Neil Young’s Archives II Box Out Nov. 20

Neil Young obviously has a staggering number of recordings stashed away going back more than half a century. He’s got so much that even though there’ve been numerous portions released over the past 15 years as part of his multi-pronged Archives project, there’s still far more in the pipeline, he’s always behind schedule and the details keep being modified.

That’s okay, though. That’s just the way Neil works. He’s definitely not lazy, just scattered in many different directions at once. But a big chunk of his ongoing clear-the-closets campaign is finally seeing the light of day on November 20, when the Archives Vol. II box set is released through Reprise Records. Originally intended to span the years 1972-1982, it’s been pared down to laser-focus on ’72-’76 and is still stuffed with 131 tracks over ten CDs, a near-even mix of already-released and previously-unissued material including 12 never-released songs, plus alternate takes and live tracks.

The box includes the Tuscaloosa and Roxy: Tonight’s the Night Live concert albums that have both been previously issued separately, plus a full unreleased live album recorded in 1976 called Odeon Budokan. 1974’s aborted Homegrown, finally released as a standalone album this past June, is included, along with a disc of unreleased recordings from that session and others throughout ’74. Tonight’s the Night is included in its entirety with extra tracks from those sessions. The aborted 1975 album Dume, which evolved into Zuma, is recreated, with early versions of songs later included on Rust Never Sleeps and other records. And there’s plenty more, too, along with a 252-page hardbound book. Out of respect for my senses, I haven’t even looked at the suggested retail price, ‘cuz I don’t really want to know. I’m pretty sure it’s already sold out anyway. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.