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Friday, November 20, 2009

Comment of the Moment: That $.99 MP3 of NYA "Cinnamon Girl"

So earlier in the week, we blogged on the MP3 Release of Fillmore "Cinnamon Girl" with news of the tracks availability amongst some controversy.

In particular in the post, we took exception with a Glorious Noise review by Jake Brown:
Glad it's out there and available, but it's a bit of a bummer that those of us who opted to purchase the CD or DVD version of the Archives will only get to hear this song in lo-fi, compressed MP3 or AAC format. I know, I know, we got what we bought, caveat emptor, but stuff like this just makes Neil look like a greedhead."

Not to get into the whole "greed" issue, but we have a lot of confidence that those who have followed Neil Young's career for many years, understands that money is not the driving force behind his art. Like we say, it's only fuckin' money people.

So -- lo and behold -- but Jake Brown has responded to the post. Here's Jake's response:
Hi, I'm the guy who wrote the original post on Glorious Noise. Thanks for the link. I'll try to answer the questions posed directly to me.

Thrasher: "So we ask Mr. Brown & Mr. Anonymous, would you prefer that Neil not make releases of his music and stop touring?"

No. Not at all. I love Neil and have purchased almost everything he's ever released, often in multiple formats. I've seen him in concert several times and have always loved it. While I opted not pick up Fork in the Road based on the songs in the videos Neil released, I sincerely hope he continues to tour and release new music. However, I don't think he's the best person to oversee the release of his archives. I think it should be left up to someone who could be a little more objective and less...weird (example: not wanting to release the "best" version of "Flying on the Ground" because it's "too real" or whatever his goofy excuse was that Jimmy McDonough recounted in Shakey). Someone like Joel Bernstein.

I love Neil, and I love his music.

Matthew Lintzenich: "Jake, if you don't like it, don't buy it. And if you're soooooo terribly upset that ***YOU*** bought the CD or DVD version of the box set (that's right - YOU - Neil Young did not reach into your pocket, steal your wallet, go to the store and buy it for you...), well then you have ONLY YOURSELF to blame."

I acknowledged this in my original post (we got what we bought, caveat emptor). I'm not at all upset I bought the CD version of the box set for $69.49. That still seems like a great deal despite the fact that it contained two discs I already owned. In fact, the general release of "exclusive" BD-Live content makes me extremely relieved I didn't shell out the hundreds it would've cost me to buy the box, a Blu-ray player, etc. I'm far more upset that my CD box doesn't include "The Losing End" and "Out on the Weekend" than I am about the Fillmore "Cinnamon Girl." Overall, I love my CD version of the box. I imagine that someday I will upgrade my home stereo system to higher fidelity, and when I do, the Archives box will probably be my next purchase. Until then, I have the music.

Matthew Lintzenich: "On that note, shouldn't Jake be happy to get to hear this track? And just how else does he expect it to be available online?"

As others have pointed out, Wolfgang's Vault has been streaming its recording of this song. And I was extremely happy to get to hear it back in June when I first discovered it there. I posted something to Glorious Noise immediately after: "I gave Neil the benefit of the doubt, assuming that a quality recording of that song maybe didn't exist. Or maybe Danny Whitten dropped his guitar in the middle, or something. But no." It sounds awesome.

The Silver Seed summed up my feelings far more eloquently than I did. The undeniable fact of the matter is that Neil omitted tracks from the original releases (and I realize that in this case it was audio quality issues that nixed it). We don't know whether or not it was his objective to "entice fans to purchase the top-tier BR Archives set" or to "sell them the missing pieces at a later date." But that's the kind of action that makes some people think he's being shady.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not thinking Neil's out there trying to figure out ways he can get another 68 cents from me. After all, the Archives only sold 5,000 copies in the first week. That's how many of us hardcore Rusties there are. If each of us buys a digital copy of the Fillmore "Cinnamon Girl," Neil's label miight earn $3,500. Not sure what Neil's royalty rate is, but I'm guessing that the money is not his motivator here.

But it's still annoying that the iTunes version is priced at the premium rate of $1.29. iTunes has three pricing tiers now. Neil could've put this up there for 99 cents (or even 69 cents if he was feeling really generous). It's moves like this that just SEEM greedy. To reiterate, I'm not suggesting that his motives are to squeeze every penny out of his fans -- because there's barely any money in it for him -- but stuff like this just has the appearance of money grubbing. That's all I'm saying. It just doesn't look cool.

Ideally, it would've been cool if he could've offered a free CD-quality download for people who have purchased either the box or the original Fillmore disc. Whatever, though. It's his deal. And he's made it abundantly clear that when it comes to his archives, his decisions are far from rational.

Good old Skakey. You gotta love him. Keep on rockin'.

Archives Guy: "Read the Post-Informer article on your BD-Live download for the straight scoop on this track."

Is there a way for those of us who just purchased the MP3 from Amazon or AAC from iTunes to get the scoop?

Thanks Jake for writing. While we don't agree, you're a good sport.

So, wonder what this is all about? Here you go, stick it in your 'pod and crank it.

Watch out for the greedy hand, greedy hand...


At 11/20/2009 12:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can someone pls post the 'straight scoop' here on TW so those of us who bot the BD live version but havent set it up can hear the story? Tx

At 11/20/2009 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know, i went to that link about fucking $'s and nearly cried.

seriously. if folks put about 1/100th of their energy that they're putting into complaining about a 99 cent d/l into protesting bank bailouts, maybe we'd get somewhere.

The wall st banksters are raping us blind and we're arguing about $1.29 vs 99??!?!

god help us

At 11/20/2009 01:30:00 PM, Anonymous Sherbert said...

