In 1970, Neil Young firmly established himself as one of the great singer-songwriters of his generation. 43 years later, he's releasing this album of solo acoustic performances at Washington D.C.'s Cellar Door club. Live at the Cellar Door is set for official release on December 10th, but you can listen to it above. This is volume 2.5 of the Neil Young Archives Performance Series. Get it at Neil Young's official store or your local independent record store.
These recordings are notable for many reasons. Young had just turned 25 years old and had an impressive catalog already as a solo artist and with several different groups including Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. These shows at the Cellar Door were rehearsals for Young's concerts at New York City's venerable Carnegie Hall later that year. Two years after this, Young would become an international superstar on the heels of his Harvest album.
For many, the highlights of this album will be two songs from Young's first album with Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down By The River," because they are rare solo versions of familiar crowd pleasers. After "Cinnamon Girl," Young says, "That's the first time I've ever played that on piano." We also get to hear "Old Man" over a year before it was released on Harvest, and the song has a completely different feel without the full band, backup singers, and banjo behind him. It gets a very strong response from the crowd here. Similarly, "See the Sky About to Rain" wasn't released until years later for his On The Beach album in 1974.
Five of the thirteen songs on Live at the Cellar Door are from Young's 1970 solo album After The Gold Rush, released August 31st of that year. Digging into his catalog, Young also plays two songs from his period as a member of Buffalo Springfield, "I Am A Child" and "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong" which includes Young's explanation that the song is about getting high and losing touch with people he used to be close with, as he does some dark trippy stuff on piano. Rounding things out are two songs that were never released on a studio album, but have found their way onto several of these archival releases, "Expecting to Fly" and "Bad Fog of Loneliness." Perhaps these songs were seen as too depressing to be commercially viable at the time.
Neil Young Live at the Cellar Door Tracklist:
1. "Tell Me Why" (After the Gold Rush)
2. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (After the Gold Rush)
3. "After the Gold Rush" (After the Gold Rush)
4. "Expecting to Fly"
5. "Bad Fog of Loneliness"
6. "Old Man" (Harvest)
7. "Birds" (After the Gold Rush)
8. "Don't Let It Bring You Down" (After the Gold Rush)
9. "See the Sky About to Rain" (On the Beach)
10. "Cinnamon Girl" (Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere)
11. "I Am a Child" (Buffalo Springfield's Last Time Around)
12. "Down by the River" (Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere)
13. "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong" (Buffalo Springfield)
For more Neil Young music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.
Via: Rolling Stone