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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Comment of the Moment: PRE-ORDER: 50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young

 
 
50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young
 

With yesterday's start of pre-orders for the 50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young, once again, Neil fans are feeling the pain.

Neil Young's classic 1970 album "After The Gold Rush" is being re-released as a 50th Anniversary Edition, available as LP box set and CD listed at USD$99.98 for deluxe vinyl box set, with a 7” single picture sleeve plus a 12" x 12" lithograph of the album cover.

Similar to the debacle over the most recent "trick of disaster" regarding the launch of the long awaited Neil Young Archives Volume II Limited Edition Boxset (see Neil Young apology to fans) the fallout continues over all 3,000 units (@ $249 USD each) selling out in less than 48 hours -- somehow inexplicably and unpredictably -- demonstrating a huge pentup demand for physical Neil Young product by a global hardcore fan base. (See SOLD OUT: Neil Young Archives Volume II Blows Out in 48 Hours.) 

 
  "An Apology" - Behind the Scenes of NYA Volume II Sell Out

 

Which brings us to the Comment of the Moment on PRE-ORDER: 50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young by Thos, a long time rustie and TW reader here:
It’s bizarre, I just don’t get it! 
 
Release a box set of unreleased rarities that all his fans will desperately want, but only make 3000 copies available worldwide. Then Re-release an album all his fans have already (in some cases 4 times!) with a 7 inch bonus disc for £100, but not in a limited edition!

Again, interesting to compare with Elton John who today released a limited edition (5000 copies) 10 inch Vinyl of an unreleased outtake, to promote his non-limited rarities boxset our next month. That seems a better balance - a limited rarity for the completists and fanatics but make the box set available to all fans, now and in the future.

The ATGR vinyl set price is madness. Has it even been remastered since the last re-release? (No I think). So even if I buy the CD for £9.99 all I’m getting that I don’t already own is the bonus track of Wonderin with vibraphones. Think I’ll cope!

It’s similar to how I feel about Time Fades Away on CD - whenever he is asked Neil says it’s available on CD (see letters to the editor last week), but it’s only available as a very expensive box set of albums we all have already, so effectively fans are being asked to pay £80 for Time Fades Away, which is ludicrous. 
 
I could understand if he refused to release it at all, but since that’s not the case it seems a deliberate ploy to make money. I don’t blame Neil for this, I think it’s clear from Lincvolt, Pono, NYA etc that he’ll plough vast amounts of his own money Into things if he thinks it’s worth it and has never ever come across as greedy - despite the name of his online store! But somewhere in the line through Neil, his management and the record company there is someone who thinks Neil Young fans are mugs and will pay whatever is asked for any old product. 
 
Let’s prove them wrong!

Thanks Thos and we hear you and so many other Neil fans and WTF?!

Again, this all follows after NYA Vol #2 only weeks ago where we seriously  inquired "Who to blame/credit?":

All of the above? 

None of the above?  

A combination of a perfect storm that no one could have possibly seen coming?

Already NYA Vol #2 is listed on eBay with bidding nearing USD$1,000 for the unreleased box set.

NYA Vol #2: TOP BID $929.99 - Oct 30 | eBay

 Likewise, the "Return to Greendale" - Limited Edition Box Set by Neil Young and Crazy Horse has also received criticism from fans over the packaging and pricing.

 "Return to Greendale" - Limited Edition Box Set

(See details on box)


While there is always both joy and disappointment with all things Neil, it does trouble us that as Neil heads into the home stretch, that what should be the happiest of times in rustdale are becoming increasingly troubling as it seems the good ship NYA is losing it's bearings on both mission and purpose.

No doubt the times they are a changin'. To focus on the digital and ephemeral or the tangible, tried and true? No one knows.

So we applaud the attempts to get it right and stay true to the hidden path.

And for us, it has always been about the live concert experience.  We have spent $1,000 to see a Neil Young concert for a pair of front section seats, with airfare, hotels, incidentals, etc.  Worth every penny and we wouldn't buy, sell, borrow or trade those cherished memories.

While a 50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" doesn't excite us nowhere nearly as much as going back to listen and relive two evenings in Chicago of an acoustic spellbinding Neil in concert.

A concert where Neil literally played inches from us with pure pristine sound. Priceless, as they say.

To conclude -- for us here at TW -- we tweeted out to Neil on 50th Anniversary Edition "After The Gold Rush" the following:


 

 


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19 Comments:

At 10/31/2020 11:17:00 AM, Blogger das814 said...

Now Joni Mitchell with her Archives Vol 1 released yesterday joins Dylan, The Miles Davis Estate and Columbia Records in knowing how to do this without infuriating fans. ATGR with two additional versions of Wonderin'. No thank you.

 
At 10/31/2020 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Cat said...

Sniff around children, there are bootlegs galore that have circulated
for many years on all this!
ABD!

 
At 10/31/2020 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Thos said...

Well I am honoured, thanks Thrasher!

 
At 10/31/2020 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Listening to the Joni Mitchell box set right now, and it’s extraordinarily beautiful. What a gifted artist, and such a joy to hear her evolution as a songwriter.

