Neil Young has made 20 years’ worth of benefit performances available as “The Bridge Collection” – but only as downloads on iTunes.
The 80-track six-volume compilation is compiled from the numerous concerts that Young and his wife Pegi have held in support of the Bridge School – for speech-impaired children in the San Francisco Bay Area.
All proceeds from the tracks will be donated to the school.
The collection features a multitude of special guests who have appeared live and acoustically with Young over two decades.
Artists include Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Lou Reed, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, The Pretenders, Wilco and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
Two of the tracks, Neil Young’s “Comes a Time/Sugar Mountain” medley and a collaboration with Dave Matthews on “Cortez the Killer”, will be available only to those who purchase the entire “Bridge Collection” although all the other tracks are available for separate downloads.
The Youngs still support the Bridge School with concerts, the most recent being in October, when rockers Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews and Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters all played.
Uncut’s music editor John Mulvey explains the significance of this magnificent Neil Young archive – much of which has never been released or heard – unless you were there…
He says, “This is fantastic news. Young has been promising to unlock his library of unreleased material for years now, only to be distracted by new projects. The appearance last month of his Live From The Fillmore East  set was pretty significant.
“But The Bridge Collection is a monument to Young’s influence over generations of rock’s finest, and further evidence that – following the streaming of Living With War earlier this year – that he’s become an unlikely internet proselytizer. “
Mulvey adds optimistically, “With a bit of luck, the long-rumoured Archives box set might even appear in 2007.”
Pic credit : Pieter M Van Hattem