A new release date has been set for the long-awaited Neil Young Archives set. The set is now due to be released on June 2nd. Young has been talking about this set for almost thirty years, longer than most artists’ careers. Planned to be a series of ten-disc box sets, the Archives are rumored to contain a mix of released and unreleased material, including live recordings, demos, and failed attempts. In Jimmy McDonough‘s 2002 biography Shakey, Neil discusses his desire to create an accurate portrait of himself as an artist:
I want people to know how fuckin’ terrible I was. How scared I was and how great I was. The real picture— that’s what I’m looking for. Not a product. And I think that’s what the die-hard fans want— the whole fuckin’ thing… When it’s done, people can do whatever the fuck they want… But they’re gonna have the whole fuckin’ thing to choose from. They’re not going to get part of it. Everything— the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It is no secret that Young has spent his entire career doing exactly what he wants to do, without a care for the desires of his fans or haters. Some of his music has been bad, and that’s just the stuff he released. Most of it, however, has been pretty damn good, and his best work can stand with that of any songwriter.
Young had recently announced that Archives would not be released on CD, only DVD and Blu-Ray (before that he had said only Blu-Ray). Now, it appears, the set will be available on CD as well as DVD or Blu-Ray. As to the contents, we’ll have to wait and see, though it seems likely that the first set will cover 1963-1972. Start saving up, fans: the set is rumored to cost $350-400.