Neil Young has revealed that plans are in the works for a 50th anniversary reissue of his classic 1970 album After the Gold Rush that might include a previously unreleased live performance from around that time.
In a recent post on his Neil Young Archives website, the folk-rock legend reports that he’s preparing to release the show, which took place in January 1971 at the American Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut, on audio and video under the title Young Shakespeare.
Young says the footage of the concert is the “earliest known film of any of my performances.” He also notes that some of the film previously was “used to help bring a visual element to” the DVD included with his 2007 archival Live from Massey Hall 1971 album, which documented a similar acoustic gig that Neil played in Toronto three days before the Stratford show.
Neil explains that the recording and film of the Stratford concert were rediscovered this year while he and his crew were “working our way through the years, completing unfinished projects, preparing them for the future.”
Young notes that his longtime studio engineer John Hanlon worked on the recording, and he feels it’s “one of the most pure sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive.”
Neil says he and Hanlon now “both feel Shakespeare is superior to our beloved Massey Hall,” describing it as a “more calm performance.” Adds Neil, “To my fans, I say this is the best ever.”
Young says he may include the Young Shakespeare recording with the After the Gold Rush 50th anniversary reissue — which will be coming out “later this year” — in addition to offering it as a separate release.
Here’s the Young Shakespeare track list:
“Tell Me Why”
“The Needle and the Damage Done”
“Cowgirl in the Sand”
“A Man Needs a Maid”
“Heart of Gold”
“Dance Dance Dance”
“Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
“Down by the River”
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