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Neil Young Archives Volume 1 (1963 - 1972) 10 DVD
Neil Young Archives Volume 1 10 DVD
1963 - 1972
Actor: Neil Young
Director: Neil Young
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2009     20hr 0min

This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives series of box sets, produced by Neil Young himself. This series is the definitive, comprehensive, chronological survey of his entire body of work. Volume I covers the per...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actor: Neil Young
Director: Neil Young
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Young, Neil, Classic Rock
Studio: Reprise Records
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/02/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 20hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 10
SwapaDVD Credits: 10
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Blu-Ray Version
AR | 06/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a review of blu-ray set that I received today.

Yes, it was expensive (right now about $279 for the blu-ray version for Archives Vol. 1). But, for the hardcore Neil fans, it just may be worth it.

If some people are confused, the blu-ray set comes with 10 discs. The discs contain songs from 1963-1972 that you can listen to while browsing through the archives: an interactive vault where you can look at photos, lyrics, press releases, letters, etc (while you are still listening). There are lots of video clips throughout the discs as well. The songs are studio tracks, live stuff, alternate mixes, previously unreleased stuff etc. Some songs you may already have, but keep in mind they have never ever sounded this good. Not just a minor upgrade, but this stuff is mind blowing. All in all (without including the downloadable content and easter eggs/hidden stuff), there are 128 songs including 43 unreleased and 13 "never before heard."

The 10 discs:

-Three of those discs are live shows (Live at the Riverboat 1969 which hasn't been released yet, and then Live at the Fillmore East 1970 and Live at Massey Hall 1971 which have previously been released but just on CD in the past few years. But, these discs aren't really the same. They, of course, have the hi-def audio and all the special stuff like photos, press release stuff, bios, and more. For the Massey Hall disc, there is video footage that accompanies the audio, home video stuff of neil and murky but awesome video clips of the show itself).

-Six of the other discs have songs that are either unreleased, previously released in some cases, alternate mixes, or live. With each song, you can browse the archive. There are even more special features too, on each disc is a continuous NY bio and timeline as well.

-The last disc is Neil's old film Journey Through the Past.

The set comes with a 200-something page coffee table book (although not hardcover)with pictures, lyrics, etc as well. A thin but very long (4 feet or more) poster comes with the set as well, it looks like a big file cabinet with the song names written on the folders. Lastly, there is a special box that contains a card to download mp3s of all the songs, a physical copy of the CD version of Cantebury House-Live at Sugar Mountain, and a little note pad thingy.

I don't think anyone can really argue about the quality of the music, but some might be confused about what is in it actually or hesitant to buy, especially the blu-ray version.

There is a cheaper DVD version (you can't listen to the songs while browsing at the same time). Also, with the blu-ray set, you can get updates. Today for example, I put a disc in and was able to download a new (well... very old, of course) song that wasn't included already. As Neil said, as they find more stuff, they will update it and send it to us to download. Very cool. You can't do this with the dvd or CD version. The CD version is just cds of discs 1-8. with the Cds, The early years tracks have been put onto one disc and it doesn't include Joureny to the Past. The dvd version does have it.

There is days worth of stuff on these blu-ray discs. Easter eggs and special features that I haven't even gotten to yet. If you can afford the package, it's worth it.

Lastly, here's some technical stuff from Neil's site about the archives:

"Audio in the Blu-ray edition is presented in ultra-high resolution 24-bit / 192 kHz stereo PCM state-of-the-art master quality sound, while audio in the DVD edition is presented in high resolution 24-bit / 96 kHz stereo PCM audiophile quality sound. The CD edition is presented in standard resolution 16-bit / 44 kHz stereo PCM CD quality sound.

Each of the 10 Blu-ray discs feature 1920x1080 high definition picture quality while the 10 DVD discs have 720x480 standard definition picture quality.""
Stars Based On Neil's Standards
audiofan | Okla. City, OK USA | 11/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To those disappointed this release is "not on CD", be patient; it is being released on Blu-Ray & standard DVD first with a CD release to follow. The main reason for Blu-Ray is because Neil believes this format holds the greatest promise for audio. If you've noticed, his recent 'archives' releases were also upsampled (if you paid for the two-disc version) to 24/96 kHZ because, as the sticker on the shrink-wrap stated, "music matters." Neil is a perfectionist who believes that Blu-ray is the first format that challenges vinyl for its sonic qualities. Many of these early demos/recordings undoubtably required many hours of labor to restore - this is no 'cut & paste' job designed to make a quick buck - this is a project Neil has been planning and working on for over two decades. It is a reward for the die-hard collector, not the average 'casual fan'- and is priced as such. You can rest assured the quality of the audio will be as good as modern technology and Neil Young can make it."
Truly a new way to appreciate an artists work
Marc B | Edinburgh Scotland | 06/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I feel I have spent enough time with this set now to give a good overview of what this is all about. First of there is a lot more to this than we can gather from the official tracklist and takes a big investment in time and effort to explore and discover the treasures within. For example just looking through the first disc while listening to the music took about 2 or 3 hours The Early Years material I found surprisingly listenable when I thought it would be only interesting from a historical perspective and wouldn't stand up to repeat listening, it will definitely get another outing.
Most of the fun is in discovering for yourselves what is here and I feel I would be spoiling the fun to list everything, but there is a lot of extra video content to discover including a live performance from Fillmore of CSNY doing On the Way Home. Are you disappointed there has been no live Springfield audio released?... Fear not there is about 15 mins worth not in the tracklist. Do you see how this is shaping up? This is a totally different way to experience and appreciate an artist's work. It truly is an ego driven labour of love, an audio-visual autobiography of an artist's life's work and years ahead of his time.
Neil has made it plainly clear in an open letter to fans that the blu-ray set is the way to go, it is the highest possible audio quality currently available and the only one which has the updates and downloads of any new material that is discovered, after you have bought your set. There is one when you first boot up the set, they are free and appear in your timeline when you accept them. You also receive a download of all 128 tracks in 320k digital downloads and the Sugar Mountain CD/DVD set as a free bonus.

