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4.7 out of 5 stars
31
4.7 out of 5 stars
Live at Massey Hall [17trx]
Format: Audio CD|Change
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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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
5. Helpless
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
13. Ohio
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...
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on 3 August 2007
Neil Young's 40 year career has had its high points but, while his songwriting skills shine through a great deal of his huge output, 1970 & 1971 were something special... and this brilliant live album shows why. Confident, controlled, clearly completely at home as the only man on the stage and with a string of new songs to showcase - many of which would become "Harvest" classics - this is "unplugged" music at its very best, beautifully sung & played and enhanced by crystal clear recording & engineering. And, unlike many live albums, his between song reflections and introductions add real depth & interest to the performance to produce a wonderfully effective record of what it must have been like to be there. Breathtaking stuff and an absolutely superb CD.
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on 14 April 2009
if you own a turntable do your self a favour and buy this on vinyl with a good amp and speakers neil young is in the room with you, a stunning recording from 1971 it has pride of place in my vinyl collection (all albums should be recorded like this)
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2009
This is a beautiful set primarily of new songs that were pitched between After the Goldrush and Harvest.The performance is of such up-lifting clarity of voice and crispness of guitar playing that it can take your breath away.Having denied his past for years in his hunger to keep moving, he released two live albums in 2007 from the
early 70s,one live groove with Crazy Horse and this at the Massey Hall in front of a Canadian crowd 1971.His talking between songs is humorous and sets the tone.These songs will be found on 7 or 8 of his albums,playing with Buffalo Springfield,Crazy Horse,Crosby,Stills&Nash and solo.His playing on Old Man and A Man Needs a Maid convinced Dylan that Young was to the 70s in rock what Dylan had been to the 60s.There are songs of nostalgia and his youth,Journey through the Past and Helpless;confessional songs,Love in Mind,Tell Me Why,I am a Child;there are crowd- pleasing songs,A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold,Ohio and Down by the River.He uses the piano on a few of the songs,(bar-room on..)Journey Through the Past,There's a World,See the Sky About to Rain.The highlights for me are the transitional A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold, which manages to convey the narrator's insecurity and is less chauvinistic than that released on the Harvest album:`Afraid, a man feels afraid' as the first verse,with a striking melody inspired by Carrie Snodgress.I also liked the polemical force of `Ohio' with searing voice and guitar work;finally Down by the River,his guitar epic,a light,fresh, high sound that suggests the wide,clear,open lands of Canada.This was a man alone on the stage,at ease, unaccompanied, the most honest,direct,intimate singer-songwriter at that time.He followed the music wherever it took him in pursuit of the muse,whoever he left behind.The public were always a secondary consideration.
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on 29 May 2009
This CD would (and should) have got 5 stars, because the music is absolutely superb. Just Neil and a guitar in front of an enthusiastic audience, with a great set list and fantastic quality sound. Perfect? Almost.....

Unfortunately it's let down slightly because some of the introductions are just a bit *too* long and rambling after more than a couple of listens. My main complaint is that the full request for encores has been left on. It only takes a few seconds to get across the fact that the crown were baying for more: 3 - 4 minutes of constant cheering wears thin very quickly!

Highly recommended; just be prepared to edit, skip or fast forward at appropriate moments for maximum enjoyment.
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on 9 October 2009
The problem with a lot of old albums is, that you have to have heard the music when it was new in order to apriciate it, but not this one. This album is live and unplugged and only with Niel Young playing on either guitar or piano. Unplugged albums doesn't have a "sound" wich means they don't sound outdated in the same way as albums with electric instruments can do.

Niel Young plays a lot of "new" song wich later have become clasics and he tells some interessting background stories about some of them. If Niel Young would have played the same set today the responce from the audience would have been very different. The audience on this recording is a listning audience wich means that there is not to much noice from the audience. I personaly prefer that.

This is a must have for Niel young fans and a firm recomendation for everyone that likes unplugged music.
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on 31 October 2014
When I was in my 20s I did one of the wisest things of in life. Through college, I worked as a postman. With the money saved I bought a camera and all of Neil Young's albums. Although from that era, this wasn't available at the time; it fact it was only released in 2007. But what an album. This is a really stunning live performance from one of rock's greats. The audio quality is superb, the performance is as good as Young ever gets (which is, frankly, brilliant) and the whole thing comes in with a live concert atmosphere that you can almost taste.
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on 22 March 2007
A real treat for Neil Young fans and casual listeners of this Canadian singer songwriter. This appears to be the early show and not the late show which has been in circulation for years.This is a fine example of Neil's accoustic skills and the sound is superb. I bought the cd + dvd combo, which I think is worth the extra cash. I liked the chatter in between the songs but I did miss the hilarious story told just before Bad Fog of Lonliness on the late show "bootleg". What more can I say but get out and buy this masterpiece, maybe Neil will get back into the charts if I can persuade you to buy this CD.
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on 2 July 2013
Just a classic live recording that can not be faulted. I had a good copy on CD and then wondered for a year or so if i should get it on vinyl... well I can tell you that this is a must have; so much better as the vinyl captures the air of the night so much better than CD ever can. 5 Star +
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on 6 October 2007
If you are a Neil Young fan this is top of the wish list, in fact I'm pleased that this CD has finaly surfaced after a 36 year wait! In comparison to Live at the Filmore East, this album comes head and shoulders above. Filmore East's paltry 5, or is it 6 track offering is nothing less than highway robbery. Massey Hall has the perfect acoustic sound and performance of each song is in contrast to the original album cuts, in all cases provide a new refreshing slant on each song. The DVD is shabby in picture quality and becomes a pain to watch after even a short while. The CD is excellent and gets my vote in all ways.
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