Neil Young - Live At Massey Hall 1971 (2007)

Posted By: franklee
Neil Young - Live At Massey Hall 1971 (2007)

Artist: Neil Young
Title: Live At Massey Hall 1971
Label: Reprise
Genre: Rock
Released: 2007
Format: MP3
Bitrate: 320 kBit/s
Size: 145 MB (incl. 5% Recovery record)

The second volume of Neil Young's long-promised, suddenly thriving Archives series is Live at Massey Hall, preserving a 1971 acoustic show at the Toronto venue. Where the first volume captured a portion of Neil's past that wasn't particularly well documented on record – namely, the rampaging original Crazy Horse lineup in its 1970 prime – this second installment may seem to cover familiar ground, at least to the outside observer who may assume that any solo acoustic Young must sound the same. That, of course, is not the case with an artist as mercurial and willful as Young, who was inarguably on a roll in 1971, coming off successes with Crazy Horse, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and his second solo record, 1970's After the Gold Rush. The concert chronicled on Live at Massey Hall finds Neil dipping into these recent successes for material, as he also airs material that would shortly find a home on 1972's Harvest in addition to playing songs that wouldn't surface until later in the decade – "Journey Through the Past" and "Love in Mind" wound up on 1973's Time Fades Away, "See the Sky About to Rain" showed up on 1974's On the Beach – and then there's two songs that never showed up on an official Neil Young album: the stomping hoedown "Dance Dance Dance," which he gave to Crazy Horse, and "Bad Fog of Loneliness," which gets its first release here. This is a remarkably rich set of songs, touching on nearly every aspect of Young's personality, whether it's his sweetness, his sensitivity, his loneliness, or even his often-neglected sense of fun. True, the latter only appears on "Dance Dance Dance," but that comes as a welcome contrast to the stark sadness of "See the Sky About to Rain." But even if "Down by the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" retain their intense sense of menace when stripped of the winding guitar workouts of Crazy Horse, this concert isn't dominated by melancholy: it's a warm, giving affair, built upon lovely readings of "Helpless," "Tell Me Why," "Old Man," and an early incarnation of "A Man Needs a Maid" (here played as a medley with "Heart of Gold") that removes the bombast of the Harvest arrangement, revealing the fragile, sweet song that lies underneath. While this concert isn't as freewheeling and rich as Young's studio albums of the early '70s – each record had a distinctive character different from its predecessor, thanks in part to producer David Briggs, arranger/pianist Jack Nitzsche, and Young's supporting musicians, including Crazy Horse or the Stray Gators – it nevertheless captures the essence of Neil Young the singer and songwriter at his artistic peak. That's the reason why this concert has been a legendary bootleg for nearly four decades and why its release 36 years after its recording is so special: it may not add an additional narrative to Neil Young's history, but it adds detail, color, and texture to a familiar chapter of his career, rendering it fresh once more. No wonder Briggs wanted to release this concert as an album between After the Gold Rush and Harvest: it not only holds its own against those classics, it enhances them. (Live at Massey Hall was also released as a two-disc set that contained a CD of the show and a DVD containing the same concert in high fidelity audio.)
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine(

In 1966, canadian-born neil young decided his rock & roll future was in America. He split Toronto's folk scene and, with his friend bassist Bruce Palmer, drove to L.A., where the two were soon founding members of Buffalo Springfield. On January 19th, 1971, Young returned to Toronto a star, showing off his rapidly matured songwriting in two solo concerts at Massey Hall. This album is the full second show, in such pin-drop fidelity that the noise of him adjusting his mike sounds like Crazy Horse-gig distortion. The set list reflects the pace of Young's ambition: Nine of the seventeen songs were as yet unreleased, including the theatrical Harvest ballads "There's a World" and "A Man Needs a Maid" (the latter with a turn into "Heart of Gold"). Young's obsession, at twenty-five, with the hard-won lessons of age and experience comes up repeatedly, in songs like "Old Man" and "Bad Fog of Loneliness." But there is a striking vigor to Young's high, eccentric singing – and a surprising nostalgia in the fond references to his homeland in "Helpless" and "Journey Through the Past." Young never moved back to Canada. Yet he never left it behind.
DAVID FRICKE - Rolling Stone.


01 - On The Way Home
02 - Tell Me Why
03 - Old Man
04 - Journey Through The Past
05 - Helpless
06 - Love In Mind
07 - A Man Needs A Maid - Heart Of Gold Suite
08 - Cowgirl In The Sand
09 - 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

Part 1 (80 MB)

Part 2 (65 MB)