May 21, 2009 – 12:58 pm

Imagine two CDs of Neil Young solo.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Piano Songs 1970-1992 [Rusty Records fan made 2CD]

With the imminent release of the Neil Young Archives, here’s a fan compilation of the “old man” alone at the piano. Here’s the info we got when we joined a tree to obtain this wonderful compilation:

“In early 1996, longtime Rusty, Shawn “Just Riding My Llama” McCorkle, decided that he liked Neil’s piano work so much that he grabbed a bunch of his favourite performances and made a special tape full of them.

“Shawn then performed a unique tree: hundreds of branch leaders, but no defined leaves! Rather than use the regular tree format, he temporarily accepted a 100-minute blank tape from anyone and everyone who sent one, and dubbed onto it a copy of his compilation.

“After over a hundred such dubs, he suspended the distribution and turned over follow-on distribution to those who have already been served.”

The criteria also required the songs be sung with intimacy. Hence some interesting onstage dialogue has been left on. Listen to Young confessing his love on Love In Mind, where he wrote this song and the mysterious girl who inspired him. It’s a song about a rambler who connects to his girl on the phone. Much like how SMSs have become the essential relationship tool.

Then there’s the softly, softly version of the Buffalo Springfield’s Out Of My Mind, with the candy-coating pop sucre removed. Neil Young has that quality to make a public performance sound very private, just for you. His songs are touching, with a genuine melody, and his searching voice in some ways was the voice of his ’60s generation, restless, earnest and always inquiring.

The jump to CD2 is also a mood shift. On these tracks, Young shows he can party and the piano becomes a barroom piano and you’re right there in Neil Young’s saloon. Things sober up from Track 9, with Such A Woman, an almost dirgelike lament. A song seldom sung and found on his Harvest Moon album.

Almost everything here is taken from audience recordings, some better than others. Don’t let that put you off. It’s very listenable because you’ll love the versions here. The performances chosen by Shawn McCorkle are heartfelt and private and the order of the tracks also keeps the mood warm.

Each track has the date of performance and the city. You can search the web for the full concerts. Thanks to Shawn McCorkle for sharing his compilation.
- Professor Red

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong [Dec 5, 1970 NYC] (6.9MB)
Track 102. There’s A World [Jan 21, 1971 Boston] (3.5MB)
Track 103. The Bridge [Feb 27, 1971 London] (5.2MB)
Track 104. Borrowed Tune [Jan 14, 1973 Buffalo] (5.7MB)
Track 105 .Soldier [Jan 21, 1973 NYC] (4.1MB)

Track 106. A Man Needs A Maid > Heart Of Gold [both Jan 22, 1971 Stratford] (8.4MB)

Track 107. Journey Thru The Past (3.9MB)
Track 108. Love In Mind [both Feb 23, 1971 London, BBC] (3.7MB)

Track 109. Sweet Joni [March 11, 1973 Bakersfield] (4.8MB)
Track 110. No One Seems To Know [March 5, 1976 Osaka, Japan] (3.8MB)

Track 111. Birds (3.3MB)
Track 112. Out Of My Mind [both May 26, 1978 early show San Francisco] (3.2MB)

Track 113. I Believe In You [March 28, 1970 Santa Monica] (4.4MB)
Track 114. Tonight’s The Night [Nov 17, 1992 Chicago] (6.9MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Coastline [Jan 5, 1983 Santa Cruz] (5.1MB)
Track 202. Don’t Take Your Love Away From Me [March 22, 1985 Sydney] (5.4MB)

Track 203. Winterlong (5.6MB)
Track 204. Someday [both Dec 13, 1989 Rotterdam] (7.8MB)

Track 205. Helpless [April 28, 1989 Tokyo] (7.5MB)
Track 206. Campaigner [Feb 18, 1992 NYC] (6.0MB)

Track 207. Love Is A Rose (3.5MB)
Track 208. Are You Ready For The Country [both May 18, 1992 Cleveland] (3.4MB)

Track 209. Such A Woman [Sept 21, 1992 Los Angeles] (5.8MB)
Track 210. Speakin’ Out [Sept 22, 1992 Los Angeles] (4.6MB)

Track 211. Love Art Blues (4.3MB)
Track 212. Homefires [both Nov 22, 1992 Minneapolis] (3.8MB)

Track 213. After The Goldrush [Sept 5, 1989 NYC] (6.2MB)

If you can’t wait, the Greatest Hits compilation will do till the Archive box set arrives. Buy it here.


  2. Neil Young writes a good song, mostly thought of as a guitar player, but his piano songs are worthy of a listen or several. Look for the Perfect Echo CDs, lots of fan based music circulates. The release of the archives are exciting, but lots of $$$. Enjoy.

    By BobAnderson on May 22, 2009

  3. there is a little something in the way he does keys that reminds me a bit of duke ellington
    thank you

    By littlesallysanctus on May 24, 2009

  4. Brilliant compilation,good sounds, thanks

    By nijle on May 24, 2009

  5. I love this compilation. Nothing like Neil and the piano.

    By Matt on May 25, 2009

  6. Thanks again … another wonderful looking and no doubt sounding Neil set … I shall count it as a belated BobDylanBirthdayPresent to me!

    By Canute on May 25, 2009

  7. Great comp…and also if you can find A Perfect Echo download it and save it…but be aware that in every blog I’ve seen it posted there’s one link not working (I think it’s part 1 of disc 4).

    By O.B. Dan on Jun 1, 2009

  8. I used to have a cassette of Neil at Carnegie Hall…lent it out and
    it never came back (idiot!). The cut of “Flying” is from that show.
    Amazing. Thank you so very much for returning this old friend.
    If you Big O has that set, pls put it up. At one point, Neil walks off
    the stage, pissed at all the talking. Amazing show.

    By fortwaldron on Mar 6, 2011

  9. Thaks! Great selection!

    By ivaxavi on Jan 9, 2012

  10. Thanks to all who contributed. We should have more of these fan specials. Reminds of the good old cassette mixer tapes. All made with love.

    By Creatist on Jan 29, 2012

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