Letters to the Archivist


How to submit a letter to the archivist...

Only notes/questions sent to the Archivist via the contact page will be considered for publishing. Make sure to select "Question for The Archivist" from the drop down menu. Thanks for reading.

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“MUUUSICAL GUEST, Neil Young” (Don Pardo Voice)

Neil plays on a number of other artists' albums which aren't represented in the Archives. Is the intent to eventually include those? Tracks like "Easy Answers” from Rob Wasserman's “Trios" or even "Homeward Through The Haze”or "Taken At All"and the alternate version of "Soldiers of Peace” from the CSN Box Set. There are a few cuts on Randy Bachman's albums which Neil played on prominently too. They are not of Neil's authorship or on Neil's albums but are a part of the history. They could reside in the file cabinet as singles with a pointer to the album they are from. What are your thoughts for cuts like these?

Excellent question. The Archives team is bound by a set of rules, rules that are only to be broken when Neil feels like it.

One of our rules was that we don’t include these sorts of releases. If Neil didn’t write a song and it wasn’t included on one of his records then it’s not here—officially. Unofficially here is a list for your enjoyment:

  • Little Girl Lost - Randy Bachman
  • Prairie Town - Randy Bachman
  • Made In Canada - Randy Bachman
  • Easy Answers - Rob Wasserman
  • San Francisco - Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real
  • As We Go Along - The Monkees
  • Smile - The Monkees (outtake)
  • That’s What It’s Like Loving You - The Monkees (outtake)
  • You and I - The Monkees
  • All That You Have Is Your Soul - Tracy Chapman
  • Kind Woman - Richie Furay
  • Bright Lights, Big City - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • You Don’t Have To Go - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Down The Wrong Way - Chrissie Hynde
  • Furry Sings The Blues - Joni Mitchell
  • Sentimental Hygiene - Warren Zevon
  • Gridlock - Warren Zevon
  • Splendid Isolation - Warren Zevon
  • Harriet Tubman - Stealin’ Horses
  • You - Nils Lofgren
  • Someday - Nils Lofgren
  • Drunken Driver - Nils Lofgren
  • Boys In The Band - Rusty Kershaw
  • I Live To Live On The Bayou - Rusty Kershaw
  • Married Man - Rusty Kershaw
  • In The Backroom - Rusty Kershaw
  • Goin’ Down To Louisiana - Rusty Kershaw
  • Future Song - Rusty Kershaw
  • Greensleeves - Ben Keith And Friends
  • I Want To Be The One - Bobby Charles
  • I Remember When - Bobby Charles
  • Ambushin’ Bastard - Bobby Charles
  • I Don’t See Me - Bobby Charles
  • Sweet Old World - Emmylou Harrris
  • Light of the Stable - Emmylou Harris
  • Starting Over - Pegi Young
  • Side Of The Road - Pegi Young
  • Body Breaks - Pegi Young
  • Lonely In A Crowded Room (album) - Pegi Young
  • Pioneer Mary - Grin
  • See What Love Can Do - Grin
  • Outlaw - Grin
  • Tears Are Not Enough - Northern Lights (From “We Are The World”)
  • Soap Box Preacher - Robbie Robertson
  • Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions (album) - Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris
  • Houses - Elyse
  • If I Could Only Remember My Name - David Crosby
  • She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina - Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • I Got Id - Pearl Jam
  • Long Road - Pearl Jam
  • Round The Bend - Stephen Stills
  • Different Man - Stephen Stills
  • Treaty - Joanne Shenandoah
  • Potato Hole (album) - Booker T.


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Content schedule

Another question: There were a number of other things released on the Archives Blu Ray and other DVD-A bonuses over the years which have never made it into the NYA website. Mainly film clips, and BD-Live. Will those be making an appearance? Will we need to wait for the subscriptions to go live before we get any of that fun stuff on NYA?

We have a ton to add! Everything you are missing you can expect to see some day. You should see some small additions before subscriptions launch, with the bulk of all material coming after.


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Queen Of The Mall

Hi Team, The following song is labeled incorrectly. ‘Queen of the Mall’ It should be Queen of Them All :-) Pretty funny. Cheers, Ben.

Ah, yes. Very good noticing. At some point in our review process before launch Neil asked for the title to be changed without much explanation. It has been told, although not officially confirmed, that the song was originally titled “Queen Of The Mall” and then changed in the official record before it’s release on Looking Forward. We don’t have an original manuscript that confirms this suspicion and the man with the answers has remained tight lipped about the reason.


