Neil Young Archives
The Neil Young Archives is a longtime project by singer-songwriter Neil Young. It started as a series of archival releases featuring previously released as well as unreleased studio and live recordings. It eventually developed into a website featuring almost the whole of Young's recording output throughout his career, available for streaming in high resolution audio format. The project has been long in the making – work began in the late 1980s. Throughout its development, Young himself has made several statements about the material included, release dates, and marketing that have proven false as the project was modified for new multimedia formats and expanded upon to accommodate new releases or other relevant material. Young has said that there will be five volumes covering approximately 50 years.
The archives are divided into several series. The main series consists of several volumes of box sets, each covering a separate period of the artist's career. The Performance Series consists of individual releases of live material, each representing a specific show or tour. Finally, there is the Special Release Series, which consists of previously unreleased albums. These different series also overlap; for example, two volumes of the Performance Series that are included on the each of the first two Archives box set releases are also available separately. Homegrown is also included in its entirety on Neil Young Archives Volume II: 1972–1976 but was also released on its own earlier in 2020.
As of 2019, Neil Young has launched a subscription website and application where all of his music is available to stream in high resolution audio. The Neil Young Archives also include his newspaper, The Times-Contrarian; The Hearse Theater, which shows limited runs of concert films and rare footage; and photos and memorabilia throughout his career.
Volume I: 1963–1972Edit
The first volume, The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972, was released on June 2, 2009. Covering Young's early years with The Squires and Buffalo Springfield, it also includes cuts, demos, outtakes and alternate versions of songs from his albums Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest, as well as tracks he recorded with both Crazy Horse and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young during this time. Also included in the set are several live discs, as well as (on the Blu-Ray/DVD versions) a copy of the long out-of-print film Journey Through the Past, directed by Young in the early 1970s.
Volume I was released as a set of 10 Blu-ray discs in order to present high resolution audio as well as accompanying visual documentation. It is also available as a 10 disc DVD set and an 8 disc CD set. On January 31, 2010, the box set won the Grammy Award for Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, and was shared by Neil Young along with his art directors Gary Burden and Jenice Heo.
Volume II: 1972–1976Edit
Similar in scope to the first box set, Neil Young Archives Volume II: 1972–1976 was officially released as a deluxe box set and for streaming on the Neil Young Archives site on November 20, 2020. Covering Young's work with The Stray Gators, Santa Monica Flyers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Crazy Horse, and The Stills-Young Band during this period, Vol. II includes album cuts, demos, outtakes and alternate versions of songs from his albums Time Fades Away, Tonight’s the Night, On the Beach, Zuma, and Long May You Run, as well as the unreleased (until 2020) album Homegrown in its entirety and tracks from CSNY's multiple sessions for their aborted Human Highway album. Also as with Volume I, included in the set are several live discs, including the unreleased live album Odeon Budokan. Volume II was released as a set of 10 CDs (with a deluxe edition containing a hardbound book), and did not have accompanying Blu-ray or DVD editions as Vol. I did due to, as Young has exclaimed, “economic reasons.”
Young's manager Elliot Roberts originally said in 2009 that Volume II would span the period of 1972 through 1982, and would be released "two or three years" after Volume I. In October 2009, Young told Guitar World that a disc called Time Fades Away II would be included in the second volume, noting: "It's interesting because [Time Fades Away II] has a different drummer than what was on that album. 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" (Time Fades Away II would eventually evolve into the Performance Series release Tuscaloosa). Young had also said that "four unreleased albums from this period are being rebuilt ... Chrome Dreams, Homegrown and Oceanside-Countryside are the three unreleased studio albums. Also from this period is the unreleased Odeon Budokan live recording produced by David Briggs and Tim Mulligan".
In May 2014, Young stated that Volume II would be finished by the summer, and that the remaining volumes would be issued relatively quickly following the second. In July 2016, Rolling Stone and the Thrasher's Wheat website reported that Young intended to focus on completing Archives Volume II after his tour with Promise of the Real concluded that October. Although a physical release was still planned, it would also involve a "high-resolution website" and would also include unreleased works entitled Dume and Hitchhiker (Hitchhiker was later released as a standalone album on September 8, 2017, with Dume later confirmed to be a disc on Volume II). In August 2018, in response to an enquiring fan in the Letters to the Editor section of the NYA Times-Contrarian area of his website, Young had the following to say: "May 2019 the NYA V2 CDs and a separate book by Toshi Onuki will be available. Blu Ray is no longer viable for economic reasons. NYA can give you what the blu ray had though, including Hi Res audio. Thanks NY."
