Neil Young Archives Say No To CD Release

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Earlier today Billboard announced that Neil Young’s latest plan, per his much delayed Archives project, is to release the set in a multi-media format, exclusively on Blu-Ray and DVD. Yup, you heard him: no compact discs. Share you thoughts on this news in the comments.   I imagine a number of us will be ripping the audio content, and uploading it to our iPods and/or creating our own CDrs.

“I know it’s in technical production now, but it’s only coming out on Blu-ray and DVD,” (Young) said during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival, where he and his Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmates unveiled their “Deja Vu” documentary. “There won’t be CDs. Technology has caught up to what the concept was in the first place [and] how we’re able to actually present it. But there’s no doubt it will come out this year.”

MP3: Neil Young :: Cowgirl In The Sand (live)
Amazon: Neil Young – Live At The Fillmore East (1970)

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26 thoughts on “Neil Young Archives Say No To CD Release

  1. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised: Neil has been hostile to the 16-bit, 44.1 kHz CD standard for a long time and he’s mention the archives and DVDs in the same breath for as long as I’ve been reading about the archive project. Perhaps outlasting the CD was Neil’s modus operandi all along. It will be quite a hassle if the discs don’t have some mp3 or download feature.

  2. I suppose, given the choice between buying a format that I have no player for at a bloated price or tracing down vinyl copies of his albums (probably also at bloated prices) I’d prefer the latter. Blue Ray, really?

  3. I have come to the point that I give Neil the benefit of the doubt. Most likely, he feels that a CD release doesn’t really add much to what is out there, whereas a DVD is something entirely new. We know that he will only release things that add something real to his catalog (ie the whole One the Beach CD release issue). If his CD copies of shows he is releasing aren’t up to snuff, at least a DVD brings something else.

    Pure speculation of course, but on a personal level, I was pumped about his archival release project until I came to realize that I had pretty good copies of most of the stuff he would be releasing. The DVD that came with the special edition (or whatever it was officially called) of the Massey Hall show was the only reason I considered actually buying it (I did not), because I have a very good recording of that show. Now that I look at it this is also true of the Filmore East show. While a mass release might put his music out there for a broader audience, this has clearly never been his main concern. These shows are out there for fans to get if they want, Neil would only put out the CDs if he felt the release marked a massive improvements of what is available, either in sound quality or in video. If not the former, he goes for the latter. (my two cents)

  4. uh, yeah i guess the above comment(s) are quite valid but… uh..

    im a little pissed (blue ray?!?).

    looks like those dvds is gunna get ripped….

  5. Finally, a Neil Young related post … even if it is TERRIBLE news. Okay, so seriously, are we going to be able to rip the audio from this thing (that’s not rhetorical)? I’d really like to know for sure. This is the program I typically use to do that:
    Please let me know if you think it’ll work for this Blue Ray stuff.

    Also, I just wanna let Aquariumdrunkard know that my offer still stands regarding Neil’s much sought after release, “Time Fades Away.” I was lucky enough to obtain an official limited edition factory pressing on CDR. Believe me when I tell you the sound quality is FLAWLESS. I cannot think of a better place to post this rare material than here it on this site, because I know the operator will showcase in a way befitting of it’s acclaimed stature. And yes, I realize this album was already posted here months ago. The one I have sounds many times better. FLAWLESS! Aquarium – – – E-mail me at if you want me to send it to you for posting purposes.

    Any additional info and/or mp3s you can post from Neil Young’s Archives will be greatly appreciated. I’m particularly fond of the unreleased song, “Everybody’s Alone.” As always, thank you for all the cool music : )

    If anyone wants to e-mail me with some advise about Blue Ray, which I know nothing about, I’d really like to know why Neil made this choice, and what it means for people like me, who only care about putting audio on their iPODS, and would just as soon chuck all video. Please, e-mail my ass!

  6. I would imagine that Neil will eventually move it to other formats. Most especially we know he will put it on vinyl as well. Maybe a memory stick, like Radiohead recently did. Just don’t sell it through the low bit download rates like at iTunes.

  7. playstation3 is also blu-ray player. perhaps that is a way to reconcile picking up another piece of technology in order to play blu-ray dvd’s. you can watch/hear movies in high-fidelity, and, play rock band.

