Live at Massey Hall (CD/DVD) CD+DVD
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The songs are all performed solo by Neil, twelve on guitar, six (counting track 7 as two) on piano. (Unplugged, if you will, decades before that term was coined and turned into a marketing tool.)
One of the most interesting piano tracks is "A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold." Neil introduces the song by saying "some people look at their life and say, well, my life is like a movie," then jokes that "this is like a showtune from my movie," perhaps foreshadowing the heavy production "A Man Needs a Maid" would receive on the studio album. However, the spare rendering here is superior, in my opinion. Then midway through the track, Neil segues into a stark version of "Heart of Gold," previewing what can arguably be called his definitive song.
Standout tracks with acoustic guitar include "Old Man," "Needle and the Damage Done," "Cowgirl In The Sand," and "Ohio." But one could as easily point out highlights by repeating the entire track list. Guitarists especially will appreciate how the songs are played in this solo acoustic format. The sound quality of the recording is superb.
There are several new (at the time) songs that didn't wind up on Harvest or any other album. Of particular note is "Dance, Dance, Dance." In the verse you will recognize the seeds of a later more well-known song.Read more ›
Massey Hall is the second release in the Performance Series (despite its cryptic label of Disc 03). Neil reduces things to their absolute minimum at this gig. Neil's voice, his guitar, and his piano are the sole instruments for the seventeen tracks - his harmonica is nowhere to be found. There are no real guitar solos or significant instrumental breaks.
The effect this has is to bring to the forefront Neil's uniquely powerful voice and his emotion-laden lyrics. He sounds wonderful on this release, and the stripped-down presentation truly makes his songs shine. Like the CSNY live album "4-Way Street," we start off with a lilting version of the Buffalo Springfield song "On the Way Home." Neil intersperses a few other classics in the setlist, such as "Down by the River," "Don't Let It Bring You Down," and a powerfully emotional "Cowgirl in the Sand."
However, this was not a nostalgia show. Ten of the songs were brand-new at the time and had not yet been recorded. To their credit, Neil's audience rolls right along with the unfamiliar new material, granting it a respectful silence and enthusiastic applause at the end of each new number (with the exception of the Canada name-check in "Journey through the Past," which of course gets a response, seeing as how Massey Hall is a Canadian venue).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recorded when Young was at his best. He performs every song solo and unaccompanied by any other musician or vocalist. Read morePublished 15 months ago by MFW
Neil Young hits his peak. This concert film though weak by today's quality of concert footage captures Neil young at his best. Read morePublished 15 months ago by TDN
Perhaps the most honest and beautiful album NY ever recorded. Even non-fans will be moved by this performance.Published 16 months ago by C. Aquilino