Five CD’s of exquisite music within a lovely box which includes a booklet with rare photos and press clippings and a wonderfully informative interview with Joni by Cameron Crowe. All this for a mere $56. Roughly $11 per disc, and every bit as essential as Neil Young. No offense intended.

Peace 🙏

 
At 10/31/2020 03:32:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

Elliot had a big hand in the Joni box, which says a lot.

 
At 10/31/2020 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Wardo: yes he did, and she dedicated the set to his memory.

Peace 🙏

 
At 10/31/2020 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I am going to find that Joni Mitchell archive and purchase it ASAP. On these other issues, I think everyone on this thread knows way more than I do about the details. But gee whiz, Neil Young has so much that it is hard to believe. He has to be the one artist who has been most capable of merging the prolific with the profound (even the duds are interesting in some way). I don't think he has lost sight of anything but might just be doing too much, trying maybe too hard. This happens to artists. Legacy is most often a total waste of the human spirit but it is easy to lose art amidst commercial and social confusions. My solution is not to care. I mean, I will buy what seems necessary for me. On the other hand, I think Neil is right to pour all this stuff out. In the end, the only thing that matters is the music. Literally, that is all that will matter. Arguing over bonus tracks and so on is a distraction.

 
At 10/31/2020 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

By the way, I was out cutting firewood today and it is incredibly beautiful. I listened to Emperor of Wyoming on the way home. So great. Now I have to go back to writing a grant- enjoy your days. Enjoy every moment of your life as far as you can. Try to even enjoy the toil. This pandemic time has been ruinous for so many people. I talked to an old guy at the hardware store today, his son died of COVID. I wanted to start crying right then. But the best thing we can do is help one another and keep living as well as we possibly can. Dan always says "peace" at the end of his posts, thank you Dan. I don't know you but I already like you a lot. Thanks to everyone on this site. Neil Young is one way to remember how much we owe to one another. Many of his songs, such as Bandit, go deep into our connections.

 
At 10/31/2020 07:38:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Abner : thank you for your kind words.

Peace to you my friend 🙏

 
At 10/31/2020 10:49:00 PM, Blogger (D.) Ian Kertis; The Metamorphic Rocker said...

To clarify, when I first posted the news of AFTGR50 here the other day, I was unaware of the new content or absence thereof. Although I for one enjoy the vibes on Wonderin' (posted to NY's Youtube channel for all to enjoy), I had hoped/expected there would he more unreleased tracks or outtakes from the recording of the album. Neil giveth not as much as I had supposed.

Can't justify buying the album again, not even the CD in all likelihood.

The weird thing is, Neil supposedly has this deal for hi-res mp3 through Amazon, but there seems to be an increasing push to market physical/tangible product exclusively or primarily through NYA/Greedy Hand. As a consumer, I resent any effort by Neil or Reprise to monopolize sales of Neil's product. I realize CD and LP are not dominating the music market at this point, but I hope the physical medium is not on the verge of becoming a super rare, and thus prohibitively expensive (for both producers and consumers) collectors' item. As social distancing has proved, virtual just doesn't feel the same; it may be all in the mind, but Zoom, the cloud, et al., just aren't the same as having real albums (let alone live music), real books, and real people in the room with you.

All that being said, if Neil wants to cut out corporate giants from the supply chain, I sympathize. However, would it be terribly difficult for NYA to partner with independent, locally owned record stores to give the consumer more choices? I don't think we want to end up in a place where NYA (online or otherwise) is the only outlet to get Neil's music. All good intentions and sweeping visions aside, that's just not fair on the consumer.

To say the least, things are extra difficult now because of the pandemic--do I really need to include such a disclaimer at this point?--but I know record stores still exist out in the wild, and it would likely be a constructive cross-promotion for NYA to consider doing business with some of these independent outlets. I'll go ahead and hazard a guess that Warner Reprise is the fly in the ointment here, as I imagine they have distribution deals with major retailers such as Amazon. Still, a music fan can dream.

For what it's worth, I likely could be persuaded to buy the 7" Wonderin' disc on its own, although at this point would need a new turntable before I could enjoy it. I'm curious about the "updated" album art, but not $100 (plus tax and shipping) curious. I remember when George Harrison, shortly before he passed away, produced a 30th anniversary reissue of All Things Must Pass, with colorized, photo-shopped artwork. He used it to comment on increasing environmental destruction in the intervening years. Given the themes of AFTGR, Neil and his art team could easily have done something broadly similar.

Subsequent CD and vinyl issues of All Things having reverted to the original album art, the 2001 anniversary packaging now qualifies as something of a collector's novelty. For the curious, I leave a link to George's EPK video (stands for "electronic press kit"--a fresh buzz word in the industry at one point). My "relationship" with George is even older and deeper than my connection with Neil's music, so this is special stuff to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIUz3rjvoE

~Om-Shanti.

