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Thursday, December 11, 2008

For Young's fans, Archives awaits...and awaits... :

From a very interesting article by Paul Cantin on the Neil Young Archives:
Obsessives typically don't play well together. Whether on the battlefield, the football gridiron or a backyard drinking party, when two hard-headed, determined, focused types come into conflict, like the old songs says, something's gotta give.

A similar musical tilt has been playing out in recent weeks, although the antagonists may surprise you.

In this corner, a fervid, loyal, vocal sector of Neil Young's fan base.

In the other corner, Neil Young.

Now if you hop over to the article, regular readers will find some very interesting sourcing going on here which came as a bit of a surprise. Particularly, after we had been seeing some strange requests and observations coming our way.

So check out's take on the bewildering spectacle that we call The Archives.

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At 12/11/2008 09:24:00 AM, Anonymous Roman Kennke said...

I find all this stuff about 'because sound matters' and BlueRay etc quite stupid, especially in the case of the archives, because the old tapes most likely are not even close to fidelity that can be reproduced by BlueRay or even DVD. The most recent example is the Sugar Mountain CD/DVD. There is so much noise in this recording, the DVD version doesn't make it sound a bit better, only that the noise is probably reproduced in more detail ;-). It has been similar on Massey Hall and Fillmore East. While those don't have as much noise, they don't make use of the extended dynamic range and resolution of the DVD either. Face it, a voice and guitar just doesn't do much in terms of dynamic range and superhigh frequencies. IMO all this is just something for people to brag with their several $1000 hifi equipment.

At 12/11/2008 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When are the Neil Young fans going to stop this nonsense. Who really cares? I can listen to multiple unreleased Neil songs right now on YouTube for free. Some of these unreleased songs are astonishing- e.g. "Interstate." The point being, relax and listen to his music now. Forget about this project and get a life.

At 12/11/2008 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Nicospilmont said...

The link to the "Archives vol 1 trailer" (which mentioned "to be released in 2007") has been deleted from the Archives page on

At 12/11/2008 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous davide said...

I want to answer to the previous comment, saying that there are many people, including myself, that wants to stay up to date with the Archives news, because good music, and not just Neil Young music, is their main hobby outside of work. Some prefers YouTube, some wants the Archives out. No obsessions involved. My question now goes out to Test Pilot/Archives guy. Do we have to expect official news on the Archives on NY official site this week, as you said, or the announcement has been postponed to a later date to be determined yet?

At 12/11/2008 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit the NoDepression post was disappointing ... like most media content I found it to be very slanted, very one-sided, as if the author had an agenda to show that Neil fans were unhappy about the how the archives release was unfolding ... at the minimum it should have balanced things by quoting fans who understand Neil and his process and are willing to give him and his team the benefit of the doubt ... I didn't see even one example or quote that represented Neil supportive fans base ... I also felt he abused access to Thrasher's blog by lifting conversations and quotes to support his agenda (to create the appearance of a rift btw Neil and his fans on the archives project) ... further, he used a quote from Archives Guy (AG) completely out of context ... when AG suggested the whole string would be taken off it was in reference to an imposter who pretended to be AG and used profanity in AG's name ... the NoDepression author tried to imply that AG threatened to pull the string based on fans expressing their disparate views ... in the end, I think the fans who are on Thrasher's blog could lose out ... Neil and his team (including AG) were thoughtful enough to patiently answer all of our questions (even the most snarly of them), Thrasher was generous enough to host the conversation, then NoDepression selectively lifts some quotes to support a slanted agenda which makes Neil and fans look bad ... nobody win except maybe the author of the NoDepression post who filled his journalistic quota ... I have to admit seems like some of the new media is not much different than the old media ... "And all you critics sit alone, you're no better than me for what you've shown"

At 12/11/2008 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article specifically says it is a minority of people who are disappointed with the latest Archives developments:

"While it's likely that the majority of fans are stoked for the release, and it is easy to find people giddy with the prospect of the box's arrival, there are hints of dissent. Look at the comments section at, and the vocal minority snark is already out."

