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Monday, June 15, 2009

Archives Comment of the Moment: A Younger Perspective


The Neil Young Archives Comment of the Moment from Neil Young News: Archives Commentary Open Thread by Steel Madsen:
Hey everyone, I've posted on here occasionally, and I've decided it was time again after playing around with the archives for over a week. I haven't posted about the archives yet, so this might get long.

I waited a few days to buy it, unaware of the shortage. I'm only 20, and I began to have second thoughts about putting that much money down when I don't have any fancy audio setup, just TV speakers. I was going to go blu-ray or nothing though, because I'll eventually have a nice setup in a few years, and I don't want to buy it twice. Luckily, when I got to Best Buy they still had 2 Blu-Ray versions on the shelf, so I grabbed on and took it home.

Having listened to itunes mp3s and cds for most of my life (with the exception of some of my dad's vinyls), I can't believe the sound difference from my low quality MP3s.

The new songs, the song wraps, the video footage, the interviews, the different mixes, they're all so incredible, and something all Neil fans will hopefully appreciate.

I love a lot of Neil's early stuff, and while 'I Wonder' might not have the complexity of stuff like Ambulance Blues or Thrasher, it's becoming one of my favorite songs, probably because it's just so easy to relate to. I'm very surprised at how good his early songs were. I didn't know anything about I'll Love You Forever, I Can't Cry, Hello Lonely Woman, Casting Me Away from You, or the early versions of Clancy and Sugar Mountain. Those have become some of my favorites on the entire Archives.

Out of the videos, I love the whole Massey Hall (only had the CD), A Man Needs a Maid, the Barn Sessions/interview, Mr Soul, and of course. JttP.

I guess I'll finish by posting my favorites from each Disc:

0 I Wonder, Casting Me Away, Clancy
1 Sell Out
2 EKtiN (1st), (New version) Birds
3 1956 Bubblegum, Whiskey Boot Hill
4 Everybody's Alone, It Might Have Been
5 Cowgirl in the Sand
6 Wonderin
7 Man Need a Maid/Heart of Gold, Cowgirl
8 Words, War Song

~ Steel Madsen

Thanks Steel! Great observations!

And -- as always -- see Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About The Neil Young Archives But Were Afraid To Ask.


At 6/15/2009 01:19:00 PM, Blogger Worthless Recluse said...

"Having listened to itunes mp3s and cds for most of my life (with the exception of some of my dad's vinyls), I can't believe the sound difference from my low quality MP3s."

Got to be a plant :D

At 6/15/2009 03:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

or maybe there are some younger folks out there who actually get it, and still care how music SHOULD sound... :)

I'm amazed Neil is doing this in the midst of the MP3 generation.. thank GOD he is !


At 6/15/2009 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm young (26) and I listen to Neil and appreciate what he's doing with sound. My Archives haven't arrived yet though. If you live in Australia like me you always get things delivered late.


At 6/15/2009 08:58:00 PM, Blogger DanH said...

I just got my Archives today, and I'm writing this after 6 hours of time spent with it (along with 2 pots of tea!).

It's fantastic, and I'm slowly going through it chronologically, listening to every track and going through every piece of material.

Thanks Neil, this is a true gift to your fans. And a kind thanks to Thrasher & AG, who have been a big help in this whole process.


At 6/17/2009 09:44:00 AM, Anonymous dr dip said...

Ya know, its amazing how many Neil Young fans out there are totally unaware of this site. Just today in my local Paper in Sydney, a guy was asking if anyone had any Memoribilia(sic) from Neil's Sydney concert in January. He left his Mobile phone to contact him. I rang him and asked him if he had been on this blog site "Thrasher's Wheat". He had no idea it existed!

Several hours later I rang him back to see how he went...I'd opened up a new world to him he said and was so rapt with the site
and the information it accessed on anything Neil.

The power of the internet is amazing..bringing people with a common bond and love of Neil's music together with just the touch of the keyboard.

How many other Neil fans are being deprived of the knowledge of such a
wonderful site?..spread the word!!

.."See what it brings,

It could be good things

In the air for you!"

There's a world your livin' in

No one else has your part

All Blog's children in the wind

Take it in and Blog Hard!!!

Thankful Dip

At 6/17/2009 04:40:00 PM, Blogger DanH said...

My review:

Well my parcel from arrived on Monday, June 15th, and well, I've been downstairs listening to this box set ever since. It's honestly that amazing...

Comprised of 128 audio tracks, hours of video footage, and countless pieces of memorabilia all spread out over 10 Blu-Ray discs. And to think a Blu-Ray disc's storage capacity is anywhere from 25-50GB, so that's just goes to show the amount of material there actually is in this set. Not only is the content amazing, the actual audio quality of it is truly unbelievable. Over my lifetime I've probably spent days worth of time listening to Neil Young's music, but I've never heard it like this. The Blu-Ray set features "ultra-high resolution 24-bit/192 kHz stereo PCM state-of-the-art master quality sound". And to most that may sound like a load of technical gibberish (me included) but after experiencing it for almost 3 days now, I can see what all the fuss was about. I'm experiencing this music like it was all new again, I'm hearing guitar parts I've never heard before, I've listened to each of the classic 'jam' tracks like "Down by The River", "Cowgirl In The Sand", and "Southern Man" 4-5 times already. It's far beyond just listening to a Neil Young song, it's an entire thing of it's own, it's the Archives experience.

A set like this is totally foreign territory for myself, as many of you know I am more or less strictly a vinyl collector, and while I do use digital formats (mp3) out of convenience, I still understand that nothing can beat the warmth of a vinyl record. So when I heard about the whole Archives project being planned for Blu-Ray format I didn't think much of it, and when I heard the price tag I thought even less of it. All I can say is that I tremendously happy with my change of heart, it has opened my eyes to what Neil is trying to do and has succeeded in doing, which is create a state of the art listening experience. All the while create a direct link to his fans through the Blu-Ray Live Updates, now throughout the years to come as more and more material gets chosen for the Archives collection it can be simply added through an Internet gateway. It really goes to show how amazing technology can be when it's utilized the right way and that one doesn't have to be content with 128kbps mp3's for the rest of their life.

I know I'm coming off as a bit of a salesman in this post, but it's only because I am so damn impressed with the product. They did officially sell out of the Blu-Ray format within 1 week from release and apparently around 10,000 units were moved in that time. It goes to show that there's enough tuned in people out there and I know just how they are feeling as they're enjoying their sets. If you are looking to get one do it now before the distributors are out of stock because there will be a 2 month period between the 1st run and a 2nd run. I'm glad I bought when I did, I couldn't imagine having to wait any longer, 5 days was long enough...

Just another quick note, I cannot commend Amazon enough for their fantastic service. My parcel arrived 2 days before the scheduled delivery, it was packed (as you can see) very well in a large box, and arrived with no issues whatsoever. Also since they have region specific sites (USA = .com, UK = .uk, Canada = .ca, etc) you can order from within your country, using your own currency. Thus not having to pay any nasty exchange rates, taxes, or duty charges.

At 6/18/2009 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

can anybody help me find the hidden track "emperor of wyoming" on the archives. it's my favorite neil song and i can not figure out how to access it. email me at


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