Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Monday, June 8, 2009

Neil Young vinyl update: Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972; Neil Young S/T, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After the Goldrush, Harvest -- Remastered

Click here to read about remastered vinyl releases of the first four albums just announced for November 24, 2009!

Neil Young has finally released his long awaited Archives volume one, 1963-1972 boxset. Released simultaneously on Blu-Ray, DVD, and compact disc, vinyl lovers have been left wondering whether there will be a vinyl release. While the sound quality of the Blu-Ray discs (24/192) is excellent (I viewed and listened to the Archives vol. 1 Blu-Ray preview disc), fans who are highly invested in their vinyl rig or would simply prefer to sit in their listening chair and listen to the music while flipping through the archives book, will still be clamoring for a vinyl release. And if the Fillmore East, Sugar Mountain, and especially Massey Hall vinyl releases are any indication, the vinyl will surpass the digital releases in sonics (click here for prior review of Fillmore and Massey; click here for prior review of Sugar Mountain).

I think fans would welcome a vinyl boxset that includes all of the cd tracks, the leatherette soft bound book, and perhaps a few 45s or other exclusives. Of course, for those who already bought vinyl copies of Fillmore East, Massey Hall, and Sugar Mountain, there would be significant repetition--but as good as those records are, it certainly couldn't hurt to have multiple copies.

Despite his recent flirtation with Blu-Ray, everyone knows that Neil is still a huge proponent of vinyl and this news should make everyone very happy: I just got off the phone with a source very close to Neil, who advised me that there is a real chance that the Archives will indeed make their way onto vinyl, "obviously in a very different form from the Blu-Ray (version)."

Neil Young --First Four Records on remastered vinyl

During the same phone call, I also asked about the reported upcoming vinyl remasters of the first four albums: Neil Young S/T , Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest. I was advised that while the compact disc mastering has been completed, the vinyl mastering process has not yet been started.

When pressed on who would be mastering the vinyl, I was told that although not yet confirmed, the plan would be to go with Chris Bellman, of Bernie Grundman Mastering. Bellman, who has mastered all of Young's recent vinyl releases, including Greatest Hits and the three live Archives Performance Series releases, has received near-unanimous praise for his job on these titles, and I would certainly applaud the decision to go with him for the project.

In light of the sixty-five dollar price tag for the recent vinyl release of the 1968 Sugar Mountain concert, which was mastered by Bellman, but pressed overseas in Japan, I asked where the first four remastered vinyl releases would be pressed. The pressing will again be done domestically, and the release price will be in the area of $25.00 for each single album--this should be a relief for many after the sticker-shock brought on by Sugar Mountain.

Despite the superlative job done by the Toyokasei plant on Sugar Mountain, the domestic pressings commissioned by Reprise for Fillmore East and Massey Hall were indeed quite good and priced significantly lower than the pressings of the same records from Classic Records.

My Vinyl Review will continue to keep you updated on any and all news related to these vinyl releases. The Neil Young camp will be watching this and other online forums in order to gauge interest in vinyl releases of the Archives series. Be sure to place your vote in the poll to the left as to whether you would like to see vol. 1 and future Archives releases on vinyl.

In the meantime, if you still haven't picked up Massey Hall on vinyl, please do so before it goes out of print. I can't stress enough how great a set it is. Every time I play it, I'm truly amazed by the performance as well as the sound quality.


quietlyconscious said...

Any idea when these vinyl reissues are gonna come out?

Post a Comment