Neil Young / Official Release Series box sets finally coming to CD?

Listings on Amazon in the USA and Canada suggest that the long awaited CD box sets featuring classic, remastered Neil Young albums from the 1970s will be issued later this Spring.

The Official Release Series Disc 5-8 box set was issued on vinyl in November 2014 and a four-CD equivalent would feature a superb collection of sought-after Young, including On The Beach (1974)Time Fades Away (1973), Tonight’s The Night (1975) and Zuma (1975).

In terms of availability/rarity, On The Beach was eventually issued on CD for the first time in 2003 but Time Fades Away has never been released on the format and Tonight’s The Night and Zuma are both long overdue a reissue.

The companion set – Official Release Series Disc 8.5-12 – would contain the next four albums, so that is CD editions of American Stars & Bars, Comes A Time, Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust and Long May You Run.

Release dates currently vary with Canada showing 21 April (record store day?) and America indicating availability on 12 May 2017. SDE will keep its ear on the ground for further news on what looks like two very welcome releases.

Compare prices and pre-order

Neil Young

Original Release Series Discs 5-8

Shop Price gbp Stock
JPC de   52.99

Compare prices and pre-order

Neil Young

Original Release Series Discs 8.5-12

Shop Price gbp Stock
JPC de   64.99

five-CD set contains the albums:

  1. American Stars & Bars
  2. Comes A Time
  3. Rust Never Sleeps
  4. Live Rust
  5. Long May You Run.

71 responses to Neil Young / Official Release Series box sets finally coming to CD?

  1. Miguel Rocha says:

    Very happy to report they are indeed card sleeves with original inserts also beautifully reproduced. Not numbered and silver discs…will listen soon!

  2. DaveM says:

    Pictures are up on the Hoffman thread. They are card mini-LPs so Bullmoose had got it wrong about jewel cases. Still waiting for mine to arrive.

  3. Gerbrand says:

    Pictures of the back of the boxes now on amazon, but no further details (explaining the hefty price tag…)

  4. DaveM says:

    Update, someone has got 5-8 already and states they are silver discs in card sleeves.

  5. DaveM says:

    On the Hoffman thread on these, someone has confirmed with US retailer Bullmoose (who has them in stock ready for shipment) that they are jewel cased. The pricepoint is therefore ridiculous in the UK if we are getting the same format. That means they are proportionally three times plus more expensive than the 1-4 boxes in this format. Still not cancelling though.

  6. Mic Smith says:

    My delivery date in the 2 boxes has been brought forward to mid August.

    • James Henry says:

      I want to order the Original Series 5-8 and 8.5 -11 from the neil young store, so I get the limited edition gold versions of the cd’s. Since the shipment date on Amazon has been moved up to Friday, August 18 I’m surprised they’re not available for pre-order on his site yet?

      Has anyone seen any sites that are advertising the limited edition numbered CD boxes?


      • CraigH says:

        Information on these is still sparse but from the price point you’d expect they’d replicate the original 1-4 gold numbered box etc but who knows. No other versions are being advertised anywhere that I know of.
        Anyway, I’ve cancelled my Amazon UK order and reordered from the US as even with postage and customs deposit it comes to £83 compared to about £120.

  7. neil says:

    i have JTTP on CD from lost diamonds records. sounds ok. was expensive mind.

  8. JF says:

    Thanks for the info. I guess I’ll just wait and see, and hope I can get my hands on limited edition boxes with repro paper sleeves (if they do turn out to exist) before it’s too late…

  9. clive says:

    I’m hoping that these are the gold HDCD numbered editions with the repro LP covers, given the prices which are similar to the 2009 gold CD 1-4 issue.

    The 2012 re-issue of the 1-4 set was still HDCD but without the gold CDs and mini-lp sleeves and priced at £11.99 on Amazon.

    Having said this, the LP numbered sets (and the 2009 1-4 CD sets) were only available through Neil Y authorised shops at Sound Matters/Warners/Reprise. All of the LP sets from elsewhere look exactly the same (some even listed as limited) but don’t have the gold embossed number on the back.

    The annoying thing is that, back in 2009, the Sound Matters listing for the CDs was very short on info and it was impossible to see from the photos whether they were mini-LP covers and, having shelled out £100+ for the LPs, I didn’t want to chuck another £50 (bargain now!) at the CDs. £11.99 was a no-brainer in 2012.

    So…don’t expect any clear details on these sets any time soon.

  10. JF says:

    I bought the numbered edition of 1-4 with mini-LP reproduction sleeves, and I’m still trying to figure out if such an edition will be available for 5-8 and 8.5-12. I can’t seem to find any information about the packages, except for the pre-order listings on Amazon. Does anyone know the details of the boxes?

