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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Comment of the Moment: What Will Neil Young Archives Vol #3 Contain?

 Special Guest
Mark "Don't Spook The Horse"


Last week's episode of  Thrasher's Wheat Radio 2.0 Podcast - Episode #15 featured our Special Guest Mark "Don't Spook The Horse" in Manchester, U.K. who discussed Neil Young's Archives Volume #3 and what it might contain upon release.

In response, here is the Comment of the Moment by Lone Red Rider:

Great to hear Mark talk on about his shows and speculations, though I'm pretty sure he was conflating the 1997 Ham Sandwich incident with the start of his 1987 summer horse tour! 

As I am wont to, I figured I would chime in on what I've heard on Vol3 as well. So we have 13 disks, CDs presumably. The organization will be a bit different than the timeline linear Vol1. Neil is creating new albums which are expected to center on "fresh tracks" or unheard and mostly original versions. So don't expect to hear the versions of Comes A Time or Hey Hey My My that you already know. 

This one won't be a retrospective. So that is different. And we do know how it will start and what the first 5 or six disks will be. Where it will end is a guess. Neil has given us two dates to ponder. 1)Early 1990 and 2)1987. 

So based on what I have been able to gather to date, here is my latest speculation. And Neil seems to be clamping down on providing further information.

Vol #3: 1976-1989

  • Disk1: Electric Judy Presents Chaos and the Horse it Rode In On. (1976) (PS 7.5) [Confirmed by Neil as Disk 1 in the press]
  • Disk2: A Snapshot In Time. (1977) [confirmed by Neil as Disk2 in a letter from 12-Apr-22]
  • Disk3: Oceanside-Countryside (1977) [Stated as "disk 3" in a letter from 6-Oct-21]
  • Disk4: Union Hall (Give To The Wind) (1977) [confirmed by Neil as Disk4 in a letter from 13-Dec-21]
  • Disk5: Boarding House (1978) (PS8) [Confirmed as a Vol3 disk]
  • Disk6: Johnny's Island (1982) [Confirmed as a Vol3 disk]
  • Disk7: Greatest Misses (1976-1984) [Speculation. Might include selected Ducks tracks through those solo synclavier demos from 1984]
  • Disk8: Old Ways (1983-1985) [Confirmed as a Vol3 disk]
  • Disk9: A Treasure (expanded) (1984-1985) [Confirmed as a Vol3 disk]
  • Disk10: Live In A Rusted Out Garage (1986) (PS10) [Confirmed as a Vol3 disk]
  • Disk11: Road Of Plenty (1986-1989) [Confirmed by Neil as Disk 11 in the sneak preview of Sixty To Zero 31-Mar-22]
  • Disk12: Live Freedom (1989) (PS11.2) [Described as the End of Vol3 in a T-C front page article on 26-Mar-21, albeit prior to the "scaled it back" note]
  • Disk13: Summer Songs (1987) [Late addition added as a bonus disk, Confirmed By Neil in a letter 1-Dec-21).

Other comments from Neil:

  • "Late 1976-Early 1990" - Patron Zoom Call Mar 23 2021
  • "Approx 12 CDs or 10 DVDs" - Letters Mar 26 2021
    "We have scaled it back to 1987 or so. 11 years for Vol 3"- Letters June 28 2021
  • "Contains Audio Documentaries" - Patron Zoom Call Oct 13 2021.
    "13 CDs with Summer Songs added on at the end" - Letters Dec 1 2021.
  • "Union Hall is on NYA Vol3 Disk4 Give To The Wind" - Letters Dec 13 2021.

Thanks so much for the thoughts here LRR.  Much appreciated, as aways.  Some good conjecture here on what  Archives Vol #3 might contain by both you and our guest Mark "Don't Spook The Horse".

You guys are real NYA experts for sure and the info you both share is very helpful as we approach what should be pre-orders any day now.

More on Archives Vol #3: Neil Young Says "Coming in 2022".

Neil Young - ~1972

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At 4/27/2022 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Or it will span from 2014 to 2015 and include only album tracks. You never know…
Seriously though, super stoked for this collection. But then I am checking every day for the El Dorado version of Don’t Cry to hit the site!

