- What's the contender for the title of Longest-gestating Music Box Set? That dubious honor would have to go to Neil Young's Archives, Volume 1, bandied about since the 1980s and not released until 2009. Available as 10 Blu-rays, 10 DVDs or 8 CDs, Archives provided an immersive journey deep into Young's vaults, and it picked up a Grammy Award for Art Direction in 2010. In conjunction with the massive box (supposedly the first of five such sets), Young has branded a number of his catalogue titles with the Archives label including the Performance Series of previously unreleased live concerts, and the Official Release Series of remastered original albums. To date, only four Official Release Series titles have been released, and those four have just been collected in one budget-priced mini-box by Warner Bros.' U.K. division. Official Release Series Discs 1-4 brings together Young's first four albums in one slipcase: 1969's Neil Young and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, 1970's After the Gold Rush and 1972's Harvest. Based on the available artwork, each album is housed in a jewel case rather than a paper sleeve. These are the same remastered discs released individually in 2009. As of this writing, the box set is available from Amazon U.K. for £10.47, or approximately $16.29 USD. It's selling for $32.22 from Amazon U.S. now. You might also wish to check out Warner U.K.'s similar 5-CD Original Album Series boxes from artists including Elvis Costello, Madonna and Prince.
Hit the jump for the latest from Heart and Incubus!
- It's been a busy year for Ann and Nancy Wilson, the women of Heart. The duo curated the 3-CD/1-DVD box set Strange Euphoria, released by Legacy Recordings, which premiered a number of hidden treasures and anthologized many of the band's greatest hits. (Read our review here.) As if that wasn't enough, Legacy has just announced a new studio album from Heart. Set for an October 2 release, Fanatic contains 10 original songs including one duet with Sarah McLachlan. Although Legacy's primary mission remains to champion catalogue reissues, this is Heart's second album of original material on the label, after 2010's Top 10 LP Red Velvet Car. You can preview the title song now on YouTube. Fanatic will likely make the perfect soundtrack to a book that will likely be essential reading around Second Disc HQ. Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll is the long-awaited autobiography of Ann and Nancy Wilson, written with noted biographer Charles R. Cross (Room Full of Mirrors - A Biography of Jimi Hendrix; Heavier than Heaven, a biography of Kurt Cobain). HarperCollins releases the hardcover memoir on September 18, and you can pre-order it at this link! Fanatic can be pre-ordered here!
- In more Legacy news, August 14 is the date when the label will release a compendium of previously unissued live performances from the band Incubus. Celebrating their twentieth year together, Incubus will on the same day launch a 4-week, 18-city tour co-headlining with Linkin Park. The performances on Incubus HQ Live were all recorded in summer 2011 in West Hollywood, California, when the band set up shop at a storefront on La Brea Avenue. Reaching out to fans via social media, Incubus played seven nights of performances, and the new sets preserve the six nights that were broadcast live online. Incubus HQ Live will be released in three unique formats: a standard edition (16-track CD + DVD), a Special Edition (28-track double-CD + DVD); and a Limited Edition Box Set (4 LPs + 6 CDs + 2 DVD/Blu-ray, plus autographed swag). The Limited Edition box is exclusive to Incubus' website, and is scheduled to ship on July 6. The other two configurations arrive at retail on August 14. The DVD content is the same for all three versions, but the DVD will contain a significantly different song sequence than the CDs. Lead singer Brandon Boyd supplies new liner notes for all three releases. The standard edition can be pre-ordered here, and the 2-CD/DVD edition here.
Oh my. I'm surprised by your promotion of any of the "Original Album Series" in the same breath as the Neil Young budget box. While the NY box has truncated booklets compared to the original individual releases of these remastered versions, the albums in the box are the same remastered gems that you'd get buying the separate releases. The "Original Album Series" are often shoddy affairs, with cheaply printed card sleeves masquerading as "mini LPs" and long-outdated mastering jobs. The OAS is a no-go unless you're a completist, I say.
Jason Michael says
Though the “Original Album Series” releases are definitely bare-bones affairs, they are often a good way to get some other-wise out of print albums at a reasonable price. A few that contain some hard to find titles are the Dr. John, Tim Buckley, X, and Chic sets. And the mastering is often the old, unfutzed-with type that is preferred by audiophiles. I wouldn't buy every “Original Album Series” by any means, but taken on a case-by-case basis you can find some great titles.And we have to remember that not every release is meant for the OCD collectors like those who frequent sites like this (myself included!). I think the idea behind these is to be a low cost entry into an artist's catalog.
In other words, though I have all those Prince, Madonna, and Elvis Costello albums, I appreciate the Second Disc drawing attention to these releases as there could be something I would need to fill in some holes in a collection.
I don't disagree with anything you've said, but the Neil Young box discussed in the story just isn't the same sort of beast as the Original Album Series items.
Jim Regan (@Jbones72) says
agree...if i was 16 again i'd love these series!!