Neil Young: 1971 Solo Live Album/Film ‘Young Shakespeare’ Coming 3/26; Preview with ‘Tell Me Why’


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On March 26, Neil Young will head back to the vaults once again for the release of Young Shakespeare, a previously unreleased 1971 live album/concert film depicting an intimate performance from Young in Stratford, Ct. — which includes the earliest known live footage of the singer/songwriter known to exist.

That’s some particularly special circumstances for this release, to say the least. As a preview of the concert film, here’s a clip of Neil playing “Tell Me Why,” which was debuted on Friday:

Click here to pre-order Young Shakespeare on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Young Shakespeare on LP from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Young Shakespeare (Deluxe Box Set) from our Rock Cellar Store

Here’s the track listing:

1. Tell Me Why
2. Old Man
3. The Needle and the Damage Done
4. Ohio
5. Dance Dance Dance
6. Cowgirl in the Sand
7. A Man Needs A Maid/Heart of Gold medley
8. Journey Through The Past
9. Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10. Helpless
11. Down By The River
12. Sugar Mountain

Some additional information about Young Shakespeare:

In 2020, while Neil and his team were reviewing his Archive for future projects, Neil re-visited the 16mm film and audio recording of this show that had been preserved in the Archive for almost 50 years. Piecing together the tapes and footage, Neil realized that he had the full concert – the film of which is the earliest live footage of Neil performing that is known to exist.

Neil has written on NYA that this show is “superior to our beloved “Massey Hall”. A more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall, captured live on 16mm. “Young Shakespeare” is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever.”

As an insight into Neil’s prolific song writing at the time, the concert features two songs from the recently released After The Gold Rush but four songs from the classic Harvest album that was still over a year away from being released. The wonderful set list also includes acoustic renditions of favorites such as “Ohio”, “Cowgirl In the Sand”, “Helpless”, “Down By The River” and “Sugar Mountain”.

The ancient analog tapes have been lovingly restored – resulting in (as Neil says on NYA) “one of the most pure sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive”.

This beautiful concert is being released on LP and CD, plus a deluxe boxed edition that includes both LP and CD and, for the first time ever, a DVD of the concert.

Young Shakespeare is being released almost exactly 50 years after the original performance.


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