Friday, August 21, 2009

Neil's Blu-es

A review of the pricey ($350!) Neil Young Archives boxed Blu-Ray set, which I'll be getting just as soon as I get that $200 Blu-Ray Player. (Dangerous Minds)

There are 128 tracks, nearly 60 of them never heard before spread across the ten discs. The old metal file cabinet user interface is nothing that innovative, but it’s probably the most appropriate considering the depth and archival purpose of the set. There is a nice looking “timeline” that displays photos, video clips and hidden tracks along the way. The set contains the first release of Young’s 1973 documentary Journey Through The Past and twenty video clips. Some of them are totally wonderful (like Young walking out of a record store with bootlegs of his music, the mind-blowing CSNY live performance, an appearance on The Johnny Cash Show and a 1970 performance at the Finjan Folk Cafe) but this is where my first problem with Archives comes in. The video content, whilst containing several gems, isn’t nearly enough. Not enough to justify the price, the fan expectations and not nearly enough to satisfy the wide open spaces of the storage available on Blu-ray (couldn’t most of this material fit on like TWO Blu-ray discs?). Where, for instance is the amazing BBC “In Concert” performance from 1971 or more of the CSNY performance?

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