A LOOK BACK

Neil Young pre­par­ing ca­reer ar­chive.

Cape Breton Post - - Weekend - BY DAVID FRIEND

Neil Young is putting the fin­ish­ing touches on a mas­sive archival web­site fo­cused on his sto­ried mu­sic ca­reer.

The Toronto-born rocker teased fans on Fri­day with a mes­sage out­lin­ing plans for the Neil Young Ar­chive, “a liv­ing doc­u­ment’’ that he says will pro­vide an in­ter­ac­tive timeline of his en­tire discog­ra­phy.

Start­ing with his first sin­gle in 1963 and run­ning through to his most re­cent record­ings, Young says the web­site will cover “ev­ery sin­gle, recorded track or al­bums I have pro­duced’’ along with a col­lec­tion of “cred­its, mem­o­ra­bilia, films or videos, press and pho­to­graphs.’’

“The mu­si­cal in­for­ma­tion found here is a work in progress, al­ways grow­ing and adapt­ing to new in­for­ma­tion as we find it,’’ he wrote.

While the mu­si­cian didn’t say when the web­site would launch, he timed it with an­other big re­veal — news that his 1976 acous­tic al­bum “Hitch­hiker’’ would fi­nally be made pub­lic on Sept. 8 after more than four decades in the vaults.

Recorded at a Mal­ibu stu­dio in a sin­gle day, “Hitch­hiker’’ is one of sev­eral elusive “lost al­bums’’ in Young’s reper­toire, and the mu­si­cian hinted that other un­re­leased al­bums will ap­pear in his ar­chive “once they are com­pleted.’’

“Hitch­hiker’’ fea­tures two

never-re­leased tracks, “Hawaii’’ and “Give Me Strength,’’ and early ver­sions of songs like “Poc­a­hon­tas’’ and “Pow­derfin­ger,’’ which later ap­peared on his 1979 al­bum “Rust Never Sleeps.’’

The al­bum’s ti­tle track

ar­rived on stream­ing mu­sic ser­vices and in dig­i­tal stores on Fri­day.

Young plans to launch the archival web­site using his new high-fidelity stream­ing mu­sic ser­vice Xstream, which he says gives lis­ten­ers mu­sic at the high­est

qual­ity their net­work al­lows.

The mu­si­cian has been an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of high-qual­ity au­dio in an era that’s favoured the con­ve­nience of muddy-sound­ing MP3s and low bit rate stream­ing au­dio files.

CP PHOTO

Cana­dian mu­si­cian Neil Young leaves a news con­fer­ence in Van­cou­ver, B.C., in Novem­ber 2015. Young recorded his 1976 acous­tic al­bum “Hitch­hiker” in a sin­gle day, but un­til now fans could only dream of get­ting their hands on it.

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