Note the words "majority of fans are stoked" and "minority snark".

and ..

"Those comments are at the extreme, but there are degrees of confusion and bewilderment out there among Young's fans."

and this ...

"That this back-and-forth exists is one of the consequences of the influence that the web now has in our lives. Think back 20 years: Even if fans were to get worked up about this sort of thing, what would be the outlet for it?"

At 12/11/2008 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neil and his team (including AG) were thoughtful enough to patiently answer all of our questions (even the most snarly of them)"

Very tellingly, They sidestepped a number of questions. The most important one that went unanswered was "are the full contents of the albums included in the Archives?"

At 12/11/2008 01:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The article specifically says it is a minority of people who are disappointed with the latest Archives developments:"

True, but the whole post on NoDepression was focused on that minority and their many complaints ... meanwhile, the article culled its quotes from Thrasher's blog, in my view, the post would have been far more credible had it at least balanced all of its negativity by expressing the views of the 'majority'. Interestingly, when referring to the 'majority', he doesn't bring quotes or dedicate much ink other than writing, it's likely that the majority of fans are stoked for the release" ... the comment about the internet being a place for people to share their complaints is a minor point in his post and isn't unusually insightful ...

In terms of AG, having followed the thread I think he tried to answer every question in good faith ... some things like the song list he probably wasn't authorized to disclose...

In summary thought, I felt the author snooped in on a conversation between Neil's team and his fans, took out some of the most snarly comments, and wrote an article using those quotes ... a lot was out of context ... it was unbalanced ... and at the end of the day the only potential beneficiary was the author ... we are the losers as its bound to piss off Neil and his team, it decreases the likelihood of future conversations of which I think many people would agree was of great value and interest ... and finally, it neglects to discuss the many legitimate reasons why this project has been delayed, including Neil's propensity to go after his Muse -- of which most fans have been beneficiaries over the years.

At 12/11/2008 01:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people are getting carried away with ARCHIVES, people so far have moaned about format, cost and song selection. surely this release is like any previous Neil Young release? If you want it buy it.. if you don't then don't.. but shut up going on about it... I hate "eveybodys Rockin" and you know what.. I didn't buy it... THAT WAS MY CHOICE!!

At 12/11/2008 01:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed about no cd / DVD release for PS01 - The Riverboat.

So...on my CD shelf I have PS00 as CD&DVD, PS02 as CD&DVD, PS03 as CD/DVD, but no PS01.

When the archives come out I can also have PS02 and PS03 as Blu-Ray (which I have no objection to) but not PS01 as a CD&DVD, but I can also have PS00 as a CD&DVD, but no Blu-Ray.


I just think the release formats need to be consistant...RELASE PS01 on CD&DVD FORMAT LIKE THE REST OF THE PERFORMANCE SERIES PLEASE!!!!

At 12/11/2008 01:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading this article it's becoming more clear to me the amount of previously released material that will be on this set, and its really bumming me out. What's the point of releasing this if its going to have so little unreleased material. Albeit, 43 songs is a lot, but its not worth 10 discs and $300. If the songs that are "previously released" are just going to be the EXACT versions of ones we already have, what's the point?

Slightly bummed out guys.

At 12/11/2008 02:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, People getting upset things aren't exactly as they want them??
If you noticed, Sugar Mountain will not be in The Archives most likely because of the Sound Quality...remember that this was Neil's first Solo Tour and very small, hence the fact the recording was not approached as a serious venture for release. Other then the blowhards I am enjoying the Releases (including Sugar Mountain and the Raps) and am looking forward to getting The Archives.
Sure, it may not be a #1 Best Seller...but then again...ya never know what's gonna happen. Just like every complaint before a release or this current Tour...whine whine whine...then, OMG! I loved the Show! I Love the New Release! I suspect the same result with The Archives. Keep up the great work Neil & Crew, I always look forward to what you bring me at least. Now back to the playground. LIVE RUST

At 12/11/2008 06:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I"ve been waiting for you for such a long time now"

At 12/11/2008 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Shityhorse said...

