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Friday, December 08, 2017

Neil Young's Online Archives: Homegrown and Meadow Dusk Albums

There is little doubt already that the Neil Young Online Archives is a masterpiece in presentation that leapfrogs other artist archival projects and sets a new standard.

Here's a comment on "So What Might We Find on The Neil Young's Online Archives?" by bigmrbee914:
Homegrown is by far the most coveted and therefore the most desired of all the unreleased albums.

Most are skeptical as to whether Neil will stick to the original planned album or update it to suit how he feels these days. My thoughts are that Neil is a stickler for historical accuracy. When he is ready, he will present that album as it was intended in 1975 before the playback of Tonight's The Night led to a change of mind. Regarding other material recorded during the time, expect to see those tracks appear on the timeline and file cabinet as standalone recordings. As with Archives Vol. 1, there were some tracks that were left on the cutting room floor during sessions for an album and they made it to the Archives. Just because it didn't make the cut for the album didn't mean it remained unreleased forever.

Also of note, Neil is clearly not opposed to including tracks that made it to later albums as can be seen with Hitchhiker. Captain Kennedy is an example here, found on both Hitchhiker and Hawks And Doves. When it comes to the archives online, as the material is made available and the information as well, purchase of the newly released recordings could lead to fans purchasing just those recordings they don't already have and compiling the lost albums with provided information. However, knowing Neil's true fans, we will buy the albums as they come out.

Regarding Meadow Dusk, it seems that this was along the same lines as the 1969-1970 concept that Neil had for Oh Lonesome Me, so far that he had designed an mock up of a proposed album cover and had two variations of a potential track listing. The proposed cover and track listings can be seen in the documents for Oh Lonesome Me on the Archives Online. Neil may have recorded material but the overall project never materialized or was left incomplete (ie only some of the material was recorded). However, the Oh Lonesome Me project could manifest itself as the Early Crazy Horse album that is showing up in the timeline for the period, although it is more likely the idea was scrapped when Neil joined with CSN and then further developed the After The Gold Rush concept.

Regarding Neil's use of unfinished recordings, I don't think it would be impossible for him to have attempted Hitchhiker with Crazy Horse in 1975 for Dume, even if it was unfinished. Crazy Horse was about a raw energy, not a polished product. A prime example is the abrupt ending on Going Home, clearly an unfinished (or perhaps deliberate) ending.

As for other unreleased material, it would be nice to see placeholder info cards for many of the unreleased songs. I can see the desire to hold back the recordings until the respective project is ready for release but the information cards would at least show what Neil recorded. If anything, this would contribute to the further speculation as to what songs would make the cut on the unreleased albums, furthering the discussions.
Thanks bigmrbee914 for thoughts on potential Homegrown and Meadow Dusk Albums.

We're still digging around the early years and we're interested in hearing from others on their experiences.

And, all apologies for the misinfo posted the other day. Interestingly, the original source for the image was Neil's himself via Instagram in 2015. But, we take it all in stride. So, we continue.

"Every time I make a mistake, I cheer for myself on the inside."
~~ Neil Young, Somewhere in Canada, December 1, 2017

Neil Young Archives Tutorial

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At 12/10/2017 06:40:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Deja Vu: Part 2 - Here you praise his NYA as a masterpiece . I don’t understand but in reality I do. This is 2009 right when he released aforementioned masterpiece NYA 1. It was the future of archival releases by a major musical artist.I along with others eagerly bit into Archive Guys spiel . Spent a $1000 to prepare for all the unreleased stuff he was going to release in the future plus NYA2. HookLine &Sinker we were all suckers. I waited -nothing except mostly terrible new music (except for psychedelic pill-The last great album from Crazy Horse-at least the Horse knocked some sense into NY) plus some incredible archival releases see Hitchhiker.
What I don’t understand it seems everyone forgot about NY1 Blu-ray and now this online Archive is so incredible. It is the same but it extends now only with his current stuff. Still no Homegrown, Oceanside/Countryside, Chrome Dreams, Live a OdeonBudokan,Boardinghouse, ...only little sticky notes where they might be. It is all cute but no masterpiece (yet- fans and critics later after the Archival team starts asking for $ should determine whether it has that status and be anointed). If this all sounds cynical it is I’m very sceptical after I was burned in ‘09. I lost a lot of respect for Neil Young as an artist .

At 12/10/2017 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Timothy.... Cynical and skeptical are two different things, but I must agree with your general sentiment about this next phase for Neil's archives. I too spent large sums of cash preparing for the Blu Ray Archive Volume One only to be dismissed as "not the proper format" from Neil. I still believe that a physical product has the potential for a deeper connection to this music and it's physical history, which in some cases is being actioned off for outrageous prices as I write this post. Technology is accelerating so rapidly that attempting to keep up is a fools errand which I resist, yet for today's culture one risks being left behind in the rush. This may very well be the case for me regardless of what I may feel.

