Neil Young’s Carnegie Hall 1970 is Another Early Live Gem

Live solo performance is first release in new official bootleg series

Neil Young keeps cranking out new albums. Just a little over six months after his latest archives release Young Shakespeare, the 75-year-old Canadian-American singer-songwriter issued Carnegie Hall 1970 last Friday (October 1), the first of six releases in a new official bootleg series. And just like Young Shakespeare, Carnegie Hall 1970 is a true live gem featuring solo renditions of early Young tunes on acoustic guitar and piano.

As Young notes on his Neil Young Archives website, the album captures a performance at New York City’s famous concert venue from December 4, 1970. Young makes it a point to specify that it is the early show, given there is a released bootleg for the midnight show. Not only is this a previously unreleased solo concert, but it is based on mixes made from the multi-track recording that was made by sound engineer Henry Lewy that night. The quality is superb and far superior to your usual bootleg.

Let’s get to some music. Here’s the first track Down by the River. The tune initially appeared on Young’s sophomore album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere from May 1969. This is a great stripped back version of what originally is an electric rock-oriented tune.

I Am a Child is a song Young first recorded with Buffalo Springfield for the band’s third and final album Last Time Around that appeared in July 1968. Love this version!

Next up: Southern Man, another great acoustic rendition of a tune that originally was recorded as an electric rock song. It first appeared on Young’s third studio album After the Gold Rush, which at the time of the Carnegie show was his new album that had come out in September 1970.

One of my favorite early Neil Young tunes is Sugar Mountain, a song he composed on November 12, 1964, his 19th birthday. It was first formally released as the B-side to Young’s 1969 single The Loner in the form of a live recording that been captured during a November 1968 performance. What I love about the Carnegie version are Young’s attempts to involve the audience. Since it doesn’t work, he keeps starting over, getting a bit frustrated in the process. You really can picture it!

Let’s do a tune Young performed on piano: After the Gold Rush. The title track of the above noted album is another of my all-time favorite Young songs. Some of the notes he hits sound a bit peculiar. I think Young was still in his early years of learning the piano. Nevertheless, it’s a great rendition.

I could go on and on here, but all things must pass. The final track I’d like to call out is Bad Fog of Loneliness, then a new tune that had not been released at the time of the show. In fact, it had not even been recorded yet. Young would do so in 1971 but not release the song until 2007 on the album Live at Massey Hall 1971.

Here is the album’s full track list:

  1. Down By The River

  2. Cinnamon Girl

  3. I Am A Child

  4. Expecting To Fly

  5. The Loner

  6. Wonderin’

  7. Helpless

  8. Southern Man

  9. Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing

10. Sugar Mountain

11. On The Way Home

12. Tell Me Why

13. Only Love Can Break Your Heart

14. Old Man

15. After The Gold Rush

16. Flying On The Ground

17. Cowgirl In The Sand

18. Don’t Let It Bring You Down

19. Birds

20. Bad Fog Of Lonliness

21. Ohio

22. See The Sky About To Rain

23. Dance Dance Dance

Originally, Young had planned to launch his official bootleg series in April 2021 with the release of six albums. Then things changed. “But you know what happened…Fires and floods, Covid…”, he wrote on his website. Upcoming releases in the bootleg series include Royce Hall. January 30, 1971, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Feb 1, 1971, Under the Rainbow. Nov 3, 1973, The Bottom Line. Citizen Kane Jr. Blues’ May 16, 1974 and The Ducks – ‘Trick of Disaster’ August 1977.

“Of the six releases still coming at you [now five – CMM], four [now three – CMM] are our own multi track masters, so they will sound amazing – much better than the original bootlegs you may have heard,” Young further wrote. “One of the other two is the original tape it was recorded on. We remastered it.” Sounds like Neil Young fans have much they can look forward to.

Sources: Wikipedia; Neil Young Archives website; YouTube

26 thoughts on “Neil Young’s Carnegie Hall 1970 is Another Early Live Gem”

  1. He is doing what other artists should be doing. I wonder if he is releasing much video? He might not have had many filmed as much but I do wish the older artists would release the archives.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so funny, Max, same with me!

        My best friend (since the second school grade, who I’m still happy to call that) got “Live Rust” on vinyl – must have been around 1980 or so. At the time, we were both borrowing each other’s records and taping music like maniacs., so I taped it on MC.

        I pretty much loved “Live Rust” from the get-go, especially the acoustic songs, since I was taking acoustic guitar lessons at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is cool that you liked it that young. Into the Blue/Black I loved equally…it was his voice that was so different.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Her and her sister are Filipino Jean the bass player and June the guitar player I think! That keyboard player worked with Dr John and others.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep, I looked them up on Wikipedia. It says the band was founded by June (guitarist) and Jean (bassist) who originally were from the Philippines.

        This vaguely does sound familar. I probably read about them before.

        I’m currently listening to their first album- sounds fantastic. I also like Jean’s bass playing. What a great band! Thanks for flagging them!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. They wrote both of them….June an Jean wrote that pop/soul song and the keyboard player wrote the other…

        Thanks for listening again Christian….I thought you might like it…they made a documentary about them…I want to see it. It’s getting screened now in theaters.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’ve since listened to their first album and think it sounds fantastic. Currently checking out their third album, which so far sounds great as well. It’s got a hot rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar”, featuring some neat slide guitar action.

        I saw what looks like the trailer to the documentary on YouTube. In 2018, the sisters reunited as Fanny Walked the Earth and released an album. Based on sampling the first couple of tunes, this one seems to be pretty good as well.

        Overall, a great band with an intriguing looking story. So, yes, that documentary should be interesting. Really happy you pointed them out to me.

        I might do a post. I’m officially off on Monday for Columbus Day, so may have a bit of time. We’ll see…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh yea…Aint that Particular is one I covered earlier….they do a great version. As far as all female bands…I would say they were the most talented at their instruments…and that is nothing against the pop ones…but Fanny could play about anything.

        They should have made it more…Bowie tried to help also…when you open for Humble Pie and others…you really rock.

        I’m looking forward to seeing that doc. Glad you enjoyed them!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Looks like between the record label trying to force an image on June she didn’t like and clashes with keyboarder Nickey Barclay, it became too much for her and she left. While the band got another guitarist and made one more album, it pretty much doomed them. Kind of sounds like a typical rock & roll story!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yes it does…Nickey was super talented but…get this…she didn’t like female acts…she didn’t like sounding like a female act lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes…it very well could have….she has vanished also…she didn’t regroup with the others.
        Oh Bowie dated Jean for years also…

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Off topic Christian…I’ve been wanting to show you this for a couple of weeks but I’ve been too busy.

        they do two songs…the first one is a pop/soul song…the second one the keyboard plays…I think you might like her voice…she can really rough her voice up. You may not like it which is cool lol….it reminds me of Dr John…

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Thanks, Max. May not like it? I love it, man!

        To start, an all-female rock band in the early ’70s is pretty cool in and of itself. And these ladies could not only sing but also play – damn, that guitarist rocks!

        As for the raspy vocals in the second song, they sound might sweet to me. In fact, I generally tend to dig raspy voices.

        Have you seen their cover of Bulldog? Pretty neat! I have to further check them out!

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Oh I LOVE raspy voices…that is why I’m such a huge fan of Janis Joplin… The first song really sounds like a hit…at least it could have been.

        Yes I like that cover of Bulldog…I almost posted that one.

        The drummer also was great….yea I love that cover of Bulldog!

        Liked by 1 person

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