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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finally! Time Fades Away About to be Re-released

At long last, we can finally retire the Time Fades Away re-release petition!

This news is a fairly major deal here at Thrasher's Wheat as we await the appointed moment on Record Store Day's "Black Friday", November 28th. Warner Bros. Records will -- at long last -- make available Time Fades Away in the upcoming Neil Young Vinyl Box Set.

It's very hard for us to believe, but it's been over 9 years since we launched the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition campaign.

Since February 2005, nearly 150,000 visits have been logged to the TFA page and the petition has gathered over 16,000 verified signatures. (The actual count is closer to 20,000+ but the petition site has had several backup failures where thousands of signatures were lost.) Over 13,000 votes have been cast for favorite song on album.

"It's like stashing Mona Lisa in the basement."
Petition Signature Signer #6628 by Gareth D.

Neil Young: Official Release Series Discs 5-8 Vinyl Box Set is a 4-LP, 180-gram black vinyl in reproduction jackets housed in telescoping box with a limited pressing of 3,500.

The limited-edition box set includes the long out of print albums Time Fades Away, On The Beach, Tonight's The Night,and Zuma, each remastered from the original analog studio recordings at Bernie Grundman Mastering. The artwork is a historically accurate reproduction by Young's long-time art director, Gary Burden. These classics are being reissued on 180-gram audiophile vinyl for the first time and pressed at the world's premiere pressing plant, Pallas MFG Germany.

So why does any of this really matter?

Well, for one thing, news in 2012 indicated that there was a possibility that the original TFA would NEVER be re-released at all. From an interview in Guitar World, Young discusses The Archives Vol.#2 which will include Time Fades Away II. TFA#2 is an alternate version from the tour's second half.
"YOUNG: One thing I'll tell you about the next volume of Archives is that Time Fades Away II is in there. And it's interesting because the whole thing has a different drummer than what was on that album. I switched drummers halfway through the tour- Kenny Buttrey was in there for the first half, and Johnny Barbata came in for the second. It's a completely different thing, with completely different songs. So that's interesting. There's lots of stuff like that that I'm working on right now for the second volume."

Again, why does this matter?

It's been called the "missing link" of the "Ditch Trilogy".

Neil Young's 1973 Time Fades Away is one of the most remarkable live albums ever recorded. Certainly at the time of release, it was almost unprecedented for an artist to release a live concert recording of previously unreleased material. Long out of print on vinyl, still unavailable on CD in the early 21st century and widely bootlegged, the album is considered to be the "Holy Grail" of all Neil Young albums.

In an effort to gain wider distribution of this essential Neil Young recording, fans have started a petition requesting that the album be officially released. Those interested in obtaining a legal copy of Time Fades Away are urged to sign the petition today.

In 2003, it seemed that an official release was near when four of the "Missing 6" Neil Young albums surfaced. (On The Beach, one of the four albums released after a long hiatus, was also the subject of a fan's petition drive which would eventually gather over 5,000 signatures from the Neil Young Internet fan community Rust and Human Highway.)

Time Fades Away was recorded directly from the soundboard to 16-track using the Quad-8 CompuMix, the unreliable first digital mixing soundboard—against the wishes of producer David Briggs, who referred to it as the "Compufuck" but was forced to yield to the desires of Young. This resulted in a murky-sounding release. Because no two-track stereo master tape was ever made as would commonly be done, the album cannot be remastered in a traditional manner. If any new release was to be attempted, a new mix would need to be made from the original multitrack tapes.

(Thanks Peter!)

A comment by Greg M (A Friend Of Yours):

I agree with all the reasons stated for releasing and revering the album, but my guess is that there must be something personal beyond what has ever been revealed about that tour and album that causes Neil to short shrift it. Must be something big given it's the only album left unrepresented on Decade- The Bridge at the very least was worthy of being included.

I always thought it was just too painful because of Danny Whitten's 11th hour death preceding the tour. There is also the money disputes that went on, but I think we're grasping at straws, Neil has his reasons is all. The Detroit leg of the tour was the first concert I ever went to, and it was a great experience, especially the first half acoustic set. When the whole band appeared for the electric second half there was a discernible disconnect between band members, no interaction, very removed. It probably didn't help that they partook during intermission- I'm assuming.

