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Carnegie Hall 1970 [no label, 1CD]
Live at Carnegie Hall, New York City; December 5, 1970. Very good audience recording.
While fans have enjoyed Neil Young’s 1974 Bottom Line show (circulated as Citizen Kane Junior Blues), another show many fans are familiar with is the December 5, 1970 show at Carnegie Hall.
In Neil Young: The Definitive Story Of His Musical Career, Johnny Rogan wrote:
The performances at Carnegie Hall in December (4th-5th) were regarded by Young as some of the most important of his career. Young even stated that he would have gladly played for free, just for the pleasure of performing at that prestigious venue. The seriousness with which Young took those performances were evident in some of his adverse comments to the audiences. He demanded silence between songs and when one punter shouted for a song, Young gave him this stern reply:
“Listen, let me tell you one thing. As a performer, when you play Carnegie Hall you look forward to it for a number of years. I don’t take playing here lightly at all and I think that you should have enough faith in me to know that I would plan ahead and include all of the songs that I thought you’d want to hear. That’s OK at the Maple Leaf Gardens… but I’m not Grand Funk Railroad.” [Ed: For this set, he stopped early on Clancy. According to the book Shakey, Young was upset at some noisy fans and called for an intermission.]
…The intimacy that Young achieved during these solo gigs were mainly due to the fact that all his songs were presented in their bare acoustic form. While the electric Down By The River had ended the sets with Crazy Horse during the early part of the year, it was suddenly transformed into the opening acoustic number of his Carnegie set.
There were other surprises too, most notably the acoustic versions of Cinnamon Girl, The Loner, Cowgirl In The Sand, Ohio and Southern Man, all of which were previously well known electric cuts. Young appeared effortlessly to transform them into an acoustic framework, without losing ay of the power or emotion that characterized the original electric versions. Carnegie Hall was a personal triumph and fully demonstrated Young’s ability to take his own show on the road without the necessity of a backing group.
During that Carnegie concert, Young introduced a couple of new numbers, including Old Man and Bad Fog Of Loneliness.
A two-CD version of this show has also circulated among fans but the sound is very rough. While Young’s voice is clear on this version, the taper seemed to have turned the recorder off between songs so some between-song banter is missing.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
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Track 01. Down By The River (6.0MB)
Track 02. Cinnamon Girl (7.7MB)
Track 03. I Am A Child (4.7MB)
Track 04. Expecting To Fly (5.5MB)
Track 05. The Loner (6.4MB)
Track 06. Wondering (2.7MB)
Track 07. Helpless (6.6MB)
Track 08. Southern Man (6.3MB)
Track 09. Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing (2.1MB)
Track 10. On The way Home (4.5MB)
Track 11. Tell Me Why (3.8MB)
Track 12. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (6.1MB)
Track 13. Old Man (6.0MB)
Track 14. After The Goldrush (9.3MB)
Track 15. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong (7.9MB)
Track 16. Don’t Let It Bring You Down (5.8MB)
Track 17. Cowgirl In The Sand (6.8MB)
Track 18. Birds (3.8MB)
Track 19. Bad Fog Of Loneliness (4.3MB)
Track 20. Ohio (4.8MB)
Track 21. See The Sky About To Rain/Sugar Mountain (10.8MB)
Neil Young’s long-anticipated Archives Vol 1 (1963-1972) was released in June 2009. He has also released another live compilation - Dreamin’ Man Live ‘92. Click on the link to order Neil Young albums.