Simon Vozick-Levinson
March 23, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Decades of talk have given Neil Young’s Archives the aura of a holy grail for fans. Release dates for the Canadian legend’s hand-picked career-retrospective boxed set series have been floated and withdrawn too many times to count easily. But an announcement at this year’s SXSW music festival has made it official: The first volume of Young’s Archives, covering the years 1963-1972, will go on sale June 2. Really. He swears.

They’ve even set up a pre-order form at Young’s official site, with lots more details on the first volume’s insanely comprehensive contents. Ten discs packed with high-quality recordings of live concerts, studio albums, unreleased demos, and a 1973 film, plus all sorts of gorgeous-looking packaging and literature — if you’re serious about liking Neil Young’s music (and if not, why not?!), you want this.

There is the small matter of the price tag, of course. The cheapest version of the box, with just CDs, will cost you $99.99, while the DVD edition is $199.99, and the recommended Blu-Ray edition is $299.99. Bear in mind that this is just the first of a planned five volumes. So, yeah, not an everyday impulse buy. But hey, how often does something like this come along?

In other Neil news, he’s also just released not one but two new videos from his upcoming album Fork in the Road: “Cough Up the Bucks” and “Light a Candle.” Those come from Neil to you absolutely gratis, but something tells me they’re not quite as awesome as what’s on that box set. So you tell us: Are you ready to start saving up for Neil Young Archives, or what?

More on Neil Young:
CD Review: Chrome Dreams II
CD Review: Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968
Catching up with Neil Young and director Jonathan Demme
Donald Trump hearts Neil Young :(

addCredit(“Graham Wiltshire/Camera Press/Retna”)

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