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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Comment of the Moment: Weld Series + Sneaks Coming to Neil Young Archives

As the Neil Young news continues to ebb and flow, here is the Comment of the Moment on the post Weld Series + Sneaks Coming to Neil Young Archives.

Our Comment of the Moment is based on a reply to a comment by JormaFan who suggested that the Buffalo 91 show was available on Wolfgangs Vault. Here is the reply by Scotsman:
JormaFan: good point, but I think the shows on Wolfgang's Vault are (mostly) best avoided. They are often soundboard recordings with severe issues. For instance, the Buffalo 1991 show is missing Poncho's guitar on several songs.

That said, those songs aside, the Buffalo Wolfgang recording is reasonable quality compared to most of the others, but still not as enjoyable as a good audience tape from this awesome tour.

I can understand why Neil doesn't want this sort of stuff (unofficial soundboard recordings) out there: it alters the music by excluding instruments and fundamentally changing the mix (a good, *clean and balanced* soundboard recording is an entirely different story, which can often sound great with a bit of polish to add back in the sound of the arena).

Currently the best way to enjoy the magnificent Weld tour, apart from the official release (which in its Young/Talbot mix sounds a lot better than McDonough's Shakey implies) is through the audience videos of shows like Hartford, Uniondale, Atlanta, New York etc. Many of the other shows, such as the first LA Sports Arena gig and Westpoint, also now circulate as very decent audio recordings. Many of these shows feature the most intense versions of Like A Hurricane and Cortez The Killer that have ever been recorded. Neil's lead guitar is off-the-scale.

Excitingly, Neil has multitrack recordings of several of these shows, including some that weren't included on the official album such as Las Vegas and Phoenix.

I think this is the most thrilling Crazy Horse tour of all time. And that's a pretty bold statement. Releasing some whole shows as videos would be a real treat for the fans. If necessary after a few weeks I'll be (politely) pestering Neil and the patient ladies and gentlemen at NYA to make sure they stick with this. Which I'm sure will be about as effective as digging for gold in my back yard, but anyway.

I'm impressed by the way Neil and his crew have approached this website, incidentally. It's taken a long while to get out of first gear. But the rare videos have been excellent, the articles on the Contrarian enjoyable, and overall it feels like he's stuck with it and is now starting to make something special out of it. I was concerned he's spending too much money on it: this of course is none of my business, but it would also be a problem from our perspective because it will limit how long it remains afloat, long term. It's one of those things I want to see grow and develop, not be abandoned the moment the wind changes. I think there is so much potential. And if he does come through with all these projects this year then we are really in for some treats.

Thanks Scotsman. The days of relying on bootlegs for unreleased gems looks to be rapidly receding -- which is good thing. All solid points on the face melting-ear-splitting WELD tour. This could be where a definitive audio/video comp finally arrives.

More on Weld Series + Sneaks Coming to Neil Young Archives.

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At 3/12/2020 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Now that NYA has been up for over a year now, it feels like Neil is beginning to really enjoy the whole process and immersing himself in the project. He has been right on top of answering our letters and keeping the articles in the Contrarian current, and pertinent to the times. This last month has been a flush of activity with some huge announcements for the coming months. Very exciting indeed.

I’m impressed with the quality of the sound and content, although I wish the app was able to access the file cabinet. A minor complaint as it is accessible by logging into the actual site. I agree that it’s taken a long time to “get out of first gear “, but things are accelerating now with the promise of the upcoming releases, the Weld projects, and the Sneaks features. Not only exciting material but also a very expensive year for us fans, with at least five new releases coming.

With all the new technology we all have now, its made it much easier and more accessible than ever to see and hear more performances than ever before. Bootlegs used to be fairly expensive and hard to find, but now with YouTube and other websites there seems to be no limit to what’s available. These videos and fan recordings certainly allow us to have access to limitless performances and I understand the appeal. Neil actually used fan videos from YouTube for the blu ray for A Treasure release. I see these as a footnote to Neil’s output. I don’t believe they detract from the official releases, but enhance our experience. That being said, I truly believe that there is no substitute for the official releases. The quality and the care that Neil puts into his releases is unsurpassed, and I look forward to these future releases with great expectations.

Fingers crossed that they all come out as promised.



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