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Muddy Track Premiere

I think it makes more sense to have Muddy Track on the timeline at 1987 rather than wherever it is now, 2014-2015. I know you chose a date for when the DVD was produced and made ready to go, but it never was actually released. So, probably best to put it on the timeline in the timeframe it was recorded.

Excellent movie night! 1987 was my first Crazy Horse show, too!

Well spotted! Film release dates are just one of those things, you know. There’s a sort of stodgy conventional wisdom that a film is released when it plays a week-long engagement in Manhattan, not before and not after. Sometimes release dates get a little muddy when a film is made, doesn’t play anywhere except perhaps in secret for a few decades, reappears to do a brief retrospective circuit and then disappears never to be seen or heard from again—except on NYA!—so for the purposes of placing Muddy Track on the timeline we’re going with the New York premiere date of April 17, 2015. The film played as part of a traveling Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective that brought together for the first time some of the most important works of that director/cinematographer’s illustrious career.


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Volume 2

I see a number of placeholders for planned disks in the Archive. But none of them are named "Archives Vol 2, disk 0" or "Archives Vol 2, disk 6", etc...

Could you please elaborate on whether the NYA website now replaces future Archives Box Sets? Will the website feature chronological "virtual albums" to play sequences of music chronologically in their era in a manner analogous to the first box set?

Dume has been discussed in Neil's first book and in the press, yet it is not mentioned. Is it basically "Archives Vol2, disk 6 : Dume" and will not receive a CD release but will be playable in the Archives at some point in the future?

Just wanting to understand this amazing beast and what to expect in the future. Hope my other notes were helpful.

We hear you guys loud and clear. You are really excited about Volume 2. Good news — so are we!

Not having a placeholder for Volume 2 was possibly an oversight (note to self), but you all know it’s coming.

Volume 2 is all you think it is and more. It will likely have a physical release, maybe not, but probably, or not. You can certainly look forward to it making its debut here on NYA.


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Subscriber News


Ahead Of Schedule!

Our official launch date and public announcement will take place at the end of the week, but for those of you who visit us daily we are giving you a jump on subscriptions. You can now officially purchase your very own NYA-Unlimited monthly or yearly subscription.
The prices are introductory–so hop on board!

With NYA-Unlimited comes a nice selection of new features and content:

  • Playlists
  • Chronological autoplay. Press play on any info card in the file cabinet and let it run.
  • Record store search, powered by our friends at RecordStoreDay.com. Find your local record store and go there!
  • Hi-Res track purchase . Buy Hi-Res @ low res prices. $1.29/track (minimum required) Albums cost $1.29 x # of tracks on the album.
  • 177 content additions - videos, photographs, manuscripts, memorabilia, & press. With a ton more on the way!

*Subscribe and also get a FREE DOWNLOAD.

Already in NYA’s short history we have given you two new stellar releases from the vault. Tonight’s the Night ‘Live at The Roxy’ and ‘Hitchhiker’. We have our third release from the vault coming out this week. Hear 'Songs For Judy' first at NYA. Streaming begins 8pm PST on Thursday Nov, 29th. ENJOY!

And as our first subscribers we hope you will send along feedback!

Thank You!
The Archivist

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Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy

With our subscriptions comes updated Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy. Please review these links. You can always find links at the bottom of the file cabinet door.

It's important to us at NYA that we be transparent about how we handle your data. This is why we have added the ability for you to see what info we store about your account. You can find this information on the My Data page of the account panel.

The Archivist

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Low introductory prices of 19.99 per year and 1.99 per month are locked in forever if you subscribe during the initial offering period. After the initial offering, prices will be adjusted.

We are marking one free year of NYA!

Because this is our home and our music, everything we offer is the best you will ever find. We appreciate you and you deserve the very best.

We offer all kinds of info for every recording we have; music, movies and video, books and photos, manuscripts and press.

This is a life’s work and it will never be finished. If you want to follow along with our progress, when we announce subscriptions you can buy one for the low introductory price during the initial offering period and keep that price forever.

Presale concert tickets will be availble exclusively to our subscribers. No inflated prices, middlemen, or scalpers! Just fellow NYA music lovers occupying the best seats in the house.

