Neil Young: Archives Vol. 1 (1963–1972) Page 2

The package itself is a clear labor of love. The Archives Poster replicates the Blu-ray set's file-folder navigation format, which serves as the ideal guide through Young's career. The hand-tooled, leather-bound, 236-page Archives Book contains a wealth of historical photos, handwritten lyrics, articles, documents, and track listings, all of which are also available with onscreen captions on the BD set. (The corresponding info appears collectively in the back of the book.) Especially tasty is the 33-page "Archives Selected Tracks" section, which seems to be a pretty comprehensive running list of Young's first decade of recorded output. The "Selected Tracks" part of the title refers to the songs highlighted in yellow - that is, the ones that actually appear on Vol. 1.

And now: the Blu-ray Discs themselves, in their splendid art design by Total Media Group's Toshi Onuki and their remarkable BD production by Ole Lütjens and the team at MX Entertainment. It would take roughly 30 hours to progress through all of the audio/video material that Young and his longtime film colleague, Larry (L.A.) Johnson, have collected here. Delving into each disc is like peeling a series of onions, as each song is presented in multiple layers. Clicking on Song Selection in the main menu opens the Steelcase filing cabinet that takes you to the individual song folders. Each folder can potentially house additional material under four labeled tabs at the top: Photos, Documents, Press, and Memorabilia.

You can click on the active tabs and peruse the information while the song plays. If you click on the arrow that's underneath the tabs at the top left of the folder, you can literally watch a song play in real time on a format appropriate to the era - 45-rpm single, 12-inch vinyl album, reel-to-reel tape. Some songs will have even more options under separate Audio and Video Tape Logs on a partially obscured sheet that appears under the arrow and to the left of the track information. You might find Young discussing a song's gestation in a radio interview or at a live gig.