 
At 11/01/2020 01:37:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

well we all remember Tom Petty hurt that Benmont hadnt even told him he would be at Bridge School Benefit 1, 1986. when you watch the vid its evident. "are you here with Don Henley?" he asks. But more importantly the 2000 BSB was the greatest amalgamation of bands ever not to but especially Neil Young brought together. Neil Young Friends & Family Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Matthews Band Red Hot Chili Peppers Crosby Stills Nash and Young Beck Foo Fighters and Teagan and Sara. and, this part will kill many of you DMB ruled. weird huh?

 
At 11/01/2020 02:11:00 AM, Blogger JVJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/01/2020 02:31:00 AM, Blogger JVJ said...

2000 was definitely a great year for BSB in the middle of an exceptionally great run of years. Some years there are long stretches - set after set - that don't engage me.... just waiting to get to one that fires on all cylinders. But 2000 was top to bottom wonderful. DMB covering Cortez the Killer, the confidence and charm of Tom Petty and the excitement in the audience when his set began. I remember NY really cracked open the songs from Silver and Gold for me with that set giving those songs a depth and warmth I hadn't truly appreciated until then.


Back to Gold Rush... echoing the same sentiment as everyone else regarding the price. Even if NY had no interest including bonus tracks, he absolutely has enough ephemera to fill a nice hardbound book (not dissimilar to those deluxe Zeppelin reissues a few years back). This release almost seems thoughtless and I never thought I'd describe a release by NY as such. Even the Greatest Hits collection from '04 seemed to serve more of a purpose. An opportunity for hardcore fans to step outside of their obsession and see the high points of NY's discography from a commercial standpoint (beautifully remastered, too) and an opportunity for casual fans to easily dive back into a wealth of incredible songs.

I'd love to defend that the intent is to let ATGR stand for itself, no additional content needed to measure it's context or potency, but that's negated by the (admittedly great) bonus track.

Maybe it'll make more sense when I have it in my hands (yes, I'm still on board for whatever Neil wants to do. If I haven't bailed yet, I'm not gonna start now).

But if anyone is like me and in for this but doesn't want to feel the sting of paying $100 now for something that doesn't come out until next March you can put in a pre-order here:

https://www.bullmoose.com/p/34864091/neil-young-after-the-goldrush-50th-anniv-edition

Doesn't charge until it ships. Free shipping. Cancel anytime and buying from a independent (albeit a larger one than most).

Also... not sure if anyone has noticed: if you by Greendale deluxe at The Greedy Hand store and add After the Gold Rush, you can get 20% off the whole order... which makes the price of both a little sweeter. I'd do that but I'm worried it would hold up the shipping on Greendale.

(while I just provided two options for buying these albums, I really do want to acknowledge the value in buying from the link on the top of the Thrashers Wheat page. This site has provided me so much for so many years that is worth so much more than just finding the best deal, etc. For TW, I'll grit my teeth and buy Greendale via the Bezos behemoth in order to support a little corner of the internet that still feels authentic)

 
At 11/01/2020 04:57:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

As of November 1st there is a NYA Vol. 2 Box Set on eBay with 68 bids and 6 days left to bid, with the current price at $1,202.68 with almost $39.00 in additional shipping cost from the UK. Neil and Warner/Reprise should be ashamed of themselves.

Peace 🙏

 
At 11/01/2020 07:32:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

Despite the Covid, and the impending lockdown only days away (here in the UK), this morning I ventured into my home town (Leicester), donned my mask, walked into HMV (our last remaining high street chain of record shops) and bought Joni's archive box set. It's beautiful, incredibly well thought out and packaged, and readily available for approx £60. Neil, warners, whoever, that's how to do it!!

Stay safe everyone.

 
At 11/01/2020 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Clembo1957 said...

Ok. I listened to 10 Seconds of House of the Rising Sun on the Joni Mitchell Archives before deciding to order it. That's the way it should be done. NYA Vol 2. Fine.If you want the limited edition its that - limited. Order it the day it's available for pre sale. I'm in the UK and had no problem. I do believe it should have been available in a limited edition but also has a conventional unlimited box set. Then again it wouldn't be Neil if he did things the easy way. As for ATGR 50 it's aimed at new fans rather than die hards. If you don't want it don't buy it!

Alan The Baggie

 
At 11/01/2020 01:04:00 PM, Blogger Cyclebrarian said...

In a perverse way, the ludicrous price point for AFTGR50 is refreshing in that I have ZERO temptation to purchase it. I mean, if it had been priced at $40, I might have grit my teeth and thought, "ooof, well, it'll be well packaged and having Wonderin on 7" will be nice, even if I already have a perfectly good copy of the LP." But at $100? It's just laughable at that point.

To their credit, The Greedy Hand did provide me a 15% refund on my Archives Vol. II order after I wrote to customer service and told them I had forgotten to apply the discount code that had been sitting in my email inbox for 2 years. That discount and the NYA subscription that I can re-gift to a friend brings the price of the box into the realm of quasi-justifiable, and I am looking forward to playing the tunes on a long drive up Hwy.1 this winter. Can't imagine a better soundtrack.

 
At 11/02/2020 01:12:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I totally agree with you about ATGR50

 
At 11/05/2020 04:43:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Absolutely spot on. Didn’t even consider it. Whereas at £35-£40 I’d probably have spent it reluctantly.

 

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