Archives Comment of the Moment: Gaining That New Perspective
The Archives Vault
An Undisclosed Bunker Location
The Comment of the Moment is from Soldier, My Ears by D.I. Kertis:
The more I think about it, the more I feel that Archives 1 puts even the most well-known previously unreleased tracks in a new context by presenting them along with all of the memorabilia and archival material that goes with them with this giant anthology of his work from this time period. One can now see each song, previously released or not, in relation to Neil's entire body of work, not just as a song in and of itself or even as part of a specific album released at a particular time. That's one of the things a retrospective release can be most valuable for -- gaining that new perspective of both the art and the artist.
Sometimes retrospectives are done as much for the artist as for the fan. The artist, too, likes to gather his work together and see for himself what he as accomplished so far at times. And I think this might be one such case. I know Neil has talked about the Archives as being something he needs to do for himself as well as his fans. ( I do say "needs", not "needed", lest we forget that what we have so far is only volume one and three or four more --even old Bernard Shakey isn't quite sure--are in the works.) But then I suspect all of Neil's releases are as much for himself as they are for us. Probably more, as a matter of fact.
It will be interesting to see what the future Archives volumes bring, and also how Neil will deal with the issue of not being able to archive everything simply because his career is still very much in motion.
How far will the proposed 4-5 box sets go in terms of chronology? Where will he stop? I guess that depends how far he gets before finishing them all. In the meantime, though, we're safely in the realm of the past. Getting the next couple of Archives sets out should be plain sailing as long as it doesn't take too long.
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