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Neil Young - Live at the Cellar Door

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Live at the Cellar Door

Neil Young

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In late 1970, Neil Young was coming down from a bustling stretch of touring with the immensely popular Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and had just released his third solo album, After the Goldrush. That album, lodged between the jammy country rock of 1969's Crazy Horse-aided Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and the hushed, hermetic folk of 1972's Harvest, found an ethereal and otherworldly middle ground for Young's rapidly developing songwriting voice. Live at the Cellar Door finds a solo Young just a few months after the release of After the Goldrush, playing a six-show stint at the tiny Washington D.C. club, running through a set heavy on the relatively new material from Gold Rush, but also getting into songs that wouldn't see album release for a few more records yet. It would have been impossible to gauge at the time of the performance, but the set list of Live at the Cellar Door is a non-stop string of what would become some of Young's many timeless classics, punctuated by the sound of the unthinkably small audience clapping politely as he wove through 15 magical compositions on spare acoustic guitar and occasional piano. Not just heavy on highlights, this is a rare live recording that lacks any duds or missteps at all. Apart from near-perfect selections from After the Goldrush like its fever-dream title track, the heartbreaking "Birds," or the long look at growing up in "Tell Me Why," Young debuts future hit "Old Man" as well as the On the Beach piano dirge "See the Sky About to Rain." He also offers up a piano-only reading of "Cinnamon Girl," announcing "That's the first time I ever did that one on piano." Part of an ongoing archival series of key live dates from Young's massive career, Live at the Cellar Door includes snippets of the usual between-song banter, but a noticeably tired Young is more subdued even when making dry jokes. Sticking mostly to focused readings of his then-brand-new songs, he cultivates a somber mood, tapping into all the sorrow, wonder, and wistfulness of his early solo material as well as a few Buffalo Springfield tunes. These tracks feel much more like an album of alternate versions than a typical live recording. The intimacy and raw beauty of Live at the Cellar Door makes it not just a must for super fans, but a valuable companion piece to any of Young's early studio output.
© Fred Thomas /TiVo

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Live at the Cellar Door

Neil Young

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1
Tell Me Why Live at the Cellar Door
00:02:52

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

2
Only Love Can Break Your Heart Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:13

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

3
After the Gold Rush Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:48

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

4
Expecting to Fly Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:21

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

5
Bad Fog of Loneliness Live at the Cellar Door
00:02:00

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

6
Old Man Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:40

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer, Recorded by - John Nowland, Mixer, Engineer - Chris Bellman, Engineer, Masterer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixer, Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

7
Birds Live at the Cellar Door
00:02:19

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

8
Don't Let It Bring You Down Live at the Cellar Door
00:02:38

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

9
See the Sky About to Rain Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:21

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

10
Cinnamon Girl Live at the Cellar Door
00:03:29

Prince, Writer - NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

11
I Am a Child Live at the Cellar Door
00:02:43

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

12
Down by the River Live at the Cellar Door
00:04:24

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

13
Flying on the Ground Is Wrong Live at the Cellar Door
00:07:11

NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Lewy, Engineer - John Nowland, Mixing Engineer - Chris Bellman, Mastering Engineer - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer

2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc. 2013 Silver Bow Productions, Inc.

Album Description

In late 1970, Neil Young was coming down from a bustling stretch of touring with the immensely popular Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and had just released his third solo album, After the Goldrush. That album, lodged between the jammy country rock of 1969's Crazy Horse-aided Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and the hushed, hermetic folk of 1972's Harvest, found an ethereal and otherworldly middle ground for Young's rapidly developing songwriting voice. Live at the Cellar Door finds a solo Young just a few months after the release of After the Goldrush, playing a six-show stint at the tiny Washington D.C. club, running through a set heavy on the relatively new material from Gold Rush, but also getting into songs that wouldn't see album release for a few more records yet. It would have been impossible to gauge at the time of the performance, but the set list of Live at the Cellar Door is a non-stop string of what would become some of Young's many timeless classics, punctuated by the sound of the unthinkably small audience clapping politely as he wove through 15 magical compositions on spare acoustic guitar and occasional piano. Not just heavy on highlights, this is a rare live recording that lacks any duds or missteps at all. Apart from near-perfect selections from After the Goldrush like its fever-dream title track, the heartbreaking "Birds," or the long look at growing up in "Tell Me Why," Young debuts future hit "Old Man" as well as the On the Beach piano dirge "See the Sky About to Rain." He also offers up a piano-only reading of "Cinnamon Girl," announcing "That's the first time I ever did that one on piano." Part of an ongoing archival series of key live dates from Young's massive career, Live at the Cellar Door includes snippets of the usual between-song banter, but a noticeably tired Young is more subdued even when making dry jokes. Sticking mostly to focused readings of his then-brand-new songs, he cultivates a somber mood, tapping into all the sorrow, wonder, and wistfulness of his early solo material as well as a few Buffalo Springfield tunes. These tracks feel much more like an album of alternate versions than a typical live recording. The intimacy and raw beauty of Live at the Cellar Door makes it not just a must for super fans, but a valuable companion piece to any of Young's early studio output.
© Fred Thomas /TiVo

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