March 8, 2011 – 3:32 am

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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.

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.

Track 01. Down By The River (6.0MB)
Track 02. Cinnamon Girl (8.1MB)
Track 03. I Am A Child (4.7MB)
Track 04. Expecting To Fly (5.8MB)
Track 05. The Loner (6.4MB)
Track 06. Wondering (2.7MB)
Track 07. Helpless (6.6MB)
Track 08. Southern Man (6.7MB)
Track 09. Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing (2.3MB)
Track 10. On The way Home (4.5MB)
Track 11. Tell Me Why (4.1MB)
Track 12. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (6.1MB)
Track 13. Old Man (6.0MB)
Track 14. After The Goldrush (9.7MB)
Track 15. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong (7.9MB)
Track 16. Don’t Let It Bring You Down (6.1MB)
Track 17. Cowgirl In The Sand (6.8MB)
Track 18. Birds (4.0MB)
Track 19. Bad Fog Of Loneliness (4.3MB)
Track 20. Ohio (5.1MB)
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.

  1. 21 Responses to “NEIL YOUNG - CARNEGIE HALL 1970”

  2. hey bigo, thanks! i’ll get this. 12.5 is my dad’s b-day. you offered another show that was 12.5 by elvis costello from agora ballroom in cleveland and another one by boston, if memory serves me correct. i got both.

    if you want to pick up a good johnny cash disc, get carnegie hall 12.5.68. i love that disc!! i would always play it on my dad’s b-day.

    i’ll try to get neil young, when i wake up, if i am not too tired. i have to pick my brother up from the airport late tonight. will do my best.


    By Ed Saad on Mar 8, 2011

  3. hey bigo, i was right on costello but wasn’t on boston. i do have all 3 shows, though! i pretty much get 95% of the shows bigo offer cause most times they are good quality and complete. i only pass on the shows that are missing tracks. i really wanted that rainbow show from wales, but it’s missing a track. oh well, i got all the other rainbow shows you offered, though! great stuff. graham bonnet is underrated. down to earth is a good album.


    By Ed Saad on Mar 8, 2011

  4. yes!!! now i remember i got boston-long beach 77 on 12.5.09.

    By Ed Saad on Mar 8, 2011

  5. thanks Ed. I’m glad we got that settled.

    By Orlando Bobert on Mar 8, 2011

  6. Great concert!!
    If Carnegie Hall could be considered to be an intimate setting, then this is how this concert sounds to me. Almost like Neil sitting in a small bar playing for a few friends.

    By Rick D on Mar 8, 2011

  7. So I mentioned that I lost my old cassette of this and the very next day you post it? I do so love you folks at Big O. What a show.

    By Fortwaldron on Mar 8, 2011

  8. I was at this concert and remember it well - I was sitting in Box 39 on the First Tier! An amazing show and one of the first Neil solo shows in NYC. I tried to see the Springfield 3x but Neil kept leaving and they had to cancel. Thanks for the memories.

    By George Gilbert on Mar 8, 2011

  9. killer show…Neil’s the man…

    By James on Mar 8, 2011

  10. Great show. I was able to see Neil do a solo acoustic show in 1998, much later stuff, but a wonderful show. 2500 seat auditorium, Hult Center Eugene Oregon, had intimacy that night. Wonderful show, great guitar player, songwriter. Would have been fun to see this in 1970.

    By BobAnderson on Mar 11, 2011

  11. The show offered here is nit complete… it misses the last song Sugar Mountain

    By Psyclist on Mar 12, 2011

  12. Really looking forward to hearing this for the first time! Thanks, Big O.

    By sdw0418 on Mar 13, 2011

  13. BigO you are THE BEST!

    By TDC on Mar 19, 2011

  14. By Psyclist on Mar 12, 2011 said:
    The show offered here is nit complete… it misses the last song Sugar Mountain.

    I said:
    Listen to the last track again and take your fingers out of your ears, friend. Thanks for this awesome show, friend!!

    By Adam Dean on Mar 19, 2011

  15. I only had one or two songs from this and wanted to hear the whole thing. Thanks for making it possible. I’ve bee waiting almost 20 years.

    By Matt on Mar 28, 2011

  16. Thank you. Much appreciated.

    By allan on Aug 13, 2011

  17. Please re-up track 19. Thank you.

    By Anne on Nov 3, 2013


    By darth on Jan 8, 2014

  19. Thanks mate.

    By Mate on Feb 6, 2014

  20. Many thanks for this excellent Neil Young post.

    By Je Suis Darth on Feb 1, 2015

  21. tracks 5, 15, and 21 are broken. thanks for the others! had this on vinyl years ago!

    By rget on Jun 14, 2017

  22. First time for me to hear this. Echo rget’s request for fixes on tracks 5, 15, 21. Thank you so much BigO for the pure gold acoustic versions here. And all the way back in 1970! Really speaks to the quality of the venue and all those who helped put this together.

    By ScarRad on Jun 15, 2017

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