Saturday, September 30, 2006

Neil Young & Crazy Horse live, 1970

Neil Young has confirmed the rumors, as reported by several music news outlets: The first release of his "Archived Performance" series will be Live at the Fillmore East 1970, due November 14th on Reprise records.

Neil Young fans have been teased by Neil Young's Archives project since at least 1989 . . . that's when I first read, in an interview, that he was working on his archives. Well, it's 17 years later, and the Archives haven't yet seen the light of day. But, with this live release, one can hope (I can hope) that the Archives flood gates might now open.

This performance of Neil Young & Crazy Horse is legendary. The performances were recorded for a live album that never came out (instead, in usual Neil Young fashion, he moved on, recording the most brilliant album of his career, After the Gold Rush), and have been widely distributed on bootleg recordings. I'm listening to it right now as I type.

The album, as reported, will feature six selections from Crazy Horse's March 6th and 7th shows at the Fillmore East in New York City, at a time when late guitarist Danny Whitten was in the band. The version I'm listening to has seven songs

Let's Go Downtown


Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Down By the River


Cinnamon Girl

Cowgirl in the Sand

Rumors are the song that will not make the cut will be "Cinnamon Girl." One can quibble, as I'm going to do, that the shows were so good that to only select six songs (even these versions which rival, if not exceed, the studio versions) is something of a crime . . . but, thankfully, this set will finally see the official light of day. With this set we get to see how the songs first evolved with the interplay between Young and Whitten on electric guitars, and with the excellent addition of Jack Nitztche on electric piano.

Reports are that Live at the Fillmore East 1970 will also be available in a CD/DVD edition featuring a high-resolution audio mix, photos from the show, Young's handwritten song lyrics and press from the era.

Crazy Horse, 1970:

Neil Young (guitar/vocals)

Danny Whitten (guitar)

Billy Talbot (bass)

Ralph Molina (drums)

Jack Nitzsche (keyboards)

Other things I'm looking forward to in the Archives & Performance series: Neil Young's aborted mid seventies album Chrome Dreams, a full recording, including spoken word parts, of Tonight's the Night, as well as something from the live Neil Young solo shows of the late 60s, early 70s.


At 10/02/2006 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was it that makes these 70s live recordings so superior and unique to what's out there nowadays? I can't explain it myself and the more dig into the past, the more buried treasures I find with the shared common link of being a live recording of a 70s show.

The Dead, Allmans, Marshall Tucker, Steve Miller, Neil, Skynyrd, Little Feat, you name it!

I wonder if anybody has yet to perfect that Delorean time travel car that we saw in the Back To The Future movies. If so, I'm heading to 1970 and plan on storing the car for a decade till ready to come back!


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