So here we are with what Neil considers the ultimate solution to present his life's work for his fans and those interested....... for now. Next year or perhaps the next year it may well be dismissed as obsolete technology and abandoned for the next NEW thing, who knows. Yet here I sit with my Hi Definition Blu Ray player waiting for Archives Volume Two to enjoy on my 7.1 surround sound system. Waiting..................


At 12/11/2017 12:08:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

I think that we'll get Archives Vol.2 on some physical format for hardcore fans and collectors , just not on Blu Ray,which the record companies think that it's too expensive to produce and sell.
So Tired

At 12/11/2017 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Agree with these comments, NYA Blu-Ray was supposed to be the ultimate physical release and nothing since has changed my view on that. NYA 1 was superb even if we allow for the lack of substantial unreleased stuff. Since then we've had the disaster with Pono much like a child at Xmas he starts off something then drops it. The new archives on line yet again duplicates so much - a missed opportunity.

At 12/11/2017 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Blu Ray is already being upgraded to 4K and then in a few years it will be 8K, and on and on and on. But it's still Blu Ray regardless of the K's. I'm 61 years old and Blu ray is as Hi Def as I need, and as the K's go up my Blu Ray disc's will still play in these new players, just like my DVD's will play in my Blu Ray player. Hi Def isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future, but most younger people of course don't seem to be interested in a physical product at all, so as the original fans continue to die off this will all be inconsequential...... but I'm not dead yet!

For now though the original fans that have supported Neil throughout his career are being ignored by his desire to keep up with the next new thing in technology. As of today, December 11, 2017 everything on the On- Line ArchivesI already own. So at this point there is nothing earth shattering about it. This may change as we begin to pay for the privilege to access this ultimate solution, but for now it is pointless to this Old Man.


............................still waiting

At 12/11/2017 02:56:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

.... and because I already own everything on the new archival site this doesn’t make it Archives Volume two. When that actually happenes then we will have to pay for it....or as it says “a prescription fee for a reasonable price.

Still waiting for Vol. two.

At 12/11/2017 04:23:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

From email. Part #1
Hi Thrasher,

what I wrote suddenly outgrew the size of a comment on your website. But
here it is anyway. Pardon my mistakes as English is not my native
language. Thanks for your website, even with NYOA it will remain my
point of reference for all things Neil Young.



Observations regarding the Neil Young Online Archives & Me

I appreciate the effort that was made for the present version of the
NYOA and I wander around quite a bit on this website, almost daily.
It has been said, that the site offers little more than what owners and
collectors of NYA Vol.1 an other of regular products do not already
have. Still the online format is a lot more convenient than browsing
through one’s own collection.

But there are a few things to be improved even with this start-up
(beta?) version of NYOA. It may be a case of deformation professionelle
on my side, but I do see quite a few typos and spelling errors: Larry
Cragg sometimes is spelled “Gragg”, Joel Bernstein is “Bernstien” and so
on. Of course that petty criticism does not relate to the original
documents that have to have “warts and all” for authenticity’s sake, but
for the re-mastered information? Far-sightedness is a pain when typing
on a computer, I know, but digital output of these dimensions deserves
some extra carefulness, I think.

At least in my browsers representation (Firefox) of the content within
the song folders the explicative comment or data in the upper left
corner appears behind the “BACK” and “NEXT” buttons and sometimes is not
readable at all. Again, this glitch might be the problem of a free
Beta-version, but yet…

Some of the folders riders are quite confusing because they appear left
(typed titles) and right (hand-written), is there any reason for that?

My Heart Needs Relating

This all being said, I return to my own collection of records, discs,
photos and memorabilia. They begin with the 17 years-old fan’s 1982
ticket stub (reproduced within Tom Hambleton’s Sugar Mountain website).
The ticket stub of 1987 reminds me of the seemingly endless rain during
these days, they were captured on Muddy Track when Neil Young’s tour bus
on his way to Zürich, Switzerland got lost in the rains of southern
Germany, not that far from my home. The collection contains an original
photograph of a NY & the Echos concert at OPL, that was given to me,
when I passed through Half Moon Bay in the late 90’s. The collection
holds a book produced by R.Twerk’s Jenice Heo presenting the artwork
that was used for NYA Vol.1 and a Neil Young signed Carnegie Hall 2014
poster that was part of the Pono promotional effort. There is some more,
but many Neil Young fans will get the idea because they might have a
similar eclectic or ragtag fleamarket box of memory-laden, ahem .. junk

At 12/11/2017 04:25:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

From email. Part #2
What makes these objects unique to me, even if they in part are of
mass-production origin, is that they are the material extension of my
own biographical experience. They are hard proof enobled by one’s own
individual involvement, on many levels, above all the whole register of
emotional engagement.

