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Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 3 / 4 / 2007

Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971
Label: Reprise Records
Format: CD


Fine third album in the archive series of CD releases by Neil Young, recorded live at the Massey Hall in Toronto in 1971 on return to his home country of Canada after six years away

'Massey Hall 1971' is the third in the archive series of CD releases by Neil Young, The first in the series has has yet to be released, but will be a box set of eight CDs and two DVDS, possibly containing this and the already released second CD in the series, 'Filmore East 1970'. Us Young fans will be somewhat hacked off if we have to spend another £20 for material we already own ! Whereas 'Filmore East 1970' was a mere chunk of a three hour gig, this sounds like the full gig. Like the 'Filmore East' CD, it is available as both a single CD, and also as a combined CD/DVD. The DVD version features filmed footage, while the Filmore DVD was just a better stereo version of the CD with photographs attached and taken at the show. The DVD has three less tracks than the CD version. Recorded in Toronto on return to his home country of Canada after six years away , Young performs this show completely solo, using just an acoustic guitar and piano to accompany his vocals. This is classic as classic gets. But that said, unless you are in a diehard fan, it all comes across sounding very much the same, and while alternatively depressing and uplifting, as essentially bedsit music. This is music that speaks to you and you alone when you need it too, in the same way, that when John Peel spoke, it seemed as if he was talking to just you alone. 'Massey Hall' was orignally pencilled in to be released as a live album back in 1971, but Neil chose to ignore his producers' wishes, preferring instead to concentrate knocking out his next album, 'Harvest', which is, of coouse, is the album everyone has come to know him for, even to this day now. This is a seventeen song set, which includes Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young songs as well as his own solo material. He also road tests new songs for the then unrecorded 'Harvest', and there are five other songs that have never released or have been completely rearranged and retitled for future albums. It was recorded two weeks into a tour, and three tracks were written on the road. Fine stories are told as introductions, including a tale about Johnny Cash and the story behind 'Old Man'. This is a fine album, and worth your cash, but you should track down the limited edition DVD version which is already becoming hard to find.

Track Listing:-
1 On the Way Home
2 Tell Me Why
3 Old Man
4 Journey Through the Past
5 Helpless
6 Love in Mind
7 A Man Needs a Maid / Heart of Gold (Suite)
8 Cowgirl in the Sand
9 Don't Let It Bring You Down
10 There's a World
11 Bad Fog of Loneliness
12 The Needle and the Damage Done
13 Ohio
14 See the Sky About to Rain
15 Down by the River
16 Dance, Dance, Dance
17 I Am a Child

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