Neil Young announced plans to take on those who have bootlegged his live performances over the years with his own official line.
He said that, unlike the illegal versions previously in circulation, his own releases would be higher quality, and would be packaged in the artwork created by the bootleggers.
“‘I’m Happy That Y’All Came Down’ is a bootleg that has been circulating for almost 50 years,” Young wrote on his Neil Young Archives website, announcing the first title in his series. “Rubber Dubber put it out in 1971. … The big difference with this NYA Official Bootleg, and many the Official Bootleg series, will be that it is coming from our original master tapes.”
Young noted that “we have ripped off all of the original art from the bootlegs, continuing the tradition. No expense will be spared. The only thing different will be the radically better sound from our masters.”
He added that his team was “going full bore” with the project “right now.” Young invited fans to let him know which recordings they’d like to hear: “Write … to me here with your favorite bootlegs, and we will find them and use the best audio we can locate, either from the NYA vaults or somewhere else.”
The Bootlegpedia website lists 107 releases of Young performances, with a range of sources, including concert sound desks and recording devices in audience areas. Meanwhile, Young will finally release Homegrown, a highly anticipated abandoned LP from 1975, on June 19.