NYA Unlimited:

  • Complete Neil Young High Res catalogue streaming for you in Xstream by NYA
  • Pre-sale concert tickets for yearly subscribers - the best seats in the house.
  • Exclusive live concert streams at the Hearse Theater.
  • NYA Times-Contrarian Newspaper (new articles written by NY and our Times- Contrarian staff writers added regularly).
  • Previously unreleased albums, songs and videos premiered here for you first.
  • Unreleased archival video content made available to you first.
  • Info cards for each song contain lyrics, credits, photos, memorabilia and documents.
  • First Buy Discounts at NYA’s Greedy Hand store / vinyl / CDs / files / swag & more.
  • For those who want to own their music collections, $1.29 High Res Track downloads from the Xstream by NYA store (powered by Orastream) minimum 5 tracks per order.
  • Browse the NYA File Cabinet and Info Cards.
  • Cruise the NYA Timeline and see how it all unfolded and continues to grow.

For our subscribers who want to buy and collect their music:

We are digital. We sell high res at low res prices. CDs too.

We are Vinyl. We connect you to the nearest brick and mortar record store in your area. We make great vinyl. Check out J Hanlon’s notebook in the Times-Contrarian to learn more about the process of making NY vinyl.

We live-stream too.
Select NYA shows for subscribers at our Hearse Theater.

We screen Shakey Pictures movies, live interviews and podcasts for subscribers.

Many parts of NYA will still be available free, including :

  • Unlimited browsing.
  • Featured album playback.
  • Song of the Day, playback.
  • NYA Times-Contrarian.

Music Archive and Time Machine.
The high resolution audio here is the best digital sound on the planet- Xstream by NYA.

“Here at NYA, we care for every song I’ve ever released. This is where the songs live and are heard at their finest. Every album. Singles. All the artwork. Many of the manuscripts. It’s all here for you to hear"
Thanks for listening!

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Soon you will be asked to pay for NYA. Although it will be a very low amount-$1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, I want you to know it is important to all of us as a measuring stick for how much you like what we are doing, and it will go a long way to deferring our costs.

NYA is long term and eventually we will need to have enough subscribers to carry the load. We love what we are doing. Our Archivist is so hard working, keeping the Archives growing, helping supply her valuable input and corresponding with our tech partner ADE every time we add something to the way the site functions. We are constantly trying to improve NYA!

Our archivist now has a section of The Times-Contrarian dedicated to Subscriber News. There, she will be able to do things there that will greatly enhance your experience. News of additions to our service, big and small, new songs, albums, memorabilia, films, videos, etc will be available there regularly.

We value your support. It really means a lot to us. We hope for a big response to our subscription offer when it arrives soon.

In the meantime, enjoy Xstream by NYA, our unique High Res Streaming. There is nowhere else in the world where you can hear my music in this audio quality. It’s FREE right now!
Thanks for listening!

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We are listening to your requests. NYA has an app for smart phone users in development now. It is greatly simplified from this website, but will be the perfect way to get all the great sound of High Resolution streaming from Xstream by NYA while you are on the move.

We will show you how to use new phones with the NYA app, and the right earphones/buds to use to feel our stunning sound in the highest resolution possible, not dummied down to the low standard used by streaming services.

The App will have a timeline with every album in the Neil Young Archive and all information about an album’s music, art work and overall credits will be featured, not the feeble meta data available at streaming services. We want you to know all about this music.

The technology of Orastream combined with the music of Xstream by NYA will be the largest feature of this, the world’s first and best high resolution adaptive bitrate music streaming experience. You will hear how adaptive bitrate streaming gets the best sound available at your current location as you move around the planet.

Really what this means is great sound from your phone! Enjoy your music more as we show you the right earbuds and earphones to use with your high res music.

Thanks for listening!



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Every time you play the song of the day, we are connected. Each evening I choose a song. One that just comes to my head. We just sit and listen. If it moves me, it’s the song of the day for tomorrow and I send it in. It’s a little thing, but somehow I hope it works to make this a little more personal. A little more human. Enjoy the song of the day, every day you can, with me.

It’s more than that. It is a reflection of personal feelings, of life. The choice of which song should be the song of the day is a big deal to me. I try to make sure of one thing.....does it feel right?

Sometimes, not often, I just can’t do it for various reasons. On those times, we automatically go to the next song on whatever album the previous song of the day appeared.


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IMG 4800 970

Covering the news like a blanket….

Toby Huss, our first, only and best NYA correspondent for the NYA Livestream ‘Out of the Barn’, did a fine job. He told the truth and there was not a trace of fake news.

NYA is honored to be on the forefront of the True News Movement (TNM), a return to journalism. Founded in 2018, TNM’s headquarters is Flint Michigan, the clean water capital of the United States of America. Designated as a model for environmental stewardship by the president, Flint Michigan stands alone in its fight for clean water and is thankful for the border guards stopping dirty water coming in from Canada.


