Neil Young has announced the release of Young Shakespeare, a 1971 live recording and film. It features the earliest known footage of Young in concert.
On Jan. 22, 1971, Young took the stage at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Conn. The concert – recorded for German television but not released publicly until now – shows the singer-songwriter delivering a stripped-back performance on acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica.
Delivered a few months after the release of his After the Gold Rush studio album, the performance includes two tracks from that LP – “Tell Me Why” and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” – along with earlier songs like “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Down by the River.”
Young Shakespeare also features early live recordings of “Old Man,” “The Needle and the Damage Done,” “A Man Needs a Maid” and “Heart of Gold,” performed more than a year before they were released on Young’s 1972 album Harvest.
You can watch a trailer for Young Shakespeare below.
Young Shakespeare will be available on vinyl and CD, as well as a stand-alone DVD. A Deluxe Box Set Edition will also be available, featuring all three formats of the release, along with bonus material. All versions are available for pre-order now at the Neil Young Archives website.
The sets will come out on March 26.
Young described his Young Shakespeare concert as “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.”
You can hear “Tell Me Why” from the set and see the track listing below.
Neil Young, ‘Young Shakespeare’ Track Listing
1. “Tell Me Why”
2. “Old Man”
3. “The Needle and the Damage Done”
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”
11. “Down by the River”
12. “Sugar Mountain”