When Neil Young recently auctioned off some of his undoubtedly vast
possessions, the auctioneer commented that it was no problem for Neil
Young to let go of stage equipment, guitars or even some of his historic
cars. However, it was reported, that it was a problem for him to sell
off part of his Lionel train collection. There you have it: These toy
trains are a major part of Neil Young’s biographical experience. Even at
72 a man living in a world of presumably inundating material wealth
clinges to (a few) real things. And so will his fans. An old photo print
of an OPL concert represents a moment in time and space. A
representation of an old analog photograph on the internet (in fairly
limited resolution) represents just that: a representation of a
representation of that moment. That’s something that I’ll never call
mine, it always will be just a shadow in bits and bytes. Should the fan
settle for less than his revered idol, who is an idol because he does
not settle for less?

Scrounging for Quality

It is quite ironic that throughout the NYOA one can see Neil Young
constantly being obsessed with authenticity, like with his
self-addressed envelopes to ensure copyrights to his own songs, like in
this video snippet with Joel Bernstein and Gary Burden, where he is
almost crawling into original print photos using a magnifying glass in
preparation for an earlier version of the archives, or on the occasion
when he is claiming his work at the bootleg record store as being his
own. Neil Young is so obsessive when it comes to the original sources
that he sometimes prefers outdated recording booths to modern
technology. Note: It is not the sound that you hear that really matters,
it’s the sound you can make. Unfortunately it is impossible to re-create
that sound, sorry Neil, but it always will be a representation more or
less close to what the artist heard when he created it. So artist and
fan alike might want to go and re-create what they remember and have the
original still. That's how I explain the umpteenth version of Sugar
Mountain and Southern Man by the way.

At 12/11/2017 04:25:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

From email. Part #3
Why in Crowds Just a Trace of My Face Seems so Pleasing

No fan has the right to go through Neil Youngs personal memorabilia, let
alone Bob Dylan’s garbage. But if an artist with a vast output of
records, films, books and merchandize tries to escape the fan base’s
unsatiable demands for authentic material, hands-on experience and
therefore emotional engagement, he ultimately and in fact is giving up
on the relationship that made him, or better his stage persona,
possible. It is the trace of a face not the bits and bytes that
ultimately prevent the face from turning to plaster, or maybe into
dinosaurs in shrines.

I am afraid we do have to accept that all idols have the right to
retirement. In this case this paradoxically means to remove themselves
from the scene by suggesting maximum transparency in publishing digital
archives projects or bootleg series’. This is an impossible undertaking
of course and may be the very reason why it took so long until Neil
Young came forward with the various incarnations of his archives. There
always will be the fear that the Emperor of Wyoming finally has no
clothes anymore, a perspective dreaded by the idols and their fans
alike. And so the Hippie Dream has to remain a perpetual illusion, to be
kept up as long as there are unreleased songs, unknown biographical
details, a past, a present, a future, a promise that have yet to be
discovered, it has to be beyond the horizon. But then it might be quite
something: Efforts of this kind always have been advertized in the vein
of “The man behind the music”. Now it will be the music, the man behind
it and the person behind the man.

I Need a Unit to Sample and Hold?

No, I do understand that virtual and analog realities nowadays can’t be
separated that easily anymore, but not making the difference between a
record and a data file simply does not work (for me), because they are
not the same thing, the latter maybe being not a thing at all. And maybe
again that is the miscalculation or misunderstanding that will
eventually make this project another digital tombstone for a character
of the entertainment industry. Anyone who has been at a Neil Young
concert will agree: always Neil has been the Neil Young version that at
the time he could come up with, sometimes a great version, sometimes not
so great, but always true. Online, however, he is as much Neil Young as
these perfect stage personae who perfectly resemble the Rolling Stones
and once, at some point in history now quite distant, had been the
original Rolling Stones.

So I go for new records, even if they are as good as they used to be, as
some suggest in the internet, and for my own collection of materialized


At 12/13/2017 08:05:00 AM, Blogger Mick Funz said...

I've had a rather unflattering thought about Neil's recent output and this newly launched Archives, and keep returning to it as I o through the cabinet and give some

How long has he had this idea of a massive "trunk" of Neil goodies for fans to sink into? Archives are all the more beguiling and overwhelming when they're stuffed with content, "embarrassment of riches" and all that . . .

I wonder if many of these recent, less than stellar releases are not just Neil and the muse but Neil and the content maker/provider? Like, when he finished "A Letter Home" was he as excited to do another creative project as he was excited to add another folder in the Archive! MORE IS BETTER! Keep filling the Archive with content so it gets stuffed and even more impressive in size.

I'm not married to the theory but I myself know what the pleasure is to be overwhelmed with content and how that can feel more than it is.


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