Some of my highlights.

Springfield out-takes Sell Out and Slowly Burning
Comrie Smith material, especially Hello Lonely Woman featuring some killer Jaggeresque harmonica playing.
Goldrush era material with CSNY
1969 Sunset Studios Crazy Horse sessions including an alternate Birds and out-take Everybody's Alone.
Riverboat
Royce Hall Heart of Gold.
The alternate versions of released material are significantly different to the well known versions e.g. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere dates from the first album sessions and sounds more Springfield than Crazy Horse. A real surprise was the version of Helpless with harmonica.
Some of the criticisms of the set are valid if some over the top. The well documented inclusion of Massey Hall and Fillmore is less of an issue for the Blu-ray set as they are presented in 24-bit/192 kHz stereo PCM audiophile quality and that goes for every track on the set, none have been released in this resolution. There are omissions that are frustrating though. The Harvest era BBC performance is missing. CSNY studio versions of Sea of Madness and Everybody's Alone are absent as is the acoustic performance of the latter.
We have had 3 tracks from Royce Hall Jan 31st 1971 officially released... Needle and the Damage done on Harvest, Love in Mind on Time Fades Away and Heart of Gold on Archives, why not release the whole show? Also the Springfield material is missing On the Way Home which beggars belief as does the omission of Out on the Weekend from Harvest.

In summary if you have spent a lot of quality time with the 4 official albums from this era there is a lot of interesting material here you will love and treasure as much as those albums. More casual fans who have a few albums or hits collection like Decade there are cheaper ways to discover more about Neil Young. Start with all the 70's albums, plus CSNY déjà vu and 4 Way St plus the 3 Buffalo Springfield albums. This is an expensive set and if you add the cost of a blu-ray player to the mix it's difficult to justify in these recessionary times, but 10 blu-rays at about £17 is not unreasonable value, the value of the material within more than justified the expense for me."
Neil Young Archives Vol. 1: Blu-Ray = Spectacular
Travis Templin | Bloomington, IL USA | 06/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"No artist has ever released what Neil Young released on June 2nd, 2009. This box set (blu-ray version) is the most well put together media package I've ever owned, and I'll tell you why...

The navigation in the menus took me a little while to get used to, but once you know where to go to do what, it is simple and quite clever.

There are bonus songs and videos everywhere, especially in the song selection area (file cabinet) and the timeline. I won't name any because I don't want to spoil anything. Its pretty fun finding different stuff.

You get a card with an access code to download mp3's of all 128 songs on the box set (at the time of this review, the download is still not ready yet, they are saying 7:00 PST tonight, June 5th). This is very nice and most people will appreciate the mp3 downloads.

I received a DVD of Sugar Mountain (Live at the Canterbury House) and a CD of that show as well. This was in addition to the 10 blu-rays.

Neil will be adding songs/videos that you can download to your blu-ray player. (You need your player hooked up to the internet, which everyone should have anyways) When I popped in the first disc, it said "NY has sent you a new song," or something to that effect. The new content shows up as a blue thumbtack on the timeline after you download it.

The feature that really amazes me is that when you play a song from the 'Play All' feature, the song plays with various recording/playing devices: turntables, cassette players, etc. as the background. On my TV, it actually looks like these devices are in my living room. Take a turntable for example...when you play a song, it will have the actual vinyl spinning that the song was pressed on, and the needle is located exactly where that song is on the record, and the vinyl spins and the needle moves along like it were actually playing. That is how much detail and time went into this set. You can also hit 'Pop Up Menu' on your remote and can go over to the 'Information' tab and see who he is playing with, released/unreleased version, where it was recorded, etc. When you play a song from the Song Selection menu tab, you can listen to a song and look at pictures, documents, lyrics and so on. A lot of different ways to look and listen.

Finally, the most important part...the sound. The sound is fantastic, even the really old stuff. As you all probably know, Neil has always had some of the best sounding recordings because he knows what he is doing. This is no exception. While the blu-rays might not offer that warm and wonderful sound that a turntable can create; the sound on these blu-rays is better than I have ever heard digital music sound. (I'm using Klipsch F-2's with a Harman-Kardon AVR-247 and a PS3 that utilizes the 192 khz...nothing too fancy) The sound is stunning and no one should be disappointed.

If you can swing the $280 price tag, go get it. This box set just changed my standards of what a box set should be. I would love to know how long it actually took everyone involved to finally reach the finished product. Job well done Neil, extremely impressive."