An Archives Analysis: It's Such A Fine Line
See? The Archives really exist!
Could it be that after 20+ years that the Neil Young Archives actually will be released? After all that we've been through over the past 2 years or so it does seem that the end -- or beginning -- is near.
But of course we've said that before. A few times. Actually, quite often.
(Incidentally, we're still in the running for the 'When Will The Archives Be Released Rust Poll' that Randy put together back in 1997. We guessed 2001 -- the latest date of all the contest entries. The other leading contestant voted 'Never'. Of course, the 'Never' answer may still win!)
But at least now we have a full Archives track listing. And another target release date which is now set for June 2, 2009. But last time we checked SIPS, over a third of fans didn't think they'd see a release in 2009 or ever.
We're not going to go out on a limb and venture another guess on this but we just have to say that with all the new details that are coming in from the SXSW conference panel that L.A. Johnson and Elliott Roberts held on Saturday, this latest release date may hold up.
So what are we getting? Last year, Archives Guy broke it all down this way:
Total tracks: 128
Total unreleased tracks (including 4 hidden): 48
Previously unreleased song or instrumental 15
Previously unreleased version 24
Previously unreleased mix 8
Previously unreleased montage 1
Total released tracks (including 8 hidden): 80
Previously released track 70
Previously limited release only 10
As you read the breakdown above, please keep in mind that the track list for the set has been in place for many years and that if Live At The Fillmore East and Live At Massey Hall had been not released as Archives previews, the track count would have been as follows:
Total unreleased tracks (including 4 hidden): 71
Total released tracks (including 8 hidden): 56
Now there's been a huge amount of criticism of the track listing in this blog's comments.
We can not begin to sort out all the various wishes and questions but for the sake of a few discussions, folks seem perturbed by incomplete albums missing key tracks.
A thought on this. Supposedly, the 4 albums Neil Young, EKTIN, Goldrush, & Harvest are being re-mastered and re-released at some point. This may explain a lot of the marketing rationale for missing tracks.
But our take on this that we've always maintained is that the NYA has always been about the Blu-Ray version. we're just speculating here, but we strongly feel that Blu-Ray box buyers will be made whole in the long run. The live updates will fill in missing tracks. Add rare unreleased tracks. Add video, photos, etc.
Neil's letter alludes to being warned about going for BD. We think that non BD buyers are going to realize that are stuck with inert disks instead of a living, breathing dynamic NYA.
There have been lots of calls for a NYA FAQ to handle the technical and non-technical questions that have arisen over the past year or so. It was our understanding that would happen when the website was launched. But no sign as of yet so can't say for sure.
In the meantime, Archives Guy -- our official inside source -- has re-appeared to provide a few answers.
I'll find out about UK orders thru ny.com
BD and DVD are region free
Tracklist doesn't list the hidden tracks, video and film clips or Easter eggs...CDs have no hidden tracks
There will be more van der Linden footage on North Country.
Pre order folks get to test drive BD live with the Disc 0 that they get before the release date.
In reply to a few questions-
Yes, all the previously released tracks have been remastered at Redwood Digital from the master tapes.
The hidden tracks are HIDDEN and don't appear in the pre-order track list. You get this information when you play your BD or DVD.
The individual disc offer is only available online thru neilyoung.com. You will not be able to buy these in a record store. Each individual disc will have different packaging than those in the box editions. Each individual disc will have a booklet with it's track list, song info and credits.
The Anon who mentioned that this is a comprehensive collection and therefore should include all the well known and famous songs has hit the bullseye in understanding why many previously released tracks are included (remastered). This isn't just a collection for the intense fanatic who already knows way more about Neil Young than any sane person should....it is for everyone and therefore offers a complete picture.
The mp3 download includes only the tracks on Volume One. It doesn't include any future releases or BD-Live material. The BD-Live content can only be accessed via Blu-ray. Won't be ever on
DVD or CD or mp3.
The mp3 download is done with a card that comes in the set with a code on it. Yes you can download it with your computer. It is only the BD-Live downloads that are limited to PS3 and other internet ready BD players.
Clancy- the release date won't be delayed again. the set is ready now...whereas it wasn't before.
You can go back to sleep now.
I'll see that the web guys do something about the NY letter/cookies issue.
Fork In The Road will be released on Blu-ray and is currently in production with a TBA release date.
The main video program for the disc will be a full length performance piece and NOT one of our screensaver/wallpaper releases.
Audio of course will be 24 bit/ 192 kHz uncompressed.
Live At Canterbury House is not scheduled at this time for BD release.
The mp3 download card comes with
BD and DVD. I'll find out the compression for you.
It won't be FLAC.
Doonerak- you bring up a good point about the 2 Canterbury tunes now being released. Text and graphic
were finished before the Camterbury release so we are going to find a number of details to be corrected on the preorder site. Such updates and other revisions that didn't make the book deadline will be provided as an errata sheet on the web which can be printed out and kept in the archives book for reference. I'm sure than you can understand that with the enourmous amount of content spread out over a number of formats, a few details might get glazed over.
BE player will be coming but of you go back thru Thrashers you can find discussion and info from me. In short you want a profile 2.0 player with Internet connectivity.
Quality differences between BD and DVD are explained on the preorder site.
Once again hidden tracks are hidden tracks. Asking what they are is liking asking your parents what the contents of your Xmas packages are in November.
Early Years is dvided into 2 discs on BD and DVD because of content size. It takes dual layer discs to fit it all. Conversely the audio as 16/44 can fit on one CD..clocking in at 79 minutes.
I'll get the preorder page updated this week.
Lastly, we did not mean to imply earlier that someone is a "whiner" who has legitimate questions about their upcoming purchase. We're referring to the clowns who want "Toast" and their ilk with pretty unrealistic requests.
As we indicated before, Neil fans were instrumental in The Archives undergoing radical format revisions after the product was all but release ready. In this time of budget crisis, one can only imagine the howls if Neil had stuck to the "if you want it, you'll get on Blu-Ray only" mentality. we've come a long way with a virtually infinite combination of purchase options.
So, as our embattled blog commenter Pinto (or Flounder) posts on Archives dissatisfaction:
I think this opinion does a real disservice to the artist and the people who have spent the last few years assembling a package that is unprecedented in its scope, its future adaptability, and its response to external reactions. I don't remember Coppola soliciting outside opinions when assembling the various versions of the Godfathers; I don't remember Dylan asking for input when he's put together his archive releases, and I know that no one, on any level, has used the very latest technology to provide room for constant expansion of the archival record.
L.A. Johnson and Elliot Roberts
SXSW Panel, Austin, Texas
As Paul Cashmere reports on Undercover, he asked Young's Manager Elliot Roberts at SXSW when will the upcoming Archive series catch up with real-time. “Not in our life-time. And I mean that literally,” he said. Actually I’m sure if we all stay healthy and exercise we will survive long enough to see the next few editions. Volume two from 1975 will be released in 2 to 3 years and L.A. Johnson said that over the next 10 years they expect to have four decades covered.
Young's Manager Elliot Roberts said at SXSW:
"This is not a box-set, it is a biography. It is his life. You get a look into an artist that you have never seen before."
Thanks Archives Guy!