  11. Mic Smith says:

    Amazon recently dropped their preorder prices for both in case their initial prices has put anyone off.

  12. Brian Stanley says:

    Amazon just emailed me today to say these are delayed until september.

  13. John Kelman says:

    Has anyone heard the High resolution editions available at places like Just wondering….

  14. Fatoldbloke says:

    Journey Though The Past

  15. Mic Smith says:

    Great news that this period is finally getting the remaster treatment. I have the promo TFA burned from SHM files but JTTP never got leaked in the same way. For that one I bought a pretty good second hand copy (with the rare triple gatefold sleeve) and had a friend clean it up using Archive Words for Side 3. Bought a digipack bootleg of it and the domestically remastered CDR now sits in that digipack. I fear that’s the nearest I’ll get to JTTP on CD. The version in Archives is the film not the Soundtrack version.

    • Jess says:

      I think Neil has completely disregarded JTTP now…it was dis-jointed in the first place, and now he doesn’t like it…although it would be nice if released it as a high-quality download…but don’t hold your breath…

  16. JWL says:

    To all those wondering about remastering:
    The remastering has long been completed and has been available both on Young’s Pono service (as hi-res downloads) and then pressed to vinyl in recent years.

  17. Charles Hodgson says:

    Can we get a guarantee from Neil Young Enterprises that these won’t be included on a ‘forthcoming’ Archives 2 set?

    Er, no I suppose not…

    Are other posters confusing Time Fades Away with Journey Through The Past? TFA is clearly included on 5-8.

  18. John Sayers says:

    Do these cd’s besides Time Fades Away even need to be remastered? I thought the original cd’s sounded just fine myself.

    • Jess says:

      Supposevely, the original CD’s that were released in the 80’s were all LP production masters, so were made for records, and think cassettes tapes too. Some of those 80’s CD’s are very hissy…

  19. Marc says:

    I find it highly unlikely that Time Fades Away gets a CD release. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again.

  20. Robert says:

    This’ll be nice. Rust Never Sleeps is one of my all time favorite albums. Neil seems to be the only major classic rock artist not to have all his catalog out and remastered.

  21. richard says:

    I always thought it interesting/frustrating that he is pretty much the only major artist to never have his albums reissued as mini LP replicas in Japan, i can’t think of anyone else of his stature who hasn’t been given that treatment!

    • ChristopherM says:

      Richard – I have American Stars ‘n Bars on vinyl replica CD (a pretty good quality one, complete with replica inner sleeve). However, you’re correct in that it isn’t a Japanese edition – the CD label says “Made in Germany”

      • Richard says:

        There was a European one for On The Beach too but nothing from Japan. All the other major Warners artists have been done like Joni Mitchell, The Dead, even CSNY, so clearly it’s Neil who is being tricky, I mean they even managed to do Prince!

  22. karl says:

    I have the 24k gold edition of the first series. I’m wondering if they release it with this one?

  23. Miguel Rocha says:

    What’s the point of offering different packaging options (jewel case vs cardboard sleeves) through online retailers when the consumer has no way of knowing what they’re getting. Most items have one generic image and barcodes don’t add up to much. Ultimately it’s the music that matters but, quite frankly, I can’t stand jewel cases and love the packaging that replicates the original vinyl sleeves.

  24. bob says:

    What happened to the archives series? By the time they get around to releasing volume 2 most of the original fans will either have passed away or just no longer interested.

  25. Greek geek says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it!

  26. DaveM says:

    Good news and not bothered if they are jewel cased budget releases in the box so long as the albums are remastered, especially at the price point of the first four. Makes me think this is another u-turn which probably indicates he’s short of cash, especially to see TFA potentially on CD.

  27. Mike Bushell says:

    I was hoping for a second Archive set. Oh well, it’s Neil Young…..

  28. Art says:

    I hope these are remastered and not just a repackaging of the current CDs.

    • Jess says:

      Nope…these will probably be the remasters that were done for the two vinyl box sets done the last few years…

  29. Alan Blevin says:

    What this means for any eventual release of Archives Volume 2 is anyone’s guess.The 3 options are
    1Archives 2 is coming and Neil expects us to buy the same music twice in a short period of time
    2Archives 2 has changed format and will only include unreleased music.
    3Neil has put the treasure trove of unreleased music from this period in deep freeze and none of us will hear it in his or our lifetimes.
    Any of this is possible.I fear number 3 is most likely.

  30. Will W says:

    I really want a remastered Decade. What are the chances?