At 4/27/2022 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

In a LTE tokay, NY says he is preparing for studio recording next week... I prefer new stuff until he's able to write, sing and play guitar... We must be happy he is not retreated !!! But we know it will postpone archives releases...

At 4/27/2022 11:51:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Vol 3 - more duplication ? That's the real problem we've already bought most of it.

At 4/28/2022 03:29:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Hopefully not a duplication of Re-Actor etc just being re-released with the hard to find but overrated Eldorado.

At 4/28/2022 10:22:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Tomatron - ever evolving and where it stops no one knows.

@ Phil - thanks. just posted. a full moon a coming!

@ Andy - duplication? really? how so?

Oceanside-Countryside, Union Hall (Give To The Wind), Boarding House, Johnny's Island , Live In A Rusted Out Garage, Live Freedom, Summer Songs, etc

maybe your definition od=f duplication is too strict?

Alternate mixes, lyrics, arrangements are actually not duplicates, but new and unheard.

what are we missing Andy?

At 4/28/2022 10:32:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Duplication in the first two boxes was unnecessary and with the abundance of other material it seems odd. We have the re-release of Hawks & Doves, Re-Actor, This Notes and Eldorado - so for me that's a duplication if in Vol 3.

At 4/28/2022 12:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Andy - might you possibly be confused?

The Official Release Series Discs 13, 14, 20 & 21:

Hawks & Doves from 1980 (ORS 13),
Re*Ac*Tor (with Crazy Horse) from 1981 (ORS 14),
This Notes for You from 1988 (ORS 20),
Eldorado from 1989 (ORS 21)

We're talking about NYA #3 here on this thread not ORS.

btw, you know why they call it the "music business"?

At 4/28/2022 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Pat2963 said...


Neil young listen only To Neil Young.
Can't wait To hear all those ( duplication)
Coming on Archives volume III.

And The new stuff for sure.

At 4/29/2022 04:10:00 AM, Blogger Greying Rider said...

Neil and Micah's Trans movie is missing from the above. Neil's mentioned it a bunch of times in the past and this in the Hearse Theatre today for the superb Berlin rendition of Sample & Hold "The whole story is coming at last....the animated story of Trans 2022 in Volume III". In fact, isn't Berlin going to be in Vol II as well?

I just can't wait for Volume III. When you listen to all of his live music in the 80s, Neil's work in that decade is deeply underappreciated in my opinion. I'm particularly fond of Live in a Rusted Out Garage. That restarted version of Hurricane is my favourite Neil moment. So epic.


At 4/29/2022 04:18:00 AM, Blogger Greying Rider said...

One last thing. For you collectors out there, Gijsbert Hankroot recently published a gorgeous book "Neil Young by Hanekroot":

There is Youtube videos if you want a look inside too. Shipping is expensive but I had to go for it. And I must say it is absolutely worth it if your are of a rustie persuasion and makes a wonderful companion piece for my (first run) Volume II. Gijsbert even signed my copy and threw in a signed postcard as well. What a lovely man he must be.

At 4/29/2022 04:19:00 AM, Blogger Greying Rider said...

One last thing. For you collectors out there, Gijsbert Hankroot recently published a gorgeous book "Neil Young by Hanekroot":

There are some Youtube videos if you want a look inside. Shipping is expensive but I had to go for it. And I must say it is absolutely worth it if your are of a rustie persuasion and makes a wonderful companion piece for my (first run) Volume II. Gijsbert even signed my copy and threw in a signed postcard as well. What a lovely man he must be.

At 4/29/2022 04:44:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

I was a bit ahead of myself - but these box sets have too much duplication especially 2.

At 4/29/2022 07:18:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Gijsbert Hanekroot's Photo-Book is a nice complement to the earlier years that will be covered by NYA Vol. III. Not only did I buy one of these, but Gijsbert also sells prints of the pictures in this book in larger sizes, one of which I bought. As with all original art they do not come too cheaply, but that's alright with me and I had this framed, too. A Neil Young likely singing Southern Man in Copenhagen 1976 now adores my wall next to your usual collection. I also liked the mike stand diagonal in this picture.There's another one I liked, also from the Copenhagen days: Neil Young on a sofa in pretty splendid hotel surroundings. Gijsbert knows that this belongs among his best shots... It's on the signed postcard that Greying Rider mentioned and in the book of course.