The only song that stands out in my mind is Don't Be Denied, and a very lethargic Alabama with Neil playing the Wing guitar. I also think that it is totally in the spirit of Archives to get an alternative version. In the meantime, we can only speculate so much. Hopefully if we ever see TFA II, Neil will fill us in a little more on the details, but only if it's not excruciatingly personal.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

A comment by andrea1bianco:
I've read in some publications that several songs were recorded at the A & M studios by Henry Lewis and during the TFA rehearsals at The Broken Arrow Ranch. Look Out Joe, later released on TTN, comes from these sessions. Some songs, unreleased yet, could have been recorded. I mean Goodbye Christians On The Shore, Come Along And Say You Will, Letter from 'Nam. Nothing officially confirmed, but speculations of some studio recordings during the TFA timeframe exist.

A Rust comment by Jules:
From Decade liner notes:
"Time Fades Away. No songs from this album are included here. It was recorded on my biggest tour ever, 65 shows in 90 days.
Money hassles among everyone concerned ruined this tour and record for me but I released it anyway so you folks could see what could happen if you lose it for a while.

I was becoming more interested in an audio verite approach than satisfying the public demands for a repetition of Harvest.

So if you haven't done so already, go and sign the petition!

And if you have signed, then please re-tweet, share, forward, etc.

More on the history and background of Release "Time Fades Away" Petition.

Labels: ,


At 11/25/2014 05:52:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Dreams they say, are made up of bits and pieces of unused information and experiences that our brain empties while we are sleeping. This album, the melodies, the lyrics are as fresh as the day I first listened to it.

At 11/25/2014 07:08:00 PM, Blogger Ross said...

Well, I guess this is good news, although it's actually a fromal, official CD release of the album I would like to see, as I already have an old vinyl version.

At 11/25/2014 07:27:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...


At 11/25/2014 07:33:00 PM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

All time favourite album .... raw emotion captured like a masterpiece painting !
Look forward to the chance to hear on vinyl once again .
Like so many others I suppose , my copy of the original record has been played so much it is as scratchy as a barn cat caught in a rabbit trap !
Thanks Thrasher .

At 11/26/2014 10:47:00 AM, Blogger mark said...

so, i guess i need to hit Black Friday for a newer turntable, eh ?
.... don't be denied.

At 11/26/2014 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Oooh!!! Yaaaaaaayy!!! :D :D I wonder if we'll get a TFA CD release?? In any case, this is very exciting news.

At 11/26/2014 01:40:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

There isn't any two tracks master available for TFA. So every new release is likely a re cut from the dolby stereo copies for the file and tape duping purposes. Practically it should have the same quality of my Italian vinyl copy from the 80s. Anyway my internet copy from the HDCD sounded fine.
So Tired

At 11/26/2014 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Back then, I would sing along "The bridge, we'll build it now, it may take a lot of time and it made me lonely, but ooh baby, ooh baby..."

At 11/26/2014 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/27/2014 12:28:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm also hoping for a CD version. My vinyl copy is well worn, but it has aged well and doesn't need to be replaced. I'll be very glad to fill the hole in the CD collection, so my wait will continue.

At 11/27/2014 09:34:00 AM, Anonymous Jim P. said...

Please don't stop petition. Only 3000 copies, only in person on black/record store Friday, one per person - how many of us have signed petition?!! A whole lot of us will be left out. This is not success. I do wish Neil (or label didn't do this. Wish they would have done it like the CSMY 1974.) Please don't give up trying to get it real send for more of us!!

At 11/27/2014 10:31:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@MNOTR - TFA is timeless.

@EH - your welcome. and thanks for the positivity. :)

@mark - looks like it. Kinda appropriate -- retro technology for a retro album.

@Matthew - A CD is likely not too far behind, but probably tied into NYA#2

@ andrea1bianco - thanks. Hmm dolby stereo copies ? Really? It seems that TFA is somewhat cursed by the recording technology used at the time, sadly.

At 11/27/2014 08:25:00 PM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Yes ..... Sling blade
Mighty refreshing to speak of the music .
Particularly fond of Yonder Stands the Sinner .
The great pretender who's not the same .
Timing is precious ...... EH !

At 11/28/2014 01:23:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/28/2014 01:54:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Phil Brown, the TFA mastering engineer, wrote on a Internet forum, that they made Dolby copies, while they were cutting.

At 11/28/2014 05:21:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I read reports in recent days about problems with Tonights The Night. The reports mentioned that the gatefold cover had not been glued properly. This added to the mis spelling on the external label that these editions might be "fake". It's clear now, they are not fakes. I picked my copy up this monring at my local record shop, the shop received 4 copies of the box, and I know they are completely genuine copie, and it, just like the report has a faulty "Tonights The Night" gatefold outer sleeve. It is not glued on one part of the sleeve.

