The Neil Young Archives keep giving. He's just announced Young Shakespeare, a previously unreleased 1971 live album and concert film which, according to the press release, contains the earliest known live performance footage of Young known to exist. It's from his January 22, 1971 show at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, CT -- just three days after his celebrated Toronto Massey Hall show -- and has Neil playing alone with acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica. Though After the Gold Rush was only a few months old at the time, this show features performances of “Old Man,” “The Needle and the Damage Done,” “A Man Needs a Maid,” and “Heart Of Gold” from Harvest which was still more than a year away.

Neil says Young Shakespeare captures "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 of the most pure-sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive.” You can watch the performance of "Tell Me Why" from the Young Shakespeare film, and watch its trailer, below.

You can pre-order Young Shakespeare now on vinyl, DVD, and CD, as well as a Deluxe box set that contains all three (no Blu-ray? C'mon, Neil).

More in the Neil pipeline: solo live EP The Times is out 2/19 (order from our shop), and Crazy Horse live album Way Down in the Rust Bucket is 2/26.

neil young shakespeare

Young Shakespeare track listing:
1. Tell Me Why
2. Old Man
3. The Needle and the Damage Done
4. Ohio
5. Dance Dance Dance
6. Cowgirl in the Sand
7. A Man Needs a Maid/Heart Of Gold
8. Journey Through the Past
9. Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10. Helpless
11. Down by the River
12. Sugar Mountain

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