Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:36:12
To celebrate the release of his 39th studio album, The Visitor, Neil Young has opened up almost the entirety of his back catalog as a digital library. By visiting the Neil Young Archives website, fans can access over 50 years of music from the iconic singer-songwriter, including 10 unreleased albums and some unreleased films as well as all of the classics one could wish for.
Clothed in digital manila file folders, the collection stretches from “The Sultan”, the 1963 debut single from The Squires (featuring a teenage Young) all the way to The Visitor itself. In between, the archive features everything Young has recorded as a soloist and bandleader, as well as his works with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and it’s listings even include Young-related films and books.
In his introductory video, Young encourages exploration. The website is seemingly made to be explored chronologically, and a good place to start is the Timeline section. There you can scroll through various milestones during the icon’s five decades-plus of performing, and click through to all the various albums from different points in his career.
With the vastness of Young’s catalog all available in one place, navigating it can be somewhat tricky. The website is setup to look a bit like filing cabinets that live in a western saloon and can be counter-intuitive and clunky at times. This, however, seems more-often-than-not to be intentional and means to encourage leaps of faith and voyages of discovery. One navigational clue to get you going — click the skeleton keyhole to access the search feature…
There are a few tracks missing from some of the albums in the catalog, and unreleased albums and recordings Chrome Dreams, Homegrown, and Toast are not yet available to stream. But this is the most inclusive set of Neil Young music available to stream anywhere on the internet. And it is free (at least for now) — All you have to do to access the site is give your email address.
In the words of the great man himself, “Don’t forget to have a good time, and try not to get lost…”
—The ARTISTdirect Staff