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"…I'm Just Like You…I Need Someone To Love Me The Whole Day Through…" - Live At Massey Hall 1971 by NEIL YOUNG (2007 HDCD/DVD)
on 13 May 2015
As a veteran of some 1850 reviews most of which are about quality CD reissues - I bow my head in shame on this one. I'll admit that "Live At Massey Hall 1971" slipped past my radar somehow. How did I not get to hear this absolute gem?
Firstly - as pointed out by many others - the audio quality on this release is just incredible. Released March 2007 it's also worth noting that there’s two versions of "Live At Massey Hall 1971" by NEIL YOUNG - a stand-alone disc (67:38 minutes) on Reprise 9362-43328-2 (use Barcode 093624332824 in the search bar above) and this – the CD + DVD version on Reprise 9362-43327-2 (use Barcode 093624332725). Both come in gatefold card sleeves.
Clear, warm, present – "Live At Massey Hall 1971" is like an ultra high-quality 90's or 00's 'unplugged' performance. Both JOHN NOWLAND and TIM MULLIGAN worked on the Restoration, Transfers and Mastering of the original Analogue tapes and they have produced what has to be a Grammy-winning result. Here are the details...
1. On The Way Home
2. Tell Me Why
3. Old Man
4. Journey Through The Past
6. Love In Mind
7. A Man Needs A Maid/Heart Of Gold Suite
8. Cowgirl In The Sand
9. Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10. There’s A World
11. Bad Fog Of Loneliness
12. The Needle And The Damage Done
14. See The Sky About To Rain
15. Down By The River
16. Dance Dance Dance
17. I Am A Child
The DVD has all 17 of the above as well as Bonus Footage:
18 and 19 are "The Needle And The Damage Done" and "Journey Through The Past" from the "Johnny Cash On Campus TV Show" (Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee)
20 is "Old Man" from "Swingin Mit Neil Young – Dutch TV Documentary"
21 is "Archive Meetings" from "Broken Arrow Ranch"
But best of all is the music and Neil Young's performance. With just guitar and piano - the intimacy of the gig is as beautiful as a singer-songwriter concert gets. And of course - there's the date. Recorded in front of a home crowd on 19 January 1971 at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada - Young had the brilliance of both the "After The Gold Rush" and "Harvest" albums to draw on. And with a smattering of CSYN and Buffalo Springfield material thrown in for good measure, the effect is pretty much devastating. After each song - the crowd erupts in genuine pleasure.
Then there's the feeling of eavesdropping on a gig that has gone to that magical place of an Artist and Audience engaged in a shared intimacy. When he sings songs that are now part of culture like "Old Man" (lyrics above) and "Heart Of Gold" (beautifully blended into "A Man Needs A Maid") - he is doing so here with a freshness that is thrilling. His vocals are slightly nervous yet beautiful - his ache is real. And he even tries to sell some of the songs to the audience with story-banter in between tunes. Neil Young gets personal - yikes! And as if this isn't enough someone only went and filmed it! The DVD is gorgeous - concert footage, lyrics and interviews...wow!
A genuinely sensational reissue in the on-going 'Neil Young Archives' series (NYA) - get this treat into your life as soon as possible...