Friday, March 16, 2007

Now, Back to Massey Hall

OK, so I said I'd have more to say on the latest release from the NYAPS, Live At Massey Hall. However, I've been left all but speechless. It's PHENOMENAL! Now, of course, for more than a year I've had a beautiful sounding copy of the soundboard recording of Neil's late show from this very date (January 19, 1971). So, I've heard a lot of this before. But, this sounds even better, especially on the DVD. It truly feels like he's in the living room playing.

Plus, the DVD has film footage of all but 4 songs. Now, the footage does not appear to be from this date & venue. But, for the most part it matches up well enough, and it certainly enhances the experience. Some interesting extra features are present as well: notes, lyrics, newspaper articles, a couple extra videos, home movie footage (including the ranch hand who was the inspiration for "Old Man")...

This is seamlessly edited to sound like one show, and at 17 songs, it's a full set list. Wonderful. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of the b**tleg to the new release, to see which songs are from the late show (and, by process of elimination, which ones must be from the early show). I doubt I will.

However, one song that must be from the early show is "Bad Fog of Loneliness" (which has never been officially released on an album, although it was on the Red Rocks Live DVD in 2000). On the b**tleg of the late show, Neil introduces it with a hilarious monologue along the lines of (I'm paraphrasing here): This is a song you're not likely to hear again, folks. You see, about once a month I have a meeting with my songs to decide which ones to record...This song wasn't even invited to the meeting. [Hilarious!]

But, on this release, he introduces it with a story about being scheduled/rescheduled to appear on The Johnny Cash Show. I haven't heard it enough yet to even attempt to paraphrase it, but it's pretty funny too. Most casual fans of Neil Young might not realize what a great sense of humor he has. But, many of the recordings of his concerts reveal hilarious lines/stories/jokes. It could be one of the more revealing aspects of this Archives "Performance Series" to many listeners.


PS - The best part might be that there is an insert containing this information (click here then look at the photo). PLEASE let it be true.

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Blogger Beth said...

Sounds like a must-purchase for moi.

2:55 PM, March 20, 2007  

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