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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Comment of the Moment: Official Releases Series


The Neil Young Comment of the Moment Official Releases Series (ORS) by D.I. Kertis:
I've been wondering about the Official Releases Series. The thing is, I bought the Neil Young and Everybody Knows this is Nowhere remasters earlier today.

They sound great-- in fact I'm listening to the former right now. These are wonderfully improved from their past versions and I'll probably be picking up After the Goldrush and Harvest next weekend. I'm greatly satisfied with them and I'm convinced their worth my money.

But I've been wondering, when Archives 2 eventually rolls around, I'd imagine the albums covered by the set will be restored and reissued, and the same will be done for all future Archives volumes. But the Digital Masterpiece series from 2003--On the Beach, American Stars 'n' Bars, Hawks and Doves, and Re-Act-Or--sound as great as can be.

So I'm guessing Neil won't be reissuing those again as part of the Official Release Series, since they're definitely up the standards of these new remasters. If he does, I won't have any reason to buy them. At the same time, albums that would fall into the presumptive Volume 2 time period--Tonight's the Night, Comes a Time, Rust Never Sleeps, and Live Rust--would likely get the ORS treatment, right?

Then there's Time Fades Away. I'm curious to see how that will be handled as I've heard about this Time Fades Away II business and it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Where will the Stills-Young album and Decade fit into this? Will Decade be superseded by the Archives series once it has covered those ten years? Then there's Toast... and Journey Through the Past STILL hasn't seen CD release, in spite of the fact that it's within the time period Archives 1 covers.

I guess we won't have real answers to these conundrums until (if it ever happens) the Archives series is completed to date. I'm guessing Toast will be released in Volume 4, or whatever number we're at by that point in the chronology and like I said I'd think the DMS wouldn't be reissued. But those are just guesses. I'm also guessing Neil has more of this planned out than he's let on so far, but we'll see...

Thanks -- as always -- D.I.!

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At 11/05/2009 06:11:00 AM, Anonymous turntable said...

does anybody know if the new remastered albums ( Neil Young, After The Gold Rush, Everybody knows this is nowhere and Harvest) are available on vinyl in europe???

At 11/05/2009 03:44:00 PM, Anonymous Marc C said...

i`m just wondering...

how different are the booklets of these ORS discs from the ones already available? any new artwork? do they stick closer to the packaging of the vinyl releases?

because if they do differ from the ones presently avaible,that just might convince me to actually purchase them heh

-Marc C

At 11/05/2009 04:16:00 PM, Blogger D.I. Kertis said...

There are some minor differences. You can see some of the slightly different covers in the picture above. For example, I know After the Goldrush and Harvest have different rear cover art. Harvest (which I've also bought at the time of writing and is another great improvement) also has the lyrics actually printed in Neil's handwriting, which I thought was a nice touch though it doesn't improve the music.

A couple of others:

Everybody Knows this is Nowhere now has the picture from the front extended onto the back (which only shows more trees and field but it's better than black print on a blue background) and the front cover of the self-titled album is now as it originally was in '68: no "Neil Young" written on the cover, which I think is an improvement since I've always liked that portrait.

The differences are minor but they *are* there.

At 11/05/2009 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do these remasters suffer from the The Loudness War syndrome like almost all new releases these days do, particulary remasters?

At 11/05/2009 11:12:00 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Re: loudness war. The only remasters I bought were ATGR and Harvest off iTunes the day the Archives came out but having said that, I think it's pretty safe to say that Neil isn't participating in that war. He's as hands on as any artist in his mastering and hasn't yet fallen into that trend. Play any Neil release from the last five years back to back with pretty much anything else from the same period and you can see that he's not playing that game.


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