Just put the mother-fucking thing out already! Christ! Any other artist's fans would not wait 20 years, with baited breath, for any release only us...dont do this to us Neil! just put it out.
My only complaint is the number of unreleased songs...there should be no previously released versions of ANY songs...but since when have we ever gotten what we wanted?

PS Cant wait for MONDAY!!!!!

At 12/11/2008 08:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The upsetting thing for me about this whole deal(besides the fact that its gonna cost a fortune) is the fact that the real treasure would be volume 2. Most die hard neil fans have all ready heard most of the stuff thats on volume 1. If you've read "shakey" and listened to a number of live boots from the mid seventies, your aware of unbelievable gems like "kansas", "give me strength", "pushed it over the end", "homefires", and my personal favorite "try". Im dying to here studio versions or even live versions of these songs in better sound quality. I say skip volume 1 and bring on volume 2!!

At 12/11/2008 09:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil - put it out on tape, vinyl or any other media you want, or walk away and make them wait - they will. I'm buying whatever equipment necessary to listen to this stuff and playing it loud and often.

At 12/11/2008 10:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allow me several observations that may piss off everyone, both the ‘Neil-is-creatively-unimpeachable’ and the ‘Neil-the-artiste-act-is-wearing-thin’ factions, though might inspire a bemused smile from David Briggs in whatever ethereal dimension he now inhabits.

- Who is the Archives for? If for fans… well no one is desperate to hear “Sultan” in 5:1 sound or review its sine wave on a vectorscope or whatever these atomically anal audio embellishments the Archives are apparently designed to provide. If for fanatics…. Well, even THEY must be feeling like Charlie Brown after Lucy’s pulled the football away for the 917th time…

My guess is the Archives are designed for Neil, and so represent a monumentally self-indulgent diversion from the fact he hasn’t made a decent album since… oh… ‘Freedom’, maybe?

I’ve actually waited longer for the Springfield box set, and was dismayed by severely he fumbled that. The operating principle there was, of course, ‘chronology’ (except when he wanted to pretend that all of Ritchie’s and Jimmy’s hard work on ‘Last Time Around’ didn’t constitute a real Springfield album. An interesting perspective from someone who bounced in and out of the band whenever it suited him.) Boy, did he fuck those guys over. The guys who gave him the chance for a career. And his dubious rationale for not showing up at the R+R HOF induction confirms his petulant tendencies.

Which makes some his recent goofiness even more disappointing. Consider if ‘Ordinary People’ was released around the time it was written, instead of plopped into another mediocre album, where it awkwardly testifies to the fact he hasn’t written a song nearly as committed or compelling since.... well it’s been a long time.

Anyone who’s heard, say, Rock and Roll Cowboy or ABD knows there’s some real gems in the vault, but not a ‘parallel career’, and an abundance of mediocrity that doesn’t merit release in any form, particularly not Hi-Def Laser-Guided Blu-Ray.

None of which diminishes Neil’s humanitarian endeavors. Maybe he should give up songwriting and concentrate on the Linc Volt. That’s already more of a success on its own terms than any of his recent albums are on theirs. Clancy

At 12/12/2008 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm obsessed. Ask my wife. Hey, aren't we supposed to get some sort of communique from the Archives Team this week? Some sort of FAQ and Blu-Ray buyers guide on the official Neil's Garage website? The week's 4/5 over california time! Come on, Neil Camp. Does a delay in the Archives lead to a delay in information dissemination? I'm hoping not! But I fear so! LRR

At 12/12/2008 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Release the Prisoners of Rock N Roll!!!!(On BD-Live????)

