Archives Easter Eggs, Virtual Bongs, and Hidden Tracks
It seems like a good time to start a sticky thread on the Archives Easter Eggs, virtual bongs, and hidden tracks now that it appears that BD-Live downloads will start flowing on a semi-regular basis. So we'll put this link over there on the right sidebar for awhile and folks can post about their discoveries.
In the meantime, from a comment on the Neil Young Archives by D.I.:
I’d like to throw a couple more thoughts about the Archives out there.
One thing not a lot of people have mentioned is the poster, which is quite remarkable in and of itself. It's basically a picture of the Archives filing cabinet for the 1963-72 time period covered by NYA1. It's big--not wide, but long--and one of the most unique posters I've ever come across. I'm not quite sure what do with it, though. At the moment it's still in its slot in the box. I'd like to display it somewhere, but I certainly don't have a frame of the proper dimensions and having one made would be far too expensive, especially seeing as I've recently spent $200 plus s&h on a ten DVD box set! One idea I've gotten is to laminate it and hang it on a wall somewhere, but I haven't acted on this as yet.
Secondly, I was playing Disc O the other day and, due to all the images shown of tapes spinning, I actually began to feel like I was sitting and playing the original reel-to-reel tapes of Neil's early recordings after a while. I guess the intent of showing the records and tapes playing was to conjure up that feeling, almost as though Neil's given us the tapes, but he hasn’t really given them to us. And it's a neat feeling, though I wouldn't expect anyone but a hardcore Neil Young fan to appreciate it.
Everything about the package seems designed to give the illusion of going through a real file of Neil's music. After all, the spinning record or tape is what you'd see if you were to play the actual recordings themselves.
Disc 0 is one of my favorite things about the Archives: most of it is previously unreleased and not only is it obviously of a historic nature, but a lot of it is very good. I especially like the version of Clancy, The Ballad of Peggy Grover and The Rent is Always Due. Is it just me or are they lyrics of those two just as strong as most of Neil's bona-fide classics from the '70s? I especially like 'Rent': Your silver child, suspended in space, crying out to you.."--classic Neil. I love the outlandish imagery all over this song. Looking at they lyrics of 'Peggy Grover', there were several verses not sung on this. I wonder if they hadn't been written at that point, though it seemed like there were some problems with the tape recorder at the point so maybe he stopped short. Either way, it's a good recording and tells an interesting story. 'Hello Lonely Woman' is another highlight: pure blues with great lyrics ('like heaven on a clear, clear night') and a scorching harmonica solo.
'I Wonder' and 'I'm a man' are examples of the fine dynamic of the Squires, as well as darned good rock 'n' roll. 'Mustang' is my favorite of three instrumentals: it's a really nice tune with lots of energy. The instrumentals give a view of another side to Neil rarely seen in later years. 'I'll Love you Forever' is remarkable purely for its really advanced atmospheric production. It's also a sweet little love song, though I'm not sure exactly who it's about (presumably a girlfriend at the time, whoever she might have been.)
One last interesting thing about the early '60s recordings: Neil sings almost all of the time at a lower register than usual; not the high tenor we've all grown accustomed to. Perhaps this was intentional. I know a lot of people, including himself, thought his voice was 'weird' at the time, so maybe he was trying to suppress its most unique aspects. He certainly doesn't seem to sing with the same emotion found in his later recordings.
-- Just some thoughts.
Thanks D.I., as always!
Again, discuss Archives Easter Eggs, virtual bongs, and hidden tracks.