Every song ever recorded by the Canadian singer-songwriter will be made available at the Neil Young Archives – along with info, videos, press clippings and memorabilia
Neil Young has announced that he will soon be launching a digital archive where fans can access “every single, recorded track or album I have produced” from his current work stretching back to the artist’s first single from 1963.
In a digital note pinned to the homepage of his website, Neil Young states, “Welcome to NYA, the home of my music. I must admit I built this for myself as much as everyone else. I am very interested in collecting and organization, as well as mechanical things and old school record keeping.”
This will come as no surprise to fans of the rocker/singer-songwriter. Young has long embraced digital aspects of new technology while at the same time loving the mechanics behind actual physical products.
He is well known for his love of model trains (he owns 20% of Lionel, LLC) and old cars, and his development of Pono, the digital media player and high-resolution music download service.
Not only will NYA (Neil Young Archives) provide users with access to all of the artist’s music via an interactive timeline, but will also include extensive material around each album, such as information about the recording of each individual song, accompanying photos and video content, press reviews, and memorabilia. The timeline will also include information about Neil’s many unreleased albums – some which are finished, others still in production or left untouched for decades.
Always the audiophile, Young explains that the music on NYA will be available via XStream Music, a high resolution streaming service which adapts seamlessly to the user’s available bandwidth, “delivering the best audio quality possible, directly from the original high resolution masters.” In other words, the music is not compressed, as it is in CD or MP3 formats. Young announced XStream Music in April as a continuation of his search for a top-quality digital sound that began with his development of Pono.
While the official launch date (or any user fees) of NYA was not given, the announcement of it represents the latest effort made by Young to control, curate and yes, capitalize on the vast archive of his music, both released and unreleased.
It created a buzz among fans who have long obsessed over Young’s infamous archive of unreleased or “lost” albums. One such album, the solo acoustic Hitchhiker, recorded in one evening in 1976, is being officially released (in the traditional vinyl, CD, MP3) format on September 8.
More than any artist, with the possible exception of Prince, Neil Young has a large cache of unreleased work. In a September 2017 cover story, Uncut magazine music journalist Tyler Wilcox hunted down some of Young’s most talked about “lost” albums – including Homegrown, Oceanside-Countryside, Island In the Sun, Meadow Dusk, Toast and Times Square. He quotes Young as saying of his unreleased work, “Quite often I’ll record things that don’t fit with what I’m doing, so I just hold onto them for a while.”