Classic Rock News

Neil Young releasing archival 1971 concert album and video, 'Young Shakespeare,' in March

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Reprise Records

Last year, Neil Young announced that he was preparing to release a live album and concert video called Young Shakespeare, capturing a January 1971 solo show he played in Stratford, Connecticut.  Now the project has an official release date: March 26.

Young Shakespeare will be available on CD, as a vinyl LP, on DVD and in high-res digital formats. You can also buy a deluxe box set featuring the CD, LP and DVD, and a code for a high-res download of the album.  You can pre-order them all now.

The album was recorded at The American Shakespeare Theatre on January 22, 1971, just two months after Neil’s classic After the Gold Rush album was released. The show, which featured Young solo on vocals, guitar harmonica and piano, was shot on 16-millimeter film for German TV, but the full footage was never made available publicly.

According to Young, footage of the concert is the “earliest known film of any of my performances.” The Young Shakespeare concert took place three days after Neil’s lauded show at Toronto’s Massey Hall that was released in 2007 as part of his Archives Performance Series.

In a post on his Neil Young Archives website, the folk-rock legend describes Young Shakespeare as “a more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall…To my fans, I say this is the best ever…one of the most pure-sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive.”

In advance of Young Shakepeare‘s release, Neil has made available his rendition of After the Gold Rush‘s “Tell Me Why” via streaming services and also has posted a video of the performance at his official YouTube channel.

Here’s the full Young Shakespeare track list:

“Tell Me Why”
“Old Man”
“The Needle and the Damage Done”
“Dance Dance Dance”
“Cowgirl in the Sand”
“A Man Needs a Maid”/”Heart of Gold”
“Journey Through the Past”
“Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
“Down by the River”
“Sugar Mountain”

By Matt Friedlander
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