The singer's immense 10-disc Volume One 1963-72 is out this Autumn

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Neil Young has today (May 6) personally offered a sneak preview of his upcoming 5 volume, 45 year career-spanning Archives project, which is now slated for release this Autumn through Warner Music.

At a webcasted morning session of the Sun Microsystem’s JavaOne Conference in San Francisco, Young and Shakey films colleague L.A. Johnson unveiled some elements of the ongoing project.

Based around an interactive “filing cabinet”, Young and Johnson revealed how fans will be able to play songs and access pertinent material – photographs, newspaper clippings, in essence Young’s own memorabilia – while they listen to what is playing.

Young, in jovial, chatty form, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, demonstrated the use of an interactive timeline, while also informing us that should he find any more archive material to share, it will be enabled to automatically download to what will eventually be a collection of ten Blu-Ray discs.

Young said of the delay to the project, which has been in the planning stages for at least the last ten years, that it was technology’s fault. He said “I thought DVD would be good enough, but you couldn’t navigate around materials whilst listening to the music, and I thought that that’s what my fans would want to do. Also we were defeated by technology with the sound. Now with Java you can listen in the best possible quality that we have today.”

He added that making and designing Volume One has “been very rewarding for me, but it’s not finished! In fact, we’re never done.”

The only limit to what the Archives will hold he says is storage and “how much your device can hold” but that as technology moves forward, storage space gets bigger and bigger.

From seeing the demonstration today, and the immense space-age vision that Neil Young has for his Archives, it will certainly be worth all these years of waiting.

Pic credit: PA Photos