Fifty years after the original performance, Neil Young announces the March 26th release of ‘Young Shakespeare’, an as-yet unreleased 1971 live recording and concert film which contains the earliest known live performance footage of Young known to exist. Recorded in Stratford, Connecticut, the show captures the artist stripped down to the bare essentials – acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica.
Just two months after the release of Young’s seminal ‘After the Gold Rush’, he sat down for a performance at The Shakespeare Theater on January 22th, 1971. The concert was recorded for presentation on German TV later that year but was not publicly available until now.
The original 50 year-old analogue tapes have been lovingly restored, making available early acoustic recordings of two ‘After the Gold Rush’ songs and beloved favourites such as ‘Ohio’, ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’, ‘Helpless’, ‘Down by the River’ and ‘Sugar Mountain’. It also features early recordings of ‘Old Man’, ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’, ‘A Man Needs a Maid’ and ‘Heart of Gold’, all of which were then over a year away from being released on Young’s classic 1972 album ‘Harvest’.
Young wrote on Neil Young Archives (NYA) that ‘Young Shakespeare’ is, “a more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall, captured live on 16mm. Young Shakespeare is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever… one of the most pure-sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive.”
‘Young Shakespeare’ is available to pre-order here (https://gmail.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=98a39f523013e4b599c394164&id=9648b663de&e=6be8012fe4) . It will be released on vinyl and CD, while the concert film will be released as a standalone DVD. All three formats will be packaged together as a Deluxe Box Set Edition. Everyone who orders any physical format from this link will also receive high-res audio files of the album. Fans who pre-order the album will receive an instant download of ‘Tell Me Why’, while additional instant download tracks will follow prior to the album’s release.
NYA is the first totally immersive fan-experience website and remains the only portal for all things Neil Young. Only at NYA can you find Young’s music in the highest possible digital audio resolution alongside a seemingly infinite store of archival files. It’s also the home of Young’s virtual daily newspaper, The Times Contrarian, and The Hearse Theater, home to rare footage and live-streamed shows. NYA is a fittingly sprawling repository for Young; few artists – perhaps none – have explored such a vast spectrum of sounds and styles. ‘Young Shakespeare’ is a raw reminder of his roots.