Comment of the Moment: Archives Preview
The Comment of the Moment is on the Neil Young Archives Blu-Ray preview by Shittyhorse:
I, for one, cannot wait for the parcel containing Neil Young Archives Vol.1 1963-1972 to land on my doorstep. My wife already knows I will be locked in our office for a few days digging through the Archives. While it's true most of us already own a lot of this music already, the idea of a collection such as this is what appeals to me and the music is only one part of it (yes, a big part) there is also the photos, information, history, film, book etc. etc.
I love the fact that this was a labor of love done by Young himself....not some postmortem cash-cow done by relatives, benefactors and record company clowns. Neil's fingerprints are all over this box and if you take a look at many other box sets; while the music is by the artist the whole package is missing a kind of mark by the artist. I find that all the great artists create their own universe, a creation all their own that is undeniably theirs. You look at a t-shirt, an album cover and without reading the name you know who the artist is. There are certain symbols, slogans, lettering, etc. that Neil Young uses… I see a buffalo and it reminds me of Neil Young (or Hunter S. Thompson) and we all know Neil’s handwritten scrawl, a Native American symbol, a ragged worn object, or a grainy photo.
As was the case with Nirvana. Kurt Cobain oversaw EVERYTHING Nirvana so that it met his approval. Kurt understood art and image and he wanted to make sure Nirvana had an image. When I think Nirvana I connect specific images to that band: a fetus, that font, mangled dolls, flowers…etc. Kurt Cobain was Nirvana and all those things we connect to them were intentional. That is part of creating a look, style and brand, it’s memorable. Now, look at the Nirvana box set “With The Lights Out”. If you’re a fan you know; the music is fantastic but the package is lacking (as was their greatest hits honestly) Kurt’s artistic touch. The big picture of Kurt and the band in suits, all the black and the inside cover that you touch and the heat from your hands lightens the page? God what is that?! Even the title is horrible, the most uncreative thing; Kurt would have never; in a million years stand for that package being released to his fans.
Kurt Cobain was an art student and later an artist and his stamp is so sadly lacking from this box set….his band, his career all stuffed into a poorly thought-out rip off.
With Neil Young Archives we have a collection of songs in a multi-media project…the likes of which we’ve never seen. I hate to say it again but this IS a living-breathing thing here. From the preview disc we can tell Neil Young has been here. This is his (and Joel Bernstein’s) baby. I keep reading all these folk’s complaining about how they don’t need another copy of ‘Cowgirl’ or ‘Down by the River’. Well I’m glad those tunes are on there because I don’t need a HUGE set of ALL outtakes i.e. The Beatles Anthology. (There is a reason they are called outtakes by the way) The Beatles project is very interesting only BECAUSE it’s THE BEATLES! But let me tell you I’ve listened to those things maybe once all the way through…enjoyed in enough and now they collect dust. I now put on ‘Abby Road’ the album or ‘Revolver’ because, quite frankly, they were done better then! Not the outtakes.
People will always find a million things to complain about when it comes to Neil Young because that is the kind of artist he is; weird enough that wonder what he’ll do next and frustrating enough to keep it interesting. It’s that way for his every project, album, live show. That’s a big reason why we love him and we keep coming back from more but also the MUSIC!
Listen some of use don’t like Oreo Cookies but do we blog about why we don’t? The archives may not be for everyone and I think Neil knew that going into it. But don’t try to bring the 96% of us who can’t wait for it down.
As for me, when that big box comes in the mail, I’ll hunker down for a week with some beers, roll a few numbers and take a fanatic trip into the Archives.
More on Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About The Neil Young Archives But Were Afraid To Ask.