In September 2018, March and April 2019, in response to other fans enquiring on its release in the Letters to the Editor section of the NYA, Neil Young stated: "We are currently reviewing all of the unreleased albums from the Volume II period, which is the seventies. Songs for Judy was one of those. Oceanside Countryside is another. We are reviewing the others." ; "NYA vol 2 late this year/before Christmas. Odeon Budokon is on volume 2 as an album." ; "Volume two has so much content that we have made it into two sets. The first is about ten discs and will include Odeon Budokan. The set covers about 4 or 5 years of intense recording and creativity."
In March 2020, Young confirmed Volume II for release on July 24 of that year. After numerous delays related to the coronavirus pandemic, it was scheduled to be released on November 20, according to the Archives website. A track listing posted to the Archives site on September 20 confirmed Volume IIs contents, and the first single, "Come Along and Say You Will", was posted to the site as the Song of the Day on October 14. The set then went up for pre-order on the 16th as an exclusive release to his online store, with only 3,000 copies being initially made available worldwide. After selling out the following day, Neil and Warner Records announced a second run of the deluxe edition, as well as a general retail version, several weeks later, both of which are scheduled to hit the market on March 5, 2021. This was followed by the release of a second single, "Homefires", on October 21, and a third, an alternate version of "Powderfinger", on November 3.
Volume III (1976-1980s)Edit
Young has stated in a message on the NYA site on November 25, 2020 that Volume III is tentatively scheduled for release in 2022. The website for Young's Living with War album contains several live recordings of songs from Life, which the page cites as being "From The Neil Young Archives, Volume 3". However, with Volume II now only spanning up until 1976, it's unlikely that Volume III will go as far forward as that album.
Volume IV (1990s)Edit
Volume IV will likely feature tracks from the 1990s.
Volume V (2000s)Edit
Elliot Roberts and Neil Young have said that the Archives project will extend into a fifth volume, which should include songs from 2009's Fork in the Road and the unreleased Toast album, which was recorded with Crazy Horse in 2000.
The series of box sets were preceded by individual concert releases, dubbed the Archives Performance Series. This section contains details of releases so far. The releases are ordered in chronological order of recording. The albums were released in a different order, with Volume 2 coming in 2006, Volume 3 in 2007 and Volume 1 included in the first Archives box.
Volume 00: Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968Edit
Sugar Mountain - Live at Canterbury House 1968 is labeled Volume 00 in the Performance Series, but was the third in the series to be released. It features recordings from Young's solo acoustic performances at Canterbury House on 9–10 November 1968. The album was released on December 2, 2008.
Volume 01: Live at the Riverboat 1969Edit
Volume 1 is entitled Live at the Riverboat 1969 and is taken from a series of shows at the Riverboat Coffeehouse in Toronto in February 1969, recorded by Brian Ahern. The CD was released as part of the Archives Vol. I: 1963-1972 box set in June 2009. Chrome Dreams II from certain retailers also included a bonus CD with a preview track from the Riverboat. Different outlets had different CDs, each with a different preview track.
Volume 02: Live at the Fillmore East 1970Edit
Live at the Fillmore East, released in November 2006, features a March 1970 concert with Crazy Horse. The album was released on CD, LP and DVD with high definition 24/96 sound accompanied by still images from the concert. This album was also included as part of the Archives Vol. I: 1963-1972 box set.
Volume 02.5: Live at the Cellar DoorEdit
Live at the Cellar Door was recorded in Washington D.C. during six-show between November 30 and December 2, 1970. This was released on December 10, 2013.
Volume 03: Live at Massey Hall 1971Edit
A solo acoustic performance from January 1971, Live at Massey Hall 1971, saw release in March 2007. The album was released on LP, CD and DVD Video with the DVD version including high definition sound accompanied by 8mm film footage, which sourced from the Stratford, Connecticut, concert three days later (January 22, 1971). This album was also included as part of the Archives Vol. I: 1963-1972 box set.
Volume 03.5: Young ShakespeareEdit
Young Shakespeare was released on March 26, 2021. It is an all-acoustic solo show and recorded at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut, on January 22, 1971, just three days after the Massey Hall show. After talks of it possibly being paired with the 50th Anniversary Edition of After the Gold Rush, it was officially available as a stand-alone release along with a companion concert film, which had previously been used for Massey Hall's accompanying DVD release.
