Dear old Neil. I've got out of the habit of getting each release in the [reaches for CD to check official term] Neil Young Archives Performance Series, for fear of buying things twice, as I ended up doing with Live at the Fillmore East.
I relented with this latest one for a bunch of reasons. I can't find it now, but I'm sure somewhere he suggested that not all of A Treasure would be on Archives Box 3 or whatever. Having seen Neil's Live Aid set and heard some other bootlegs from the period, I enjoyed the songs played there — Nothing is Perfect, Let Your Fingers Do the Walking and so on, unreleased until now — more than the Old Ways album. And I love this promotional video:
What an impish 65-year-old he is, playing with all those Jean-Luc Godard postmodern tricks, and all the while hawking, hawking, hawking that product! There's more selling, but not as much wit here.
The other thing is that the videos whetted my appetite for what I expected would be a beautifully recorded and produced album. That's why I got the version with blu-ray as well as CD, even though I still haven't got a blu-ray player. In fact, the blu-ray thing also justified getting the CD in the first place, because then you have something that you can't stream online (yet).
What I missed is that Neil admitted, at 10'05" in the video, that while the production is high class, the original recordings are not so great. Not bad, I grant you, but I wanted to feel like I was up close in an intimate venue. Instead the band feels distant.
I don't know; things have changed already. I added A Treasure to my wishlist just after it came out in June and just before I got my squeezebox — and a kind family member gave it to me for my birthday earlier this month. If it came out now, I think I'd listen on Spotify and bide my time before buying anything physical.
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