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J. Hanlon's Notebook


Mastering the LP Odeon Budokan

Dear readers,
Apologies for not lending an ear to your queries earlier but there has been a tear in the fabric at ye old homestead. I am reporting post fire from Malibu.

The act of staying with one’s house and home through the apocalyptic fires that raged here three weeks ago tonight was unsettling at the least.

Suffice it to say, I saved my house, or, it was spared by the capricious nature of this beast that roared out of the northern parts of this Los Angeles County that the Native Americans so aptly called “Valley of Many Smokes”. And I don’t think they were referring to personal use. Now to the business at hand.

Progress is being made on mastering the Odeon Budokan album for vinyl from the original ¼” mix tapes. This is one of Mr. Briggs conceptualized records, pulled together in 1976 from the Neil Young & Crazy Horse tour of the Orient and Europe, comprised of concerts at Odeon Hammersmith in London and Budokan Hall in Tokyo Japan from March of that year.

We also have the Tim Mulligan mastered hi-res digital of this album at 176/24 of the project that will possibly be utilized for the NYA website timeline.

We always listen and determine whether the website digital audio sounds better coming straight from Mr. Mulligan’s digital mastering, so it would be D-D whereas the vinyl might or might not sound better coming A-A directly mastered in Analog from the master tapes. Every project is different.

There is no formula as to formats being digital or analog in terms of mix sources. We use the best we have always. We leave no stone unturned unless it weighs several tons, meaning if there is a tremendous amount of editing to be done or there are second and third generation master tape copies that are worn out and suffering sonically, or a given project was never really assembled in a viable analog domain – only then do we decide which to master from in terms of a given release format such as vinyl records, CDs, hi-res digital for streaming etc.

Each different release format, along with the project audio source, can dictate how we choose.

The vinyl can be mastered from digital 192/24, 176.4/24, even 44.1/24 as in the case of Deadman and 44.1/16 for Harvest Moon. That’s obviously because they were the only mix masters that existed for those particular two albums. That is just one example.

There will be many more as all Neil’s catalog gets re-released for vinyl as well as higher resolution digital down the road.

Next up is Tuscaloosa, (under the radar monster) a previously and only partially mined album project from early in the 1973 Time Fades Away tour of the US by Neil & The Stray Gators. . . . .It’s a “good un” as John Lee Hooker would say. “Pots on, gas on high” as he also wrote in one of his songs. ‘Tuscaloosa’ was a particularly potent lineup of great musicians at the zenith of their brotherhood. Ben Keith, Jack Nitzche, Tim Drummond, Kenny Buttrey and Neil.

More to report here soon, as we undertake mixing from the original master 2” analog 16 track tapes and review in Colorado during the next several weeks.

John Hanlon

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Mastering the LP, Songs for Judy

There is something magical about dropping the needle on a record. It draws you into a listening experience that cannot be captured in the playback of any other form or medium of music. Be it CD, an I-Phone, laptop computer, with or without earbuds, even a cassette tape for those old enough to know, it all pales next to playing an LP vinyl record. You actually have to do something and drop a tone-arm and cartridge onto the lead in groove, preferably without screwing yourself and sending it flying across the disc. The quiet thump one hears and feels when having successfully mastered the mating of stylus to grooved plastic is a glory to behold. It never gets old. It signifies the start of a musical experience that engages you in a way that no other can. You actually have to sit and listen. The record demands it.

This is especially rewarding when the music emanating from the near field speakers has something special to convey.

This is exactly the case with Neil’s new album ‘Songs for Judy’ that I am evaluating. I have been listening to the reference lacquers of our mastering work at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood as captured by Chris Bellman in the cutting room. Tim Mulligan, Neil’s longtime mastering engineer had already mastered this collection of 23 songs that had been recorded during Neil’s solo tour in November of 1976. Most of these songs came originally from Joel Bernstein’s audio cassette recordings in the hall as Neil performed with just an acoustic guitar, piano or banjo. Occasionally a 12-string guitar or Stringman synthesizer would make an appearance.

Tim did all of his work in the digital domain at a sample rate of 176.4K and a word depth of 24 bits after converting the analog cassette tapes to digital for assembly, audience crossfades, level matching etc.