At 4/29/2022 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

Disk 8 Old Ways.

I've always wanted to hear the original '83 Old Ways ever since reading about it in Shakey.

I want just that, the original that Geffen rejected, no extra tracks included.

I've seen different versions of the supposed track list, so even knowing for sure what is on there will be fascinating.

Plenty of the other NYA3 stuff will be good too, of course, but I'm most looking forward to hearing Old Ways 1.0.

At 4/29/2022 10:22:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Pat2963 - Hopefully, indeed.

@ Greying Rider - good point. Updated TRANS seems definite based on past comments.

Also, thanks on the Hankroot book. He definitely captured some classic neil poses. nice to see a book worthy of images released.

@ Andy - please check subject/title again.

@ Dionys - cool on the print. right, original art can be pricey.

are they numbered prints?

@ Steve - ahh, Old Ways 1.0. trying to recall how that differed from released version? Diff mixes? extra tracks?

At 4/29/2022 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Yes, the prints are numbered. In my case the print says 006/200 ;-)

At 4/29/2022 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Summer Songs will bring an interesting close to the set. Its inclusion certainly will benefit Volume 3. If the end of the third set coincides with the end of the Geffen era, we are reminded that he was still in that contract when Summer Songs was recorded. It’s easier to think of the album, as presented this past winter, as a beginning; all the songs done that summer of ‘87 were farmed off to new projects, most secretly remaining the definitive studio versions, shelved. None had an album spot until Freedom finally hit stores’ shiny new CD racks in 1989.

Freedom and Eldorado are both excellent albums, but they render each other incomplete. Now that Eldorado is *finally* reissued, we can remedy this by uniting the two on a NYA playlist. Here is a potent recipe:

1. Rockin’ In the Free World
2. Crime In The City (Sixty to Zero Part I)

Freedom’s initial acoustic statement is essential first track status. Being the sole live version here, it finds the listener in the crowd to invite us into the studio for a beguiling collection of sounds. Here come the lyrics to announce a fury distinctly hinted at by the heavier of Neil’s 80s productions such as Landing On Water.

Crime In the City, with its hushed and sculpted mix as it continues the disaffected urban world-building, presents a contrast that would define the ebb and flow of Freedom. Listening today, I noticed for the first time a low chuckle from Neil after the line “he was sure he was right.” That little laugh suits the bitter tone of the whole album.

3. Cocaine Eyes
4. Don’t Cry
5. Heavy Love

While Freedom is all about dynamically zigzagging between styles, Eldorado seeks to pound away for track after track, to get loud and stay that way. At the Hit Factory sessions, poor Larry Cragg had to wrangle a usable signal out of Neil’s blistery amp-linking experiments.

Times Square was a dry run at what would become Freedom (its unreleased Boxcar take might fit nicely at the top of this trio). When that record was scrapped, Neil put out the mini-LP Eldorado to showcase his most real and raw, unrelenting sound. Don’t Cry stands on its own in any rendition but is strongest in its original, uncut presentation between these two other brutal rockers. Don’t Cry’s restored Old Black freakouts might just set your skull on fire. Freedom really needed more intensely overdriven screeds like Cocaine Eyes and Heavy Love. Now it has them.

6. Hangin’ On A Limb
7. The Ways Of Love

Freedom knew it needed a come-down from the assault of its first few tunes, after what those amplifiers just did, and Hangin’ serves that relaxation up beautifully with Linda Ronstadt’s delicate harmonies. Her valuable contribution is highlighted by placing the two together, going right into The Ways Of Love. Now that the album is expanded, there is room to breathe. But these love songs are restless. Like Neil told Niko Bolas when the producer was going through some heartbreak, “Dig it- that means you’re alive.” Although Neil’s domestic bliss paeans are lovely, his tales of love coming undone are among his most compelling.