Ain’t it The Truth (Squires)
White Flower (Squires)
Together Alone (Squires)
I Ain’t Got The Blues (Elekra Unreleased Demo)
I’ll Wait Forever (w/ Rick James, The Mynah Birds)
High School Graduation (Springfield Era)
L.A. (1st album era)
Big Waves (ATGR era)
I Need Her Love To Get By (ATGR era)
Long Walk Home(ATGR era)

At 12/12/2008 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


shut the fuck up.

-archives guy

At 12/12/2008 05:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Archives Guy (if that was really youm like so much of the Archives it's become a tireosme 'mystery'), how do we reconcile shutting the fuck up with a $200.00 ticket for the FREEdom of SPEECH tour.

In which Neil took that opportunity to spend half the concert playing medicore new material that infomed us that... wait for it... the Iraq war was bad. Who knew?

Certainly all of you at Shakey Pictures are well intentioned but step back for a second to objectively assess what's going on here - extremely loyal fans, some going back 3 or 4 decades trying to play some arcane "I've got a secret about what the Archives does or doesn't contain, may or may not be compatible with this or that player, might come out in 2009, might not..." At what point would you say fans are just getting dicked around. Not intentionally perhaps. But still....

Anyways, I like Neil and hope he regains his bearings. If I sound cynical, perhaps I have that right (I mean - no one really wants to be cynical) but maybe even Neil might ask that if, let's say, a concert promoter has been promising to pay him since... 1979. Any day now Neil! Hope Neil proves me wrong but it seems like he's stopped writing songs with much substance, or originating from that intangible transcendent inspiration. Maybe someone needs to tell the Loner to step aside from his own considerable shadow. All the more reason for the Archives to be released. Clancy (can I still sing?)

P.S. I sat through JTTP twice when it was released. Please take my advice: its murky cinematography, serrated editing and even murkier, uh, 'narrative' does not require pristine audio or picture to 'appreciate'.

At 12/12/2008 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Napoleon In Rags said...

Neil waited decades for the BD format, allowing a never experienced stereo quality but now described the 5.1 Toast as a mindblowing sound experience. He perhaps could have noticed the 5.1 potential a bit earlier and issued the archives when the dvd technology was at its peak.

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

Great posts Clancy, and so true. I do think he has released some good albums since Freedom though, but not many, and none since Sleeps With Angels. There's been a few nice songs in the last decade or so, but gee, a handful at most. And I posted something similar to you about Ordinary People when CDII was released - totally out of place, and it actually detracts from the album - another one of Neil's poor decisions since Briggs moved on. Interesting that he hasn't played it live again, even acoustic - so why put it out on anything but the Archives? That's where it belongs. The man still cuts it as a live performer though, it's just a pity that his writing these days is so mediocre...

At 12/15/2008 10:30:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I don't understand why you would post on this site if you hate Neil Young that much. Like why even waste your time? Not saying you can't express your opinion but with music nobody's making you listen to him. Go find something else that you like.

At 12/18/2008 12:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all,
Don't know if anybody else has noticed.Went to Amazon and Target sites today 12/18/08.Archives vol.1 is no longer listed on either site.Blu-ray or DVD.WHAT THE F!!!???

signed,PISSED OFF!

At 12/18/2008 02:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're going to get pissed off every time the Archives is delayed you will die of high blood pressure.

Think zen! If you don't care about it, you'll get it. A watched pot never boils.

At 12/19/2008 12:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zen and all the rest of ya's out there,
This here is PISSED OFF guy from yesterday.You're right Zen I should just calm down and believe that Archives are out when I'm actually holding it in my grubby/greedy little hands.It's just disheartening when you can view what I guess is the actual product on all these sites but you can't buy it for maybe another 2 months.?Hopefully it IS coming out on Feb.24th.??Oh well I guess it's like the old carrot and the mule adage.Us being the mule.Ha ha.Until then."The Archives are coming.The Archives are coming.???"See ya.Thanks for reading.
signed,Zen is good. %)

At 12/19/2008 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy all,

I look for either Toast or new music from ol' Neil before Archives vol.1 comes out.

signed,Zen'd again


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