Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Question With . . . #2

May 13, 2010 – Tom Wilmeth Presents: One Question With . . .

If I had one question with a specific individual, what would it be?
Here is the second entry: One Question with Neil Young!

Hello Mr. Young:
You seemed slow if not hesitant to release some of your mid-1970s albums onto CD. It is true that some of these albums blew, but this rarely stops an artist from re-releasing his own back catalogue, thereby cashing-in on the money that a new format guarantees. Now that all of your records – including the long delayed American Stars ‘n Bars and On the Beach – are out there on non-bootleg, official CD releases, you still hold back the 1973 live album Time Fades Away, which Uncut Magazine just this month rated as the #1 oddity for major Lp releases not currently available in any format. Man, you even trumped The Beatles, whose unavailable Live at The Hollywood Bowl Lp is at #3 on the list!

Concerning technology, you were way ahead of your time with Time Fades Away, and evidently proud of it. On the record label itself you mention how the live recording is digitally mixed to 2-track. The problem with this early digital recording technology is its inherent murky sound and that fact that the audio master can not be remixed, so the audio really can’t be enhanced. You have been quoted that Time Fades Away is your “worst album.” And while that is really saying something, many would disagree. The American Music Guide calls it “the most gripping music of Young’s career.” So my question: Concerning Time Fades Away – do you refuse its re-release because you dislike the songs, your performance of the songs, or the unchangeable audio mix?

Neil Young:
I get “cutting edge” technology credit for going straight to 2-track digital in 1973, but am reviled for my advanced-guard electronic work on my 1982 Trans album.

Life’s a bitch. Can you answer the question about Time Fades Away?

I’m not sure that my movie soundtrack to Journey Through the Past is available on CD.

Good point; I’ll look in to it. Most people wouldn’t admit to owning that one, though.

The tracks on Time Fades Away were recorded during a tour was not a good experience for me. I’d rather just bury the whole project.

By holding it back, you call more attention to it and make it more desirable, regardless of its quality. Also, that wasn’t a live hits collection -- most of those songs are unique to that release.

Bob Dylan recently went out of his way to visit the house where I grew-up in Canada. So bite me.

You win. But your Archives box set takes self-importance to a new level of grandiosity.

Hey – get the Blu-ray; it’s cleaner.

You buying?

Another burning question finally resolved!

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[PROVISO: The above exchange is fiction, written by Tom Wilmeth. But why?]

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