The set is superb in every way, it;s a pity this major quality control issue was allowed to happen, and it's clear this has been repeated all over the world.

At 11/29/2014 07:04:00 AM, Blogger dickie said...

That's a shame. On the other hand, it fits the album, don't you think? "Tonight's the Night" is Neil at, probably, his most unglued... I seem to remember reading somewhere that he meant for the original "Harvest" album cover to be made of material that would instantly desintegeate, the monent you removed the plastic cover... Typical Neil Young sense of humour: a collector's item that destructs itself...

At 11/29/2014 10:08:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

Is anyone buying this collection that already has the records? And who is that into NY and vinyl enough to buy the collection that does't already have them? I'm not trying to poopoo it; I'm actually asking because I want to get them but I feel like it would kinda devalue the ones I already have to buy new non-vintage copies? And would they sound better or worse than a super clean and perfect old set? I'm a new fan who's spent years looking for great copies of all his good records and I really don't know what to think about the archive reissues.

At 11/29/2014 08:20:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

Well I saw it at the record store today and couldn't resist. And I don't regret it. The albums are beautiful and make my old ones look like something that belongs in the bargain bin although I might put them in the box and sell them as a vintage set on eBay. I don't see the glue issue on Tonight's the Night unless it's that both covers are 'open' like a double album instead of the front being glued closed like most single albums. It might be intentional because the Waterface insert was inside the front cover. The only problem I have aside from barcodes is the letter in the sand inside On The Beach has been re-worked to look like it was written with a leaky fountain pen instead of nice and clear like the original album. It's very disconcerting.

At 11/30/2014 09:33:00 AM, Blogger dickie said...

Very interesting, altogether. How about the original Tonight's the Night inserts, are they there? I mean the Dutch language story, a review of one of the London Rainbow shows that Neil includerd (although he couldn't read it, but what the hell, "Back then, it was all Dutch to me anyway", is what I think he said). By the way, it was a reverent, weepy story by Dutch journalist Constant Meijers, accompanied by photographer Gijsbert Henekroot, who shot the picture that's on the album front cover, Neil as Miami Beach MC.
Also, does the pressing have the "goodbye waterface" message in it, as has been reported about the earliest pressings of the album? Or is that story bogus?
Just curious.

At 11/30/2014 09:39:00 AM, Blogger dickie said...

Sorry for the typo, the photographer's name is Gijsbert Hanekroot. Did some great work in the 70s, shooting everybody from CSNY to the Stones, Tina Turner and Nico. His work is collected in the coffeerable book "Van Abba tot Zappa", with a nice Neil picture on the cover. Hanekroot and Meijers followed Neil around in London, 1973, Oakland 1974 (CSNY), London and Amsterdam 1974 (CSNY, plus some pictures of Neil getting his car fixed in the Jordaan, an Amsterdam neighbourhood) and, lastly, Copenhagen and Oslo 1976 (Crazy Horse), with some fine shots of Neil and the Horse trying to smoke cigars to celebrate the birth of Billy Talbot's daughter. Well, anyway.

At 11/30/2014 10:46:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@andrea1bianco - thanks. Yes, there's a whole technical discussion on the TFA recording @

@ Unknown - that's a bummer to hear. Hopefully they can be replaced?

@dickie - ha! yeah, unglued & liquid, too. ;)

Actually, wasn't it the TFA cover that was printed to "disintegrate" ? The Harvest cover was originally printed with very expensive paper but changed after initial print runs.

@ mrtew - don't be denied indeed. :)

Wow on the letter in the sand inside On The Beach. Wonder what that's about?

@ dickie - good question on he "goodbye waterface" etching. Our original TTN album definitely has "hello waterface" in run out groove Side A & "goodbye waterface" in run out groove Side B. Probably our coolest Neil discovery way back when we picked up in the '70's. We haven't exactly rushed out for the box set since our vinyl has held up pretty well over the years. ya know how time fades away, right??!!

