This album has been worth the wait.You'll never hear better versions of "Down by the river" and "Cowgirl in the sand" .The whole album is brilliant and Neil is so passionate ,almost manic.The band are so tight and,bless him,it's a pity Danny Whitten didn't stay with us longer.The Horse seem seem to have so much more energy with Danny around.
Neil with Crazy Horse (with Danny Whitten) only 36 minutes but what a gem, if the rest of Neils fabled archives match this, then we are in for a treat. Great photos from Joel Bernstein on the DVDA - sound quality is superb.
I can't say that 'Down by the River' & 'Cowgirl' are amongst my favourite Young Songs - but the live versions here are superb, his playing with Danny Whitten is fantastic, what recordings Crazy Horse would have made if he was still with us ? All the tracks are superb. If you're a Young fan or not you won't be disappointed with this.
Its a real shame that the tapes for the rest of this show no longer exist, however the tracks that survive here are suberb in their own right!.
I'm amazed at how good a recording this is considering its 36 years ago!...sounds like it was recorded yesterday. The recording also benifits from very little crowd noise which can become a little too much on other live albums.
Crazy Horse are probably at their peak here thanks to Danny Whitten, all tracks are superb with special mentions for Cowgirl in the Sand and Down By the River, both of which are lessons on how rock guitar really should be played....the interplay between Young and Whitten is jawdroppingly good!
I previously wrote a review of this (which I guess didn't pass muster because I can find no of it!) where, despite being a loyal Young fan since '89, I basically slagged it off for being far too short after such a long gestation to an actual release. Hidden within the menus on the DVD-A disc as a kind-of easter egg is footage of Neil and Joel Bernstein in one of the back rooms of the fabled ARCHIVES, looking at photographs and negatives from this concert ( many of which you see when playing the high rez DVD-A version), and the date in the camera viewfinder is from early 1996 or '97. Just a clue as to how long this has been coming...Oh, to get to this interesting tidbit, you have to highlight and press enter on the Shakey Pictures circus logo on one of the sub-menus (it might be under Set-Up)and then hit enter again when the file cabinet drawer shows up.
Anyway, maybe the source tapes weren't there or not good enough to include the first half of these shows that had Neil doing just acoustic stuff, who knows. Or maybe that will be released separately? You can never tell with Neil. Which leads me to wonder - can anyone answer why this disc has Disc 02 printed on it when it's a debut release from the Performance Series?
I remember seeing Crosby Stills Nash and Young live at Wembly stadium, way back in the early 1970s, and being knocked out by Neil's guitar playing and with his ability to strike up a rapport with the other band members. This superb live album catapults me back to those heady days. Long drawn out guitar solos can be as dull as ditch water in the hands of lesser men, but here, Neil Young and Crazy Horse explore and interact musically in a way that is simply inspirational. The timing, dynamics and phrasing of the pre-grunge guitar work are enough to make other guitarists weep with envy.
But this is not just a guitar driven album: in this record Neil Young testifies to the fact that he is a songwriter of immense stature, capable of delivering material of a quality that cements his reputation as a rock legend.
A superb showcase of the guitar chemistry between NY and the late lamented Danny Whitten. Basically, the album is built on two outstanding extended guitar work outs on Down by the River and Cowgirl in the Sand. No disrespect to the other, much shorter tracks - especially Winterlong - but these two monsters totally dominate proceedings. Especially on Cowgirl, the interplay between the two leads is outstanding - it's a snarling, growling warts and all classic which - even after 16 stupendous minutes - you just want to go on. As a collection, it's the antithesis of studio buff and polish, and it's all the better for that - and a fitting tribute to the relatively unsung Whitten's talent. Crank it up to 11, pin your lugs back and prepare to be well and truly Crazy Horsed...
This CD contains two of the most astonishing tracks ever captured on disc. Whilst the rest of the CD is great, everything pales into insignificance when one listens to Cowgirl in the Sand and Down by the river, the blistering intensity of the guitar interplay, the absolute WTFness of it all leaves me speechless every time. I saw Young with Crosby, Stills and Nash at t'Albert Hall in the 70s when they performed Down by the River and I remember it was a jaw dropping performance then, but allowing for a fading memory, damaged eardrums and a lack of tie-dye T-shirts these days, the Fillmore performance tops that in magnificence(see also Allman Bros live at the Fillmore, especially In memory of Elizabeth Reed, if you like guitar interplay).
I couldn't agree more with the other reviewers calling the two tracks Down By The River and Cowgirl In The Sand two of the most amazing tracks ever recorded. Nothing to add or take away there. If you like guitar, if you like rock, if you like anything done to perfection, YOU MUST HEAR THIS!!!
For those that agree with that, I have two bits of information that may be of interest:: For reasons I don't understand, the official release cuts 'Cinnamon Girl' out of the concert. It was played just before the devastating Cowgirl. I have a bootleg of the concert where the song is included, and where the transition between the two songs is clearly uncut. MORE IMPORTANTLY: If you are also of the opinion that these two tracks are, as A.J.Ellis says in his review above, 'two of the most astonishing tracks ever captured on disc', know that there is, a 2CD set called 'Winterlong' of a concert, a few months later in Cincinnati, at the Music Hall (not to be confused with the official archive release of a concert at Massey Hall, Cincinnati, one year later), that includes an EVEN MORE ASTONISHING, 20 minute version of 'Down By The River'. It's completely different and much more experimental than the Fillmore version, reaching nearly Coltranean moments of intensity.
For reasons I understand even less this stuff isn't officially published. When are they going to pull out their thumb and release this and other assumed treasures?
Do we all have to be dead before that happens? It's our music, too, you know!