At 4/29/2022 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

8. Someday
9. On Broadway
10. Eldorado
11. Wrecking Ball

On the sixty-one minute long LP of Freedom, oddball Someday kicks off Side B. Why did the Volume Dealers make this choice? The album is such a classic today that it’s possible to forget what a studio achievement it was. Niko Bolas had been working his ass off all through the mid 80s to successfully create a formally shaped work of studio artistry with Neil Young, a digitally crafted match for Young’s brilliant assemblages of the 70s. (Hell, even David Briggs quixotically tried it on Life.) But Bolas finally hit a vein of gold with the Freedom material. Someday is the earliest-recorded track; Shakey was still with the Bluenotes, giving the Volume Dealers plenty to work with in the mix. Someday earned its place at the top of Side B by virtue of being so damn showy - the crazy bastards pulled it off, they really did it. The juxtaposition of Someday’s earnest ritz with the pummeling On Broadway accentuates the ironic arch of the entire collection. Neil Young is serious and/or shitting you.

The epic tale of Eldorado is reinstated beside Broadway to round out the mini-LP set, adding only the acoustic guitar of Poncho Villa to the Restless core of Chad Cromwell and Rick “The Bass Player” Rosas. But wait. There is one more released track from New York’s Hit Factory sessions: Wrecking Ball. Summer Songs recently revealed the haunting ballad’s bitter-with-addiction lyrical roots. For Freedom, Wrecking Ball wore something pretty and white, barely skirting the recrimination at the song’s center.

12. No More
13. Too Far Gone
14. Rockin’ In the Free World

The final tracks of Freedom remain as iconic as those that opened the album. No More is quite possibly the best tune on the whole record. The guitars seem to hang suspended against a dead quiet, black night sky. The feel change from the verse and back through an implied swing seems to sagely mock the listener, the subject, and the narrator all.

Then the harrowing paranoia gives way to an all-time live classic, Too Far Gone, done up here in near-tribute to the squeaky-clean country of Old Ways like rhinestones on worn denim. Where previously this version might have come off as a cheaply polished throwaway, the extended and intensified flow of the record now plays up the need for another wind-down. Too Far Gone has always been a hangover song. It doesn’t deviate from the albums’ themes of destructive intoxication, but it does musically soothe.

The effect is ever more extreme, then, when Rockin’ In the Free World blasts in, taking the vitriol of the Eldorado EP and amplifying it further, the atmospheric keyboards of perennial MVP Ben Keith synthesizing the band’s heavy noise with the pristine textures of Freedom’s album tracks. This song rocked out so hard it literally created the 90s.

At 4/29/2022 11:57:00 PM, Blogger Rabbi Randy said...

I'm extremely psyched for Volume 3, and not only because it will look so great next to the two other boxes. The era to be covered was when I first discovered Neil, contemporaneous to my coming of age and musical awakening. One of the first albums I ever bought, at the ripe old age of 14, was Comes A Time when it first came out (On the strength of Deja Vu which my parents owned and I obsessed over). Next, Rust Never Sleeps of course and I saw the movie in the theatre with my high school buddies, all of us totally in awe. My first Neil Young concert was on the Trans tour, my second was the very first Farm Aid. So much to look forward to on Volume 3, legendary unreleased music from this period that I have only read about-Oceanside/Countryside, The Boarding House proto-RNS songs, Island In The Sun/Johnny's Island, Old Ways I, Live Freedom. Bring it on, Neil!

At 4/30/2022 04:22:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

Hi Thrasher

Re: Old Ways 1.0.

Others will know more than me, but from what I've read I understand that what was given to Geffen to consider was an incomplete album, maybe 6-7 songs.

Some songs that appeared on Old Ways 1985 were also on the '83 version, but different versions in some cases, maybe with a sparser sound.

Depression Blues is supposedly also there on the '83 version.

I'd like to have the original version of Old Ways available as an EP as part of the NYA set.

At 4/30/2022 04:27:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

BTW It took me a while to realise this, but the Summer Songs album is still there to listen to on the Archives site, but you have to access it via the cabinet.

Coincidentally, while typing the previous message I was listening to the Low EP In the Fishtank (1999) for the first time ever, and the second song on there is a cover of Down by the River. A really great version too, very slow paced, I do like Mimi Parker's voice. Check it out !


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