.
I would like to notice that he (neil) really wants to make big bucks out from his music he could just give songs away to some pop star, make arrangnents main stream and the will be on top of the charts (remeber Lotta Love)
he's making a different choice we should really appreciate and that's why I'm a neil's fan.
That said there's another issue.
I do not know neil's private life and I'm not going to investigate but, as far as I know, I see he's not spending his money in ususal rock star bullshits...The linvVolt project, just to say, I guess is costing him a lot.
what about producing movies like greendale or dejavu?
I'm pretty sure he's putting lots in the Bridge School...,
That's anough for me.
Or all we like neil being a sort of ragged rod steward hanging 'round with young models and looking just ridicolous?

 
At 5/13/2008 04:49:00 AM, Anonymous HE Pennypacker said...

"Pennypacker - Let's bring down the hostility a little."

Oh, that's priceless Ben! Read my posts again. Now scroll up and read all of yours. You abuse and swear at people who aren't as sycophantic towards Neil as you are, and then tell me to "bring down the hostility a little" because I pull you up on some innaccuracies in your posts...

 
At 5/13/2008 06:00:00 AM, Anonymous thom said...

please, don´t mention neil and rod fuckin´ stewart in one sentence.. :-)

cheers, thomas

 
At 5/13/2008 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Hey penny-
read more than the first 1 and 1/2 bullets in my post.

"I know I've been a dick but I've had time to settle down."

Yeah. I wasn't telling you that you were being hostile, I meant that I'm ready not to be so abusive and I'd like if you helped me in making things more friendly.

As for supposed "inaccuracies," I spent some time addressing those in my post, the least you could do is bother to read them.

 
At 5/14/2008 03:18:00 AM, Anonymous HE Pennypacker said...

"As for supposed "inaccuracies," I spent some time addressing those in my post, the least you could do is bother to read them."

Oh, I read them Ben. I just don't agree that you turned them 'accuracies'. You've now admitted that you had no basis for your claim that Neil had mentioned this kind of format "twenty years ago". Trying to justify the comment with a quote from Neil that he's "glad we waited" means nothing. He means that he's glad he waited another few years and didn't put them out on CD & DVD as has been talked up as being imminent for the past few years. As for trying to still claim that your TFA comment was accurate because of some audio techno gobbly-gook - we know for a fact that songs recorded on the TFA tour (Come Along & Say You Will for instance) are going to come out on the Archives, so Neil must be happy enough with the sound quality. If he's prepared to release them now on the Archives, your statement that he hasn't released TFA on CD because the sound was too "murky" is plain wrong. As I stated previously, the reason TFA isn't available is for the same reason that none of it was included on Decade...

 
At 5/14/2008 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Pennypacker-
I don't know, I don't see how TFA-era songs being released on the archives discounts the idea of the sound quality holding back the release any more than bad memories holding back the release. But it's pretty well-documented that Neil was unhappy with the sound of the album.

 
At 5/15/2008 02:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some more non-believers and complainers for "ben" to curse his foul mouth at:

http://www.undercover.com.au/News-Story.aspx?id=4872

 
At 5/15/2008 08:48:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

ouch, man. That... that really hurts.

 
At 5/21/2008 03:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Neil releases Archives on CD then I don't think you will be able to get the updates. Blu-ray sounds much more interesting and comprehensive to me.

 
At 5/28/2008 01:04:00 AM, Blogger Paul & Tricia said...

Is this a joke??? Check out the N Y Times and note this quote: (http://neilyoung.com/news/index.html)

"Storage is the only limit," Young said, and recommended the Sony's PlayStation 3 as the best way to view his project.

Is Neil f'ing with us on the eve of his archive project, as only he can? Since when does the author of "piece of crap" and "this note's for you" endorse a consumer electronics product?! Let alone a product that is just a giant void sucking the life out of kids today that should be makin' real music instead of pressin' all those buttons on guitar hero.

On another note, all you Canadian kids should check out what's going on over at www.tomgreen.com - Tom reminds me of Neil the way he likes to get out on the road and connect with people. Right now he's got all sorts of media on the Human Highway from his trans-continental road trip.

 
At 5/28/2008 10:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What’s wrong with Neil saying the Playstation3 is a good system to view the Archives on? It is a good system and he’s not selling out by saying he likes it. It’s not like he’s selling bankcards or anything like that, where he wouldn't really give a shit about what he’s promoting. Neil likes quality and so he’s just informing us about the best player to use the Archives on, because CDs suck. Also, I have a Playstation3 and it hasn’t created a void in my life. I play it occasionally and go out as well, so there's a nice balance. Anyway, when the Archives come out it looks like it will be the most amazing release an artist has every produced. I’m going to relax in my lounge with a few beers and try to take it all in. I initially was skeptical about the whole Blu-ray thing as well, but I have a feeling the Archives on just CD would really limit the experience of the Archives and degrade them. I think Neil’s being courageous in releasing the Archives in the way he wants them to be. Remember that 'Tonight’s the Night' was a record that a lot of people didn’t understand at first. But that is now considered a classic. I think the Archives on Blu-ray will be viewed in the same way.

 

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