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What’s left to hear? It’s now over 25 years since Bob Dylan and his manager ushered in the modern era of archivedigging with the first volumes of The Bootleg Series. after all that time, and all those deluxe expanded reissues, surely the record company cupboards must have been emptied of all their old tapes? Mercifully, that doesn’t appear to be anything like the case. this month,
Uncut goes looking for two of the most fabled repositories of unreleased music. One proves easy to access – at least partially – as stephen Deusner reviews the deluxe edition of Purple Rain, and the first cache of lost songs from the presumably vast Prince archive. “For decades Prince’s vaults have been rock’n’roll’s very own El Dorado, a mythical place filled with untold treasures,” writes stephen. “During his life he added to it every day but guarded the contents closely… It’s a bitter irony that it took his tragic death in april 2016 for that vault to be opened.”
the second is a trickier challenge. For this issue’s cover story, tyler Wilcox has tried to work out what still languishes in Neil Young’s archives. tyler’s research and interviews give a shape and substance to the sequence of legendary albums – including Chrome Dreams, Homegrown and Hitchhiker – that have been the subject of so much intense speculation for decades. as with Giles Martin discussing the Beatles’ “Carnival Of Light” in these pages a couple of months back, it’s a tale full of revelation and promise: a reminder that the stories of our greatest heroes – perhaps even that of Elvis Presley, as you’ll find out on page 84 – remain far from complete.
Elsewhere this month, we have eventful meetings with Mark E smith and Nick Lowe; discover the secrets of sigur Rós, Iron & Wine and OMD; grapple with a bumper month of new albums that includes releases from the War On Drugs, Grizzly Bear, arcade Fire and Queens Of the stone age; witness U2 and Kraftwerk live; and hear of a particularly obsessive pursuit of sly stone. Now there’s another man whose vaults might hold the odd surprise or two…