    • Jess says:

      Zip…Neil’s plan is to include all of the unreleased songs that were on Decade on the Archives box set releases…so we’ll probably get the studio take of Winterlong, Campaigner, etc. on the hopefully upcoming Archives 2…

  31. David says:

    Great news! But I’m assuming that the first volume was the boxset with the remastered first four albums, then. This was really awful as the discs were in regular plastic boxes but without booklets (just a 2-fold leaflet for each) while the individual remastered albums had full booklets. I’d be grateful if you could check that detail when/if these next albums do get released as boxsets too

    • noyoucmon says:

      David, the first Original Release Series box first came out on CD in a more thorough fashion with gatefold cardboard sleeves, recreated inserts, etc. It was later released in the budget format that you describe, in the jewel cases with the simplified inserts.

  32. Craig says:

    A bit odd if the cd boxsets are released before the individual cds are. I never got the first box as I’d bought them individually and then the box followed some months later.
    As it’s Neil we’d be mad to expect any consistency though!

  33. Mr. Stick says:

    That’s great but was the Volume 1 thru 4 box ever released on vinyl?

    • richie says:

      Vol. 1-4 were released as a vinyl box set, it now costs daft money. The individual LPs are available but can cost £22-£30 each, also be careful because copies of these LPs are available but are earlier releases at much cheaper prices. The remastered LPs carry the NYA badge on the rear sleeve.

  34. Jess says:

    Tonight’s the Night re-issue “long overdue”…that’s the understatement of the 21st century…

  35. richie says:

    I wouldn`t hold our collective breath for `Time Fades Away` on CD or a box set containing it.

    I have been known to be wrong, here`s hoping.

    • Michael says:

      ??? Time Fades Away is listed in the box 5-8. Says so right in the post up top.

    • richie says:

      Well it does, as I hoped, look like I was wrong about `Time Fades Away`. The release on CD is imminent and that also looks good for `Archives II`. I have been known to be wrong!

  36. Steven C says:

    Good news. Will these be remastered? Didn’t see a mention of that but Cortez the Killer remastered sounds like a good idea..

  37. Edu says:

    Hi, Paul. That’s great news

    But why 8.5 and not 9-12? Isnt he using these fraction numbers to mark only albums never released before?

    • Aaron says:

      I think its 8.5 because Long May You Run is a Stills-Young album…so only 1/2 a Young album…

    • Rory says:

      The .5 constitutes for the album he did with Stephen Stills as ‘the Stills-Young band’, long may you run. Both of them have half of the songs on the album so that .5 is technically half a Neil album. Confusing I know but this is NY we’re talking about!

    • Gerbrand says:

      Long May You Run being a Stills-Young Band album

    • Jess says:

      No…8.5 is The Stills-Young Band’s Long May You Run album from 1976, I guess Neil considers it more of a solo album with Stephen as a special guest.

  38. tm says:

    On a related matter, has Journey Through The Past ever been released on compact disc? I’ve never seen it.

    • Jess says:

      Journey Through the Past was, at one time, all set for a CD reissue, along with Time Fades Away, On the Beach, American Stars ‘n’ Bars, Hawks and Doves, and Re-act-tor in 1995. Test pressings of the CD were even manufactured. Of course the last four here were issued in 2003 as part of his Digital Masterpiece Series. There was a photo of the actual JTtP test pressing CD…I printed it for my archives, but I can’t find the picture anymore on the internet. If I can I’ll try and scan the photo. Neil has said that Journey Through the Past will never get a CD release now, because of the various sound quality of the songs. The NY Archives CD box has the track Words from this album…it was originally all of side 3 of the JTtP LP.

    • John Dunnebacke says:

      Isn’t Journey Through The Past on the DVD/Blu Ray Neil Young Archives Volume 1 ??? I’ll have to look at my box again…

      • Jess says:

        It sure is…it’s the only place you can officially get it…I don’t think he’ll release it individually away from the box…

    • regan flint says:

      The song JTTPast is on Live At Massey Hall 1971 [Offical release remastered]

  39. Kevin says:

    Yeah, I saw this. I’m kind of hoping for individual CD releases since all I really want is Tonight’s The Night and Zuma.

    • John Dunnebacke says:

      Regarding Tonight’s The Night – did you know Neil had recorded and mixed another album called ‘Homegrown’ that he was planning to release following ‘On The Beach’ ?? He played the tape for people at a party, and after it was done ‘Tonight’s The Night’ came up on the tape. People told him he had to release ‘Tonight’s The Night’ instead. ‘Homegrown’ has never been officially released in it’s complete form.. but a lot of the tracks have popped up on other albums over the years.

  40. Rob says:

    At last is all I can say….

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