"The missing six (is actually two)"

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsNeil Young refused to re-release six of his albums on cd. He hated the format intensely. In fact, he hated it so much that he allegedly held six of his album as "hostage", which are often called "the missing six". The albums were Journey Through The Past (1972), Time Fades Away (1973), On The Beach (1974), American Stars & Bars (1976), Hawks & Doves (1980) and RE-ACT-OR (1981). The cd copies that were in circulation were all unofficial releases, read more here (opens in a new window). Young's cd animosity is well documented. When the cd format became standard, Neil Young refused to accept it. He strongly believed that there were better formats available at the time, for example DVD-audio. There is a difference between being right and getting right. You can compare Neil Young's futile attempt with the video "format war" including Betamax and VHS formats. Betamax was technicallly better, but VHS ultimately emerged as the preeminent format. The best isn't always right. Nevertheless, a couple of questions remain hanging in the air: First, why just these six albums? Neil Young released the rest of his catalogue on cd. Second, why were four of the "missing six" (On The Beach, American Stars & Bars, Hawks & Doves and RE-ACT-OR) later released without any comment or explanation? Third, why are Journey Through The Past and Time Fades Away still missing? So many questions, so few answers. We should use Occam's razor as problem-solving principle. This principle recommends searching for explanations constructed with the smallest possible set of elements. Stop looking for deep, enigmatic or complicated explanations. This is just what happens when an artist is both principled and erratic. Eat a peach. 

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