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Live at Massey Hall (CD/DVD) CD+DVD

4.8 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

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Product Description

One of the greatest singer-songwriters of the rock era. Solo. Acoustic. January 19, 1971. Live At Massey Hall, the legendary concert from Neil Young, is finally officially released, and in highresolution stereo, in this CD+DVD package (also as a solo CD). The acclaimed Toronto performance features classics "Old Man" and, in a suite, "A Man Needs A Maid" and "Heart Of Gold" (before they were recorded for Harvest) along with some of his most popular songs ("Cowgirl In The Sand," "Ohio") as well as the most obscure ("Bad Fog Of Loneliness"). Live At Massey Hall is a newly mined rock gem.

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"I'm gonna sing mostly new songs tonight," Neil Young tells the rapt Massey Hall audience, "...I've written so many new ones that I can't think of anything else to do with them other than sing 'em." He steps to the mic unadorned, distant from CSNY's rippled harmonies or Crazy Horse's yowl, hypnotically nailing 17 tracks on this unreleased 1971 solo set. You hear him tower at vocal heights on the chorus for "Old Man" (then a debuted, brand-new song) and name-check Canada on "Journey to the Past" and North Ontario on "Helpless," much to the Toronto crowd's delight. The sound is impeccable, and the closeness to Young in this spare setting exhilarates--especially his vocal quavering in the high registers, his intricate guitar work, and an overall vibe that exceeds description. And the DVD: Here you catch Young in tightly framed, starkly-lit shots, flourishing in the early years of an unparalleled rock career. Not only that, you get commentary from 1997, a rare window on how Young thinks, how he speaks, his humor. --Andrew Bartlett

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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

Disc: 2

  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


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000MTPANQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a tremendous CD which I whole-heartedly recommend. Neil Young announces before the fourth song that he will be playing "mostly new songs tonight." Five of the new songs would appear on the following year's "Harvest" album, which for my money, is Neil Young's finest. Did the audience realize just how extraordinary was this batch of new songs? Did Neil himself have any inkling of the phenomenal acclaim and acceptance "Harvest" would receive?

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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Neil Young has been tantalizing his fans with the release of the Archives project for going on two decades now, starting with the concept of "Decade II" in the 80's. Here we are in 2007 and the time for this glorious unearthing of the treasures in Neil's catalog has finally arrived. Neil will be releasing various live shows under the Performance Series banner, as well as multiple CD/DVD box sets spanning his entire career, both studio and live.

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).
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Format: Audio CD
I've been totally immersed in Neil for a few months now. Mainly "On The Beach" and "Tonight's The Night". So when I read this was coming out I was more than excited, I actually tried to take the day off of work to run out, buy it, and listen to it. What's amazing is that Neil already has such history, we all have our favorite albums, we all have our opinions on "Harvest", and now "Massey Hall" changes everything. It should immediately jump into the pantheon of his best albums, no matter which ones are your favorites. Also, no matter what you think of "Harvest", love it or hate it this gives a new perspective on the album. If you've read "Shakey" like I am now you already know a lot of the details of his recording process during this time. But the songs here and the things Neil says between songs give us greater insight into "Harvest" and what he was thinking at the time. You realize that the songs would have been just as good as they're presented here. You realize that the songs only sound the way they do on "Harvest" basically just by happenstance. He happened to be going to Nashville to do the 'Johnny Cash Show" so he hooked up with some musicians there, and we was going to England to do a BBC show and added the London Symphony Orchestra. The sound quality is of course incredible. You can hear the echo in the Hall, Neil's voice reverberating beautifully throughout the place, you can feel Neil hitting those steel strings of his acoustic guitar with all his might on the rising chorus of "Old Man". The DVD is wonderful too. If you're a huge Neil fan like me any footage audio or visual from this era is incredible. Some have complained the concert footage is grainy and that the camera work is shaky, to me it's basically a documentary of the concert. It's interesting too to see the actual old man from "Old Man" as well. Any fan of good music should buy this immediately.
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