Neil Young Goes Digital with Archives Project

Neil Young Digital Archive landing page looks like an old file cabinet with post-it notes stuck on

Neil Young Digital Archive landing page

Ya gotta hand it to Neil Young, who turned 71 in November, but is not letting technology leave him behind. The folk rocker who sang “rock and roll can never die” is making sure his legacy won’t either, unveiling a career-spanning and comprehensive digital archive project.

Coming soon, according to its website, The Neil Young Archives will allow fans to stream every recording he’s released since 1963, even throwing in some new material for good measure. Hitchhiker, an unreleased solo album from 1976, was announced along with the digital initiative. And while Hitchhiker is coming to every major streaming platform on Sept. 8, it will also be available on CD and vinyl (more real-world fun — those who pre-order will get a campfire coffee mug).

The Neil Young Archives is “coming soon,” and in a self-penned note released Friday the artist shared gleefully that “I built this for myself as much as everyone else,” admitting, “I’m very interested in collecting and organization, as well as mechanical things and old school record keeping.”

The web-based repository will feature a timeline detailing how and when every work was made. In a letter to the public, Young promised the NYA will in addition to music include films, photos and memorabilia, and be constantly updated, “a living, breathing document.” The audio will stream via the high-quality, uncompressed Xstream Music that will be Young’s own branded music service. Xstream is powered by the third-party OraStream technology.

Young announced the Xstream service earlier this year. It’s his second go at a high-fidelity listening hub to satisfy his demanding ears, following the now-abandoned Pondo. OraStream launched the BRIO consumer personal music server system in April, with subscription fees ranging from free, to an annual cost of $15 per year for mobile access and $150 per year for a cloud-based 1,000 gigabyte setup.

While the Hitchhiker release date was announced, a rep for Young told Variety the archive project has been several years in the making “and has no release date, and longtime fans will know not to hold their collective breath.”

Preorder page for Neil Young's September 2017 release Hitchhiker, recorded in 1976

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.