At 11/30/2014 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

Best I can do for TFAII:

1. L.A. (Solo acoustic)
2. New Mama (Stray Gators)
3. Borrowed Tune (solo piano)
4. Come Along & Say You Will (Stray Gators)
5. Lookout Joe (Stray Gators)
6. Sweet Joni (solo piano)
7. Don't Be Denied (Stray Gators)
8. Soldier (solo piano)
9. Last Trip To Tulsa (Stray Gators)


At 11/30/2014 12:25:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

I don't usually complain here but I got pretty annoyed yesterday. I waited for 3 hours in the Toronto cold to get the "limited edition RSD exclusive release". When I bought one it just looked like they had taped the security tab over top of the exact location where the edition number should be. I though 'ok I won't bother trying to get a specific number'. Only to get home to find no numbers at all, and of course 3 hours later I get an email from Neil announcing the online release on THE NUMBERED EDITION! Extreme disappointment. I bought the numbered edition and will now try to sell the RSD version that I opened to look for the numbers and probably can't return now. Rant over.
Didn't hear anyone else mention this major annoyance so...

At 11/30/2014 01:25:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

Sky crusher it would be pretty hilarious if when you get your 'numbered' set it turns out to be exactly the same with a number someone wrote on it with a sharpie! Sorry to make fun of you but I don't get why you'd care about numbers especially if you're going to open it anyway and destroy its ebay investment value. It sure does defeat the whole purpose of releasing the set on record store day if it's online only though... isn't the whole purpose of record store day to support records stores not closing down??? David Bowie has the right idea.... he charges twice as much online as his new hits album costs at the store!

As for the set, yes the insert is in TTN but you might miss it because mine was inside the front cover as I mentioned not in the back with the record and no TTN doesn't have the hello-goodbye etchings on the vinyl and it has an additional instance of the dedication to Bruce and Danny on the inner paper record slipcover. Also the huge lyric sheet in TFA is heavier and has clean cut edges instead of serrated lightweight newsprint like the original.

At 11/30/2014 02:32:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

I'm afraid that Come Along & Say You Will, Soldier and Borrowed Tune weren't recorded, at least not on multitracks.
So Tired.

At 11/30/2014 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Archives Guy said...

That's too bad to hear that the "Waterface" etchings were not done on Tonight's The Night.

The question came up during production and the we decided to include them.

Pallas was to do the etchings.

That being said, the records all sound amazing and the mastering by Chris Bellman is stunning.
The sonic quality of all 4 albums is better than the old vinyl versions.

At 12/01/2014 04:59:00 PM, Blogger JoAnne said...

Thanks "Archives Guy"...but I gotta ask.

Is NY Archives II coming 2015???!!!

At 12/02/2014 10:30:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Syscrusher - bummer. Anyone else run into this???

@ mrtew - weird, yes. thanks for TFA details.

@ So Tired - well, even if only multitracks, might they still see the light of ear someday???

@ Archives Guy - thanks for update. Maybe there will be another chance of getting those "Waterface" etchings back on Tonight's The Night in another release somewhere down the road...

Because Sound Matters

@ JoAnne - good question! AG???

At 12/03/2014 01:36:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Multitracks reels is always the ideal choice, where they exist. From the multitracks, you can get brand, new mixes. TFA recordings started later, but many multitracks and original mixes survive. I hope that at least some soundboard recordings exist for the earlier dates, not recorded on multitracks.
So Tired.

At 12/03/2014 06:16:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/03/2014 06:20:00 AM, Blogger mrtew said...

@ Thrasher - what do you mean "bummer. Anyone else run into this???" Everyone that bought them at the record store 'ran into' that didn't they? NY only sold the desirable record store day release ones online right? It's a valid concern. I just think I'm in the presence of even bigger NY/vinyl geeks than myself if they are worried about etchings and numbers etc.

Speaking of what's actually important about this release, I agree with AG! They sound unreal amazing great. "See the Sky About to Rain" has been my favourite song since I first heard it and I try not to wear songs out but I must have heard it a hundred times over the last 10 years at full volume but never like this. NY's voice is so smooth I'd almost swear it was a different recording done durning the Harvest sessions or something (it wasn't I'm sure). The instruments are still harsh sounding but in a really good way unlike how I've heard them before. The new vinyl remastering or whatever they did sounds fantastic.

At 3/05/2015 09:32:00 PM, Blogger oAtStAo said...

Hey mrtew - the numbered versions if legit have embossed silver stamp - not a sticker - on the back cover. No sharpie.

At 7/01/2016 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Tom Ferguson said...

Hey everybody,

I bought the digital version of Time Fades Away from Neil Young's Pono music store then burned the tracks to a CD-R. Voila! An AMAZING sounding compact disc copy of a long-lost Young masterwork!

Tom Ferguson


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