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18 October 2020

Neil Young’s Hotly Anticipated ‘Archives Volume II’ Is Finally Here

Neil Young Palladium London 1976
Sheri Lynn Behr/Alamy Stock Photo
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Fans have been waiting a long time for Neil Young‘s Archives Volume II 1972-1976. It’s been 11 years since Archives Volume I 1963-1972, and there was a lot of hints that the second installment of Archives wasn’t far behind, but they came to nothing.

However, on 16th October 2020, two video was uploaded to Neil Young’s YouTube channel: one announcing the release and telling fans what would be inside: 3 live discs, 131 tracks, 49 unreleased versions and 12 unreleased songs, as well as a 252 page book of archival documents, photographs, press and ephemera.

The video teases at what’s inside, mixing photos, videos and lyric sheets while snippets of songs are played across the two-and-a-half-minutes. These include a live rendition of Drive Back, the unreleased Goodbye Christian On The Shore and Neil Young and Joni Mitchell singing her song, Raised On Robbery, in sessions in 1973 for Tonight’s The Night, which will excite fans of both artists as the song has not been issued before.

A second video shows the unboxing of the set. In a move that will please fans who snapped up the first set, it is also conveniently rectangular for easy storage next to Archives Volume I.

The video also shows there’s a tape database and timeline of the period included, so fans can really get to grips with what Young recorded and when, a handy tool after years of speculation.

1972-1976 was a hugely prolific period for Neil Young, as he released Harvest and went on to record the live album Time Fades Away (1973), as well as On The Beach (1974), Tonight’s The Night(1975) and Zuma – recorded with Crazy Horse (1976). Also featured in the set is Homegrown, an album Young didn’t release until June 2020, but that he recorded in 1974 and 1975, after On The Beach and before sessions started for Zuma.

The box set covers Neil Young’s solo work alongside recordings made with the bands Crazy Horse, The Stray Gators, The Santa Monica Flyers, Stills/Young Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The collection is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide and is available to pre-order ahead of its release on 20th November.

Neil Young also updated fans on his website with a progress report about his official bootleg series. Young stated that records were being mastered and they envisioned launching the series all at once with a tentative schedule of April 2021.

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