Volume 04: TuscaloosaEdit
Tuscaloosa is a live album featuring recordings from the concert in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on the 1973 tour with The Stray Gators, during which Time Fades Away was recorded. The album was released on June 7, 2019. Young has since stated on his Archives website that Tuscaloosa is "as close as Time Fades Away II that we'll get." This album was also included as part of the Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976 box set.
Volume 05: Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live 1973Edit
Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live was released on April 24, 2018 with a Record Store Day vinyl release on April 21. The album is culled from a set of shows played during the opening of the Roxy Theatre from September 20–22, 1973. The shows featured Young backed by the Santa Monica Flyers and songs from the recently recorded Tonight's the Night. This album was also included as part of the Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976 box set with an additional performance of "The Losing End" not present on the original release.
Volume 06: Odeon BudokanEdit
An unreleased live album featuring recordings from the 1976 shows at Budokan Hall, Tokyo and Hammersmith Odeon, London with Crazy Horse, Odeon Budokan was released as part of the Neil Young Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976 box set on November 20, 2020. It had been temporarily scheduled for a stand-alone release in 2019, but was delayed in favor of Tuscaloosa.
Volume 07: Songs for JudyEdit
Songs for Judy was released digitally and on CD on November 30, 2018, and as a double LP on December 14, 2018. Compiled by Joel Bernstein and Cameron Crowe from solo acoustic performances on the 1976 North American tour, it previously circulated among fans as a bootleg titled The Bernstein Tapes.
Catalogue number possibly reserved for Boarding House, an album compiled from the recordings made during Young's five-day residency at The Boarding House, San Francisco in May 1978; some of these recordings appeared on side A of Rust Never Sleeps. The album is listed on the timeline on the Archives website, although its status is currently unknown.
Volume 09: A TreasureEdit
Catalogue possibly reserved for "Crazy Horse Garage" – a series of live in concert by Neil Young & Crazy Horse during their US concert tours in October and November 1986.
Volume 11: Bluenote CaféEdit
Volume 11.5: Way Down in the Rust BucketEdit
Way Down in the Rust Bucket was the first release from his Archives Performance Series for the year 2021, and was released in CD, DVD, vinyl and deluxe box set editions on February 26. A live show that was recorded on November 13, 1990 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA with his backing band, Crazy Horse, Young has previously shown all the concert video footage as part of the Movietone section of his Archives website.
Volume 12: Dreamin' Man Live '92Edit
Volume 16: Return to GreendaleEdit
Return to Greendale was officially released on November 6, 2020. Young has previously shown all the concert video footage as part of the Movietone section of his Archives website. The concert was held in Toronto, Canada in 2003 as the supporting tour for his album, Greendale.
Official Bootleg SeriesEdit
In September 2020, Young officially announced a new series of releases called the Official Bootleg Series. The original intent behind this series was to duplicate popular bootlegs, right down to their original cover art, but upgrading the audio for the best possible fidelity. However, this concept has changed as chosen shows have been announced; for example, the first officially announced entry, Carnegie Hall, will take its audio from the December 4th, 1970 show (which Young prefers) as opposed to the heavily circulated December 5 midnight set.
On October 7, the first six entries of the Official Bootleg Series were announced, as well as that Niko Bolas will be helping Young in the production of these releases. The first six shows that will be a part of this series are:
- Carnegie Hall, December 4th, 1970: a different show from the heavily bootlegged set from the night before, this release will be newly mixed from the original multi-track recordings.
- Royce Hall, January 30th, 1971: the source for both "The Needle and the Damage Done" from Harvest and "Love in Mind" from Time Fades Away, this show will also be newly mixed from the original multi-track recordings.
- Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 'I'm Happy That Y'all Came Down,' February 1st, 1971: as with Carnegie Hall and Royce Hall, this show will again be newly mixed from the original multi-track recordings.
- Under the Rainbow, November 5th, 1973: a heavily bootlegged show featuring the Santa Monica Flyers. No source has yet been mentioned for this release, though it was put up to a fan vote as a potential official release before this series was announced.
- The Bottom Line, 'Citizen Kane Jr. Blues,' May 16th, 1974: an extremely legendary show in Young's career, this has been newly mastered from the original cassette that the show was recorded on.
- The Ducks, 'Trick of Disaster', August 1977: Several of the Ducks' Santa Monica club shows from their brief run in 1976 were professionally recorded with Young's analog truck ("His Master's Wheels"). This release will be a "multi-platter" compilation drawn from these shows that has been mixed and assembled by Tim Mulligan, who produced and recorded the original recordings.
