Out today (March 26th) is Neil Young‘s latest archival live album, titled, Young Shakespeare. The set, which was recorded on January 22nd, 1971, was taped three days after the previously-released Live At Massey Hall 1971, during the “Journey Through The Past” solo tour.
Young posted on his Neil Young Archives site: “The earliest known film of any of my (solo) performances, Young Shakespeare, was recorded and filmed in January 1971 at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut. As we listen and compare, (my producer) John Hanlon and I both feel Shakespeare is superior to our beloved (album) (Live At) Massey Hall (1971). A more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall, captured live on 16mm film. Young Shakespeare is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever. Young Shakespeare is the performance of that era. Personal and emotional, for me, it defines that time.”
The Young Shakespeare show took place at a point where Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young were without a doubt at the peak of their popularity and influence. Neil Young believes that from the onset, the magnitude of fame that CSNY achieved right out of the gate destined the foursome to never survive as a permanent entity: “We had no idea what we were doing. It’s not because there’s anything wrong with anybody in the band, it’s just with what we were confronted with. It changed us. The crowd. The adulation — the roaring sound. It changed us.”