My and Chris’s job was to get it from Tim’s digital files to four sides of vinyl and not get in the way by “fixing” things or smoothing the rawness out of the music recordings as is so oft the case in today’s world of cutting edge digital crap. Don’t get me wrong, digital is great, but for me it’s a tool to be taken advantage of and a means to an end result, not the ends itself, especially with the making of vinyl records. In mastering for the vinyl, we use Lavry DB gold converters that are modified insofar as the power supply circuitry by Beno May the chief engineer and tech at Grundman’s. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is stock. The mastering consoles are all analog. They sound better and it sounds musical, period.

The vinyl we cut in that room has an analog path derived from the output of the Lavry D/A converter through the analog mastering console and on out to the lathe. When my source is an actual analog tape, the vinyl reference lacquer is cut from a purely analog path. It never goes to digital. That said, I usually do a test mastering from the tape through an A/D converter so I can experiment with song gaps, levels, EQ if necessary without playing the master tape needlessly. Once my decisions are final after listening at home or with Neil, then I go back in and cut that EQ, level changes and add or subtract leader from the tapes as needed to accommodate my notes from the hi-res digital playback for mastering evaluation, in order to then cut the reference lacquers only once.

Sibilance from the lead vocal can cause distortion on the record that would not be present on the digital CD or hi-res digital audio on the timeline. On this record there were several places where Chris had to employ a de-esser in the audio chain but it’s only introduced for the areas that need it. Otherwise it is hard bypassed.

The ‘Songs for Judy’ album is a double album, with four sides of audio. I approved the reference lacquers of this knowing that since I listened, Tim Mulligan found two songs with a mic stand hit by Neil during the recordings when he re-proofed the files he had sent me. We will replace Tim’s digitally fixed files into the cutting session source when the Master lacquers are cut to be delivered to the plant. The rest of Chris Bellman’s previous EQ and level changes will carry across seamlessly since Tim was working in digital and files are exactly the same except for the several frame fixes.

After that, the plant will send me test pressings of the album. It is then that I will get to hear how well that LP was manufactured. I will have Chris Bellman’s reference lacquers to compare to in order to troubleshoot the source to be corrected if there is any problem or discrepancy found. The quality should be identical if the vinyl itself is clean. The master lacquers that Grundman’s sends to the plant are the same type that I get when we master onto the lathe in the cutting room initially. Mine will be played, whereas the ones sent to the pressing plant will go right into plating. After I approve the test pressings the record will go into production and you will all get to hear what I experienced as well.

Long live vinyl and good listening!

Senior Chief

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When we make a vinyl record, it is always taken from the master tapes. We get the best sound possible and it usually sounds better than the original vinyl. So many advances have been made in the technology of vinyl and we are taking advantage of them all. Re-mastering is supervised by John Hanlon and we use the very best mastering procedures and facilities available. Because of the care we take to check every one for flaws, our vinyl records are the closest you can get to the original master tapes.

There is always a source guide on our vinyl re-releases to tell you where the music came from. A lot of record companies use their CD masters for vinyl. Rest assured, we do not do that unless that is all we have and there are very few NY records that are CD masters. Harvest Moon is an example of one of those. We went back to the original SONY 1630 digital machine that CD was mixed to and made our vinyl from that master. Of the 50 plus records NY has made, there are only a handful that were made to CD masters. Most of these come from the late eighties and early nineties.

The greatest sounding vinyl releases, such as ‘ROXY Tonight’s the Night Live,’ our next release, are made from the original analog master mixes. That record sounds vibrant on a big system and brings back memories, not only of the great gig we had opening the Roxy, but of the beautiful sound of all releases from the original analog masters. Those who missed that and earlier records made that way when they first came out, may have missed the renaissance of recorded music.

When you listen to our vinyl, you are hearing the best we can make for you and we hope you enjoy each one as much as we do. We are proud of our quality. John Hanlon does a great job, usually working with Chris Bellman at Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles California.

Enjoy your vinyl records on a good record player. Do not use one that has Bluetooth or some other digital component because all of our hard work will be ruined by that inferior sound. You don’t need to be listening through that crap.

In addition, remember that new record players are almost always better than old ones because manufacturing tolerances have generally improved and the specs are tighter with most of the new players. Take the time to make sure you are listening to an all analog system with your vinyl. Don’t let anything in your system sample it and dummy it down from its original greatness. On old records that came from analog master tapes, nothing beats vinyl. There is a lot of junk out there. Spotify and the rest are trashing what you hear, and all the music ever made. Convenient? Yes. Good? NO.

Enjoy your music the way it was made.


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