Currently being mastered, the initial goal was to release all six entries of the series at once, with an article on the Neil Young Archives site announcing a target release date of September 10, 2021. These will also receive physical releases, in addition to being available on the Neil Young Archives site. As of June 20, 2021, releases 2-6 were scheduled for release on November 5, 2021, with the 1st being released on October 1, 2021.
Official Bootleg Series 01:Edit
- Carnegie Hall was officially released on October 1, 2021. It features all 23 songs recorded during the December 4, 1970 show (which Young prefers) as opposed to the heavily circulated December 5 midnight set. The release is newly mixed from the original multi-track recordings.
Official Bootleg Series 02:Edit
- High Flyin'
Official Bootleg Series 03:Edit
- "I'm happy that y'all came down"
Official Bootleg Series 04:Edit
- Royce Hall
Official Bootleg Series 05:Edit
- Citizen Kane Jr. Blues
Official Bootleg Series 06:Edit
- Somewhere Under the Rainbow
Official Release SeriesEdit
Although the Archives label is predominantly used for previously unreleased material, the name is also being attached to remastered editions of existing albums. Such releases are labeled Neil Young Archives Official Release Series. Since the introduction of PonoMusic, the following albums have been re-released as part of the Official Release Series:
Official Release Series 01:Edit
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Official Release Series 06:Edit
Official Release Series 07:Edit
Official Release Series 08:Edit
Official Release Series 08.5:Edit
Official Release Series 09:Edit
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Compact disc versions of the first four above albums were released on 14 July 2009. In addition, the albums were reissued as limited edition box sets on 24 November 2009, in both 180-gram vinyl and 24k gold CD versions. 140-gram vinyl editions of the individual albums were also issued on that date. On the 28th of November 2014, the series no. 05-08 were also reissued as limited edition vinyl box sets. When the PonoMusic Store went live in the end of 2014, another six albums were reissued as digital downloads, making a total of 14 albums available in 24 Bit & 192 kHz (including the 1973 album Time Fades Away, which hadn't been officially re-released before then).
Digital Masterpiece SeriesEdit
In 2003, Neil Young released On The Beach, American Stars 'N Bars, Hawks & Doves, and Re·ac·tor on compact disc for the first time. These were reissued as HDCDs as part of the Neil Young Archives Digital Masterpiece Series. The CD versions were subsequently joined by DVD-Audio versions.
Special Release SeriesEdit
Neil Young has also announced a part of the archives known as the Special Release Series. Toast, a previously unreleased album recorded in 2000 with Crazy Horse, was the first album to be announced as being part of the Special Release Series. Though announced in 2008, Toast remains unreleased (as of December 2020). It was then announced that the second volume of Archives box sets would include four SRS releases; the studio albums Homegrown, Chrome Dreams and Oceanside/Countryside, and the unreleased live album Odeon-Budokan. As of September 2020, only Homegrown has been officially released, though Odeon Budokan is scheduled to be released on November 20 as part of the Neil Young Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976 box set. As Vol. II will now only cover up to early 1976, both Chrome Dreams and Oceanside/Countryside will no longer be a part of this release.
Volume 02: HomegrownEdit
Homegrown, a long lost unreleased 1975 album, was finally announced for a release in early 2020. Originally scheduled for release on April 17 as part of that year's Record Store Day, it was delayed until June 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volume 05: HitchhikerEdit
Hitchhiker features an entirely solo 1976 session at Indigo Ranch Recording Studio in Malibu, California, possibly intended for release in the late 1970s but rejected by Reprise at the time. It was released on September 8, 2017, becoming the first officially released SRS volume.
Volume 10: Original Soundtrack from "Paradox"Edit
Paradox was released on March 23, 2018.
Scheduled/possible upcoming releasesEdit
Young has mentioned many as-of-yet unreleased studio albums and live albums that he has recorded over the years, including:
- Early Daze (Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 1969). Young has recently posted on his website that the album is expected in early 2022.
- CSNY at Fillmore East (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young live, 1970)
- Harvest Time (Neil Young & Stray Gators, 1971). Young has mentioned that this release is currently scheduled to be a part of celebrations for Harvest’s 50th anniversary.
- Oceanside-Countryside (Neil Young, 1977) Young describes it as "the origin of Comes a Time", and is expected to be included in The Archives Volume III.
- Chrome Dreams (Neil Young, 1977) Expected to be included in The Archives Volume III.
