Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1 (1963-1972)
This collection chronicling Neil Young’s first decade as a musician features plenty of jaw-dropping revelations, including the previously unreleased “I Wonder” (a blueprint for the classic “Don’t Cry No Tears”) and early demos of “Sugar Mountain” and “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing.” Young’s talent is evident from the beginning. The Squires’ “I’ll Love You Forever” is a raw piece of Young melancholy folded into a traditional love ballad. “(I’m a Man And) I Can’t Cry” casts Young as a country-influenced vocalist. As Young becomes increasingly confident in the studio and live, we hear him blossom into the idiosyncratic artist who brings the world “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Birds,” and “Down By the River,” all re-mastered for maximum effect.