Neil Young Opens The “Cellar Door” With Vintage 1970 Concerts
No, there’s still not a date on the calendar for the much-talked-about release of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1974 concert tapes last scheduled for August 27 and currently anticipating release next year. (Or so it’s been reported.) But Neil Young has a solo live release scheduled for December 10 that should whet appetites for that CSNY project and excite fans and collectors in its own right, too. Young’s camp has confirmed Live at the Cellar Door, the latest installment of Young’s Archive Performance Series. The new release has been culled from a six-concert solo acoustic stand at Washington, DC’s tiny Cellar Door club between November 30 and December 2, 1970. The 13-song Live at the Cellar Door will be released digitally as well as on CD and as a 2-LP 180-gram vinyl set from Reprise Records.
At the time of the Cellar Door shows, Young was riding the wave of success from 1970’s CSNY chart-topper Déjà vu as well as his third solo album, After the Gold Rush. Gold Rush had been released on August 31, 1970 and achieved gold status by November 2, 1970. (In 2004, it was certified twice-platinum.) It peaked in the U.S. Top 10 and introduced Young’s future standard (and Top 40 hit) “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” as well as the caustic “Southern Man” and a number of songs also destined for multiple cover versions like the atmospheric title track and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”
The six concerts at the Cellar Door were held twice-nightly, and marked Young’s return to the stage after a break of roughly five months. They were also essentially rehearsals for his solo Carnegie Hall stint of December 4 and 5, 1970. During the gigs, he played Gold Rush material (“After the Gold Rush,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Birds,” “Tell Me Why”), songs from his second album, 1969’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (“Cinnamon Girl” in a rare piano-and-voice rendition and “Down by the River”) and even Buffalo Springfield material (“Expecting to Fly,” “Flying on the Ground is Wrong,” “I Am a Child”). In addition, Young premiered new songs at the Cellar Door including “Old Man,” “Bad Fog of Loneliness” and “See the Sky About to Rain.” “Old Man” was destined to appear on Young’s next, chart-topping LP Harvest (1972), while “See the Sky About to Rain” found a home on 1974’s On the Beach. “Bad Fog” didn’t officially surface on CD until a live version appeared on 2007’s Live at Massey Hall 1971; a studio version likely recorded circa Harvest subsequently was released on 2009’s Archives, Volume 1.
After the jump, we have more details plus the complete track listing!
Live at the Cellar Door marks the third volume of Young’s Archive Performance Series to feature a concert recorded between March of 1970 and January of 1971, following past releases of Live at Massey Hall 1971 and Live at the Fillmore East 1970. (Other Performance Series titles have included Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968, Dreamin’ Man – Live ’92, and A Treasure, recorded in 1984-1985.) It’s been produced by Young, and the original recordings were made by Henry Lewy. The 2-LP vinyl edition has been mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Pallas in Germany. Cellar Door is due in all formats on December 10. You can pre-order below!
Neil Young, Archive Performance Series: Live at the Cellar Door (Reprise, 2013)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD
2-LP: Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. TBD
- Tell Me Why
- Only Love Can Break Your Heart
- After the Gold Rush
- Expecting to Fly
- Bad Fog of Loneliness
- Old Man
- Don’t Let It Bring You Down
- See the Sky About to Rain
- Cinnamon Girl
- I Am a Child
- Down by the River
- Flying on the Ground is Wrong
All tracks previously unreleased.