- Give to the Wind Orchestra (Neil Young with Nicolette Larson live, 1977) Expected to be included in The Archives Volume III.
- Boarding House Solo (Neil Young live, 1978)
- Johnny’s Island (Neil Young, 1982) Expected to be included in The Archives Volume III.
- Old Ways (Neil Young, 1983)
- Road of Plenty (Neil Young & Crazy Horse/The Bluenotes, 1986–1988).
- Times Square (Neil Young & the Restless, 1989).
- Live Freedom (Neil Young live, 1989) Expected to be included in The Archives Volume III.
- Mirror Ball Live (Neil Young & Pearl Jam live, 1995)
- Toast (Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 2001)
- Alchemy (Neil Young & Crazy Horse live, 2012–13).
- The Tower – Philadelphia (Neil Young live, 2018)
- Polar Vortex (Neil Young live, 2019)
- Noise and Flowers (Neil Young & Promise of the Real live, 2019). Compiles performances from Young’s 2019 European summer tour with Promise of the Real.
- Shakey, Jimmy McDonough
- YouTube clip: "Neil Young Archives Demo at Java."
- Bukszpan, Daniel (June 9, 2019). "Neil Young just released a new album. You can stream it – and his massive music archive – for $20". CNBC.
- "Java in Action: Java + Neil Young". Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- Sound and Vision magazine article: "Sound & Vision Magazine – Neil Young: Archives Vol. 1 (1963–1972)".
- Guitar World interview with Neil Young.
- News Archived 2012-02-15 at the Wayback Machine, Neil Young Website.
- Fricke, David (May 13, 2014). "Neil Young on Jack White, Archives II and His Special Message to Mom".
- Neil Young Archives Times-Contrarian reply: "Letters NYA V2".
- Neil Young Archives Times-Contrarian reply: "NYA VOL 2".
- "Neil Young Announces Archival Releases & Delays Crazy Horse Tour". JamBase. 2020-03-10. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
- "Neil Young Announces Track List for 'Archives Vol. 2: 1972-1976'". Rolling Stone. 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
- "Neil Young's long-promised 'Archives Vol. II' is a November reality". Variety. 2020-10-16. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
- "Homefires". Neil Young Archives. 2020-10-21. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
- "Living With War Today". Neilyoung.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- Rolling Stone article: "Neil Young And Crazy Horse To Release Lost 2000 Album".
- "Neil Young Archives". neilyoungarchives.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012.
- "Neil Young on His Archives Website, Future Releases and Crazy Horse's Return". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- "Thrasher's Wheat – A Treasure". Neil Young. Thrasher's Wheat. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Henne, Bruce (September 9, 2020). "Neil Young To Launch Official Bootleg Series With 1970 Carnegie Hall Show". antimusic.
- Bolas, Nick (October 7, 2020). "Official Bootleg Series". Neil Young Archives.
- "Neil Young - This Note's For You". Discogs.
- "Neil Young - Dead Man". Discogs.
- "Reprise Records to release re-mastered versions of Neil Young's classic first four solo albums". Archived from the original on March 3, 2012.
- Bychawski, Adam (April 2, 2008), Neil Young set to release new album: 'Toast' will be the first in a series of new offerings, NME, retrieved July 3, 2016
- Cantin, Paul (July 25, 2010), Neil Young's Archives Vol. 2 will include 4 unreleased albums, No Depression, retrieved September 5, 2017
- Stone, Sam (May 7, 2020). "Are You Ready? Neil Young Confirms "Homegrown" Release Date and Track Listing, Plots Further Archive Releases - The Second Disc".
- Young, Neil (2012-09-25). Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-59409-4.
- "Neil Young Asks Fans to Select His Next Archival Release". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- "Neil Young News: Oceanside-Countryside: Another Neil Young Album in The Pipeline". Retrieved 2020-03-10.
- Bielen, Kenneth G. (2008). The Words and Music of Neil Young. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-99902-5.
- Williams, Paul (2011-12-12). Neil Young: Love to Burn. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-733-4.
- "Neil Young Announces New 1980s Archival LP 'Road of Plenty'". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Durchholz, Daniel; Graff, Gary (2012-11-05). Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, Updated Edition. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-1-61058-691-7.
- "Neil Young News: Neil Young Says "Alchemy: Probably The Last Crazy Horse Live Album"". Retrieved 2020-03-10.
- "Neil Young Announces Live Album and Movie with Promise of the Real". Retrieved 2020-09-21.