  8. His indifference to trend or opinion is well documented; he does what he wants (and, for me, it’s part of his charm). So, it wouldn’t surprise me if he decided to release his archives on 78’s. Maybe I’ll email him and make that suggestion!

  9. If the video content is as poor, and pointless, as what was included on “Live at Massey Hall”, there is no way to justify the expense of Blue Ray. If he is going to bring someone experienced and talented in the visual area, maybe they would be worth picking up on DVD. I love you Neil, but leave the film making to real film makers.

  10. at 57 i barly get by on what i earn, and i’m sure i have company. so excuse me neil for saying your becoming quite the type you use to poke at. no, i don’t have a dvd…..well excuuuussseee meeeee! looks at least you got yourself out of the gutter and back on the road with all the other’s / by the way, this notes for what sponser??

  11. Why the complaints? You don’t like the format, you don’t have to buy. You want it at any cost in whatever format, it’s there to buy. Shit, you’ve even got a third choice===wait for people to rip it off, then get yourself a copy of that, free. But at this stage in his career, NY’s got nothing left to prove. You think he owes you more pleasure than he’s given already? He’s a one-off. They don’t make Neil Youngs in factories. They didn’t in 1970, and they sure as hell don’t now. At least appreciate that instead of whining like whipped consumers.

  12. I guess this news confirms Warner’s newfound love of Blue Ray. I can buy it on that and “borrow” the audio from the internet.

    Ps3 really is the best Blue Ray player to buy because it can get every software update. Plus you can play Metal Gear.

  13. I’m definately against this idea. I like music DVDs, and have enjoyed the accompanying ones with his recent album releases, but the cd always gets far more play. To somehow incorparate both would be the ideal, like with the aforementioned albums.

  14. in the end most peolple wont buy this because of the format and that seems a shame, for most neil lovers its about the music ….its that simple……this obsession with being on the leading edge reminds me of neils ill-fated trip into electronic music, ( ie: Trans), which most fans bypassed, quietly waiting for him to return to his roots..which he did….my guess is that within a year, sales will prove to be a disaster and it will get released on cd and mp3……

  15. Great Neil, you mean I have to put up with Blu Ray audio through the speakers of my TV set? Come on…… I have a decent quality NAD stereo CD player with a decent quality amp and decent quality speakers. All I ask for are well mastered CD’s. Why are you such an awkward %^&!?

    Is it such a problem to put out audio on a format that everyone can embrace? Everyone who is anyone owns a CD player and a stereo of sorts. Multi-media is great but we want tangible audio CD’s as well…. CD’s are made for audio, DVD’s/Blu Ray is multi-media.

  16. I have no reason nor desire to sift through his lyric sheets or see him performing on stage or whatever waste he’ll put on these things. I don’t want to look at antiques and other historical aspects of Neil’s work. I just want to hear (yes, HEAR – not see – can you believe it? In this multimedia-mistaken industry, I want just listen to music) the Archives and hear what the heck has taken him so darn long to compile over the years.

    Releasing on DVD/Blu Ray this stuff is a marketing mistake and no, I will not rip from the DVDs nor await the MP3 dowloads. I just won’t buy them. Of course all the people who drool over every word he says or writes will be all over these Blu Rays, no doubt…I don’t want MP3 downloads, just release it on vinyl and/or CD. Didn’t he make mention once at a show in 1999 that it is “just a stupid song”? If that’s the case, why all the planned film fluff for the Archives? In any case, the “family farmer” he so much cares about (?) won’t be able to afford his Archives DVDs/Blu Rays. So much for “This Note’s for You.”

  17. i don’t think anybody truly understands the scope of this thing.
    nobody has this shit…any of it. unless it’s a bad bootleg from 30 years ago.
    this isn’t a re-release of his albums. it’s the shit he recorded DURING the albums.
    and more.
    unreleased albums in entirety. so yeah if your a real neil fan. QUIT BITCHING.
    if you aren’t a neil fan. bugger off.

  18. Blue Ray is as much an interim technology as the Compact Disc and will surely be just as antiquated 15-20 years from now. Worse, only a microscopic portion of Neil Young’s intended audience have Blue Ray, or will ever have it.

    This is completely misguided and I’m certain within a year or two we will have this available in other formats — otherwise it’s going to be a major money loser.

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