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Live At The Cellar Door

229 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 10, 2013
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Live At The Cellar Door + Live at Massey Hall 1971 + Live at the Fillmore East
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Editorial Reviews

Live archive release from the veteran singer/songwriter, an album of unreleased live performances from late 1970. The album is the latest in Young's ongoing Archives Performance Series, and it collects recordings made during the Canadian singer/songwriter's intimate six-show solo stand at The Cellar Door, a venue in Washington D.C., between November 30th and December 2nd, 1970. Since the gigs were only a few months after his timeless third solo album, After The Gold Rush, was released and five of the thirteen tracks here are from that very record, including 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' and 'Don't Let It Bring You Down'. Also featured, is 'Cinnamon Girl' performed on piano rather than guitar, a handful of Buffalo Springfield songs, including 'Expecting To Fly' and 'Old Man' which wasn't released until two years later on 1972's Harvest album.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 10, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00G34XP3Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,723 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a great reminder (if we needed one) of just what a fine songwriter Neil Young is. The album is a recording of some solo sets he did in 1970 and they are very good indeed. I had the great good fortune to receive an advance copy of this album, I have played it a lot and the more I play it, the better it gets.

This is the young (sorry) Neil Young with just his guitar and a piano performing some great material like After The Goldrush, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Old Man and others. They are really good, heartfelt performances which in these stripped-down versions often have tremendous emotional power. Don't Let It Bring You Down, for example, really packs an emotional punch for me - perhaps even more than the studio version does. The wonderful chord structures combined with Young's distinctive, ætherial, almost falsetto vocal give it a fabulous, spare beauty and the same is true of many of the other songs here.

The sound quality is excellent and the choice of material is very well balanced, I think. It's hard to get the balance right on a live album between failing to capture enough of the live atmosphere and having so much chat that it becomes tedious on repeated listening, but the producers here have judged it impeccably. There is very little of Neil Young speaking throughout most of the album - generally just a brief introduction to each song, which is exactly enough to give a feel of the live performance without interfering with the music. (And as an aside, although I know this is from 1970, it still brought me up short to hear Only Love Can Break Your Heart introduced as "a song from my new album".
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Neill TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
As a long-time Neil Young fan it is truly special to be able to experience a performance like this one which was compiled from a series of gigs that happened at the Cellar Door over a three day period in late 1970 when I was a mere 8 months old. The audio quality is excellent here as Neil performs songs solo-acoustically playing some on the guitar and others on the piano.

The then 25 year old Neil's songwriting takes center stage here with these acoustic performances and we're given a glimpse at what his career had in store for him. I'm sure everyone has their own favorite Young songs, but I really enjoyed the renditions of Cinnamon Girl, Don't Let It Bring You Down, Old Man and After The Gold Rush that appear here.

Anyone that has followed Neil Young knows he goes back and forth between the sonic bombast that his electric music brings and the stripped down sweetness of the acoustic versions. Here we see a great representation of the acoustic side.

If you're a long-time Neil Young fan there is no doubt that you'll want this disc, the sound quality and performances are top notch.

If you're not familiar with Neil Young and you're looking to get into his work there are probably a few better places to start, but they will all eventually lead you here anyway so you may as well give this one a try!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By S. Bottino on December 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The perfect balance as far as "Acoustic Neil" goes...this straddles the fence between the Live 1968 Canterbury House set and Massey Hall from 1971...and it's probably (to me anyway) the best of the three. The audio is great...the song selection is tops and the delivery isn't overly broken up by dialogue (which I like...but thought Canterbury had too much)...there IS one great spoken Neil moment on this...the intro to Flying on The Ground is...well, ya gotta hear it for yourself...but it cracks me up every time!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Brian on December 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an wonderfully beautiful live offering from Neil Young - an early offering from the After The Gold Rush days live at The Cellar Door in Washington D.C in late 1970 - it's a solo performance - just Neil with his guitar and piano.. I live in the area and used to go to The Cellar Door years ago...and it was always one of my favorite venues for a performance - small, intimate and very personal...and that's what this CD offers - an intimate and very personal concert with Neil doing some of his finest solo work and some real gems from his Buffalo Springfield days - boy, I wish I had seen this show, it would've been one for the ages..........

There are several tracks on this - like Expecting To Fly, Birds, Don't Let It Bring You Down, and I Am a Child - that will send shivers up your back - If there wasn't the polite and subdued applause at the end of each track, this could easily pass for a studio recording. The folks in attendance here got a very special treat from Neil. I really like the version of Old Man on this as well - there's just a lot to like on this. This is one of those CD's that when you've finished listening to it...you queue it up again because there's nothing else that can follow that fits....

I'm usually reluctant to buy Neil's live stuff - he can tend to get a little sloppy, but that's Neil and it's not been a problem for most Neil Young fans - this is NOT one bit sloppy, Neil's voice is strong and clear....lush, rich and beautifully mixed and edited, I don't know if I've ever heard a better live performance by Neil. I am wonderfully glad I bought this CD.
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Topic From this Discussion
Caught you knocking at my Cellar Door
@ Narut, I wish they had not done that on the first Archives, putting previous releases in the box set. How many people bought those CDs when they hit the store and then there they are in the box set again. Come on Neil that makes no sense at all. Please do not do it again.
Oct 30, 2013 by James L. Dickinson |  See all 16 posts
'Archives 2'
Look how long we waited for volume one. Still, it's a hopeful sign.

And remember, Neil's getting no younger, either. I'm sure he's keenly aware of that aspect.
Dec 6, 2013 by John M. Kertis |  See all 3 posts
I was at this show at the Cellar Door in D.C.
I'd love to see more old 1970ish Crazy Horse gigs w/ Neil be released. I love the solo acoustic stuff but lets plug in and rock out too. Don't forget to Rock n Roll us Neil.
Nov 30, 2013 by James L. Dickinson |  See all 5 posts
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