Nils Lofgren the Focus of 9-CD Boxed Set

Posted on June 11, 2014

Nils Lofgren fans will have something to “grin” about this summer, when Fantasy Records releases a 10-CD career retrospective on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist.

The nine-CD Face the Music boxed set will feature 169 tracks, covering his 45-year-career from early days with his 1960s band Grin to solo material he’d recorded during his well-known collaborations with the likes of Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Graham Nash, Levon Helm, and Al Kooper. Face the Music includes 40 unreleased tracks, plus highlights from the 10 solo albums he’s released during the past 20 years on his own Cattle Track Road Records label. Lofgren himself provides track-by-track commentary in a 136-page booklet, and a DVD captures some of the guitarist’s greatest live performances throughout the years.  

Lofgren’s unique place in music is most notably as one of the few “celebrity sidemen”—big names known more for their work supporting even bigger names in the music industry.  Such high water marks for Lofgren include his piano and guitar duties on Neil Young’s seminal After the Gold Rush and Tonight’s the Night albums, and as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since replacing Steven Van Zandt in 1984. Lofgren’s also enjoyed two tours of duty with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.

Lofgren admits he was caught off guard when executives from Concord Music Group first approached him about the project.

 “To my surprise, they said they wanted to do this boxed set, a retrospective of my entire 45 years, of my music,” he says. “That’s how the ball got rolling.”

But in the end, it was Lofgren alone who had to “face the music” about his storied career.

“The record company had their good ideas, and then they said, ‘It’s your boxed set, so you pick.’” Lofgren says. “They asked me to make the final choices and decisions, including every song.”

Face the Music hits the shelves August. 5.

Check out Lofgren performing "Long May You Run" in the above clip from the Neil Young documentary "Don't Be Denied."

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