Cough up the pennies is more like it.

At 11/20/2009 02:56:00 PM, Blogger rkennke said...

"will only get to hear this song in lo-fi, compressed MP3 or AAC format"

Well, I haven't bought the MP3, but if it's like the MP3 downloads you get when you bought the BR or DVD, then it'd be a 320KB/s high quality MP3. I doubt it's possible for human ears to differenciate between that and CD quality (or DVD/BlueRay for that matter - this stuff is way beyong human capabilities anyway).

At 11/20/2009 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Dear Jake,

Sorry, I should have been a better sport. I think you caught me on a bad day, and became the subject of one of my more colorful exaggerated tirades.

No offense meant, really. Well, not much anyway. Okay, alright, I meant to offend you! :^)

But I do appreciate your response to my insane spew of exaggerated venom.

The truth of the matter is that we all have our opinions, and I respect yours.

Though again, as I posted further down the comment-chain... Mr. Young is paying a lot of money to do some very good work to help the people and spread his wealth and save the planet for another day! So perhaps we should think about how our buying his mp3 helps him continue his good work.

And anon 2:14 above really makes a good point. I have written an anti-bailout song, and it's high time I get around to making that video and going viral with a real protest.

So thanks Jake - you are a good man for sharing your candor respectfully, as I initially failed to do. Whether we agree or not, courteous discourse is always a better way.


At 11/20/2009 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil is my favorite artist of all-time, but that doesn't mean he's infallible.

He makes dumb mistakes, just like the rest of us.

Archives Vol. 1, given the steep price, is a controversial topic. People have a right to object to neil's behavior, and also support him.

I do feel bad for some of the Zombies, however, who thinks Neil never makes a mistake.

Thrash, what do you think? {wink-wink}

At 11/20/2009 04:29:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...


Thanks for that. Know the feeling all too well.

Appreciate your keeping these on the level, as well as Jake.
Nice to know we can agree to disagree in a civilized fashion.

I never have a problem with an opposing view that's made in a calm & reasonable fashion.


At 11/20/2009 07:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the verbatim 'straight scoop':

"Archives BD Live Update
Timeline 3/7/1970
Crazy Horse at the Filmore East
Cinnamon Girl was left off the Filmore East NYAPS release because it was out of tune and not as good as other performaces. Because you asked for it anyway, here is that version in all its Ragged Glory.

At 11/20/2009 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


you mention in your post - Thanks for writing...but we don't agree.

do you not agree with ANYTHING jake has written? or is it simply a case that you disagree with one aspect, so you therefore refuse to give him credit for anything?

I'm just curious?

Have you ever taken issue with anything Neil has done?

At 11/20/2009 11:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard about the lost Neil Young album "Missed Another Fucking Deadline"? Apparently has an unfinished song called "I cannot make it on time".

The Gold Boxes are now back to 1 December making delivery to countries outside the USA before Christmas unlikely. Thanks again Neil.

Searching for Eldorado........

At 11/21/2009 04:43:00 AM, Anonymous Thos said...

Well I guess gold CDs and top-notch vinyl aren't the quickest of manufacturing processes, so I guess delays are inevitable. I just wish I could afford the boxes...

However, I finally got round to watching my DVD of Greendale last night and am at last convinced of the superiority of DVD-audio compared to CD - it sounded glorious! It made me wonder if the apparently-even-better sound quality of bluray would be noticably better still. Is it?


At 11/21/2009 10:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do i think? you're 4 percenters. this is not for you. fuck off. etc etc.


At 11/21/2009 11:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real classy Thrasher.

you're a champ.

At 11/21/2009 12:42:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

You know, very funny.

The 11/21/2009 11:21:00 AM comment is fake.

fyi - guess what? when i comment here, i use my registered id.

so don't pull that fake poser stuff.

what is your identity problem?

you've made 4 anon comments in this thread trying to provoke

and you wonder why your comments are deleted?

At 11/21/2009 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

must you always reply to these trolls? Let it go...
ignorance is bliss!

Johnny Rocket!

At 11/21/2009 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry thrash, didn't mean to get people pissed at you. i was having a laugh with what i thought you might say, and i thought it was obvious that i was a fake!

-thrasher (not really)

At 11/21/2009 07:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

having read the scoop now i'm glad neil is totally oblivious to all this crap and just focuses on doing what he does ... he can't win ... if he put it in there originally people would have complained about the quality ... so he left it out, added only the fillmore material that was excellent ... then people complained they wanted it so he sends it free as a bd download but then people complain they want it in mp3 ... so one song is easiest to send to the public through the mp3 services ... jeez ... give the team a break ... buy it if u want it, dont buy it if u don't ... and find something more important to focus on ... neil probably isnt even aware of the controversy and thats a good thing

At 11/22/2009 12:25:00 AM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

GOD HELP US! What is with all the wining and bickering and bitching? You people are so ungrateful for what you got, what your able to get and what you will continue to have! WHAT PIGS WE HUMAN REALLY ARE! Lets face it, we can't have it all, what we have is a lot and guess what?! YOU CANT TAKE IT WITH YOU! When you're on your death bed, weezing out your final stinkin breath are you gonna be thinking about that Neil Young bastard ripping you off for every last penny? or that Thrasher- he always agrees with Neil! No- or at least I hope not, but some people are bitter until the absolute end.
I for one am glad that Neil let those of us who couldnt buy the blu-ray box to get a new unreleased tune....and it is GLORIOUS! Thank You NEIL, Archives Team and THrasher.
I hope Neil considers doing this type of thing for future BD live updates so our DVD and Cd boxes can keep growing and be living thing as well


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