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Albums Of The Week: Neil Young | The Neil Young Official Bootleg Series: Carnegie Hall 1970

NY's latest archival set spotlight a stripped-down solo show that's heavy on hits.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Over Neil Young’s long and storied career, a few special shows have earned an almost mythic reputation, thanks to the dubious but nevertheless appreciated (in retrospect) practice of bootlegging.

One of them is first instalment in Young’s new Official Bootleg Series: Carnegie Hall 1970 is the first of six shows slated to become available buy the end of 2022. Originally recorded on original analog multitrack, Carnegie Hall was mixed by The Volume Dealers (aka Neil Young and Niko Bolas). This recording was made from the show on Dec. 4, 1970 — the first time Neil ever walked onstage at Carnegie Hall. There were two shows at the New York venue: One on the evening of the 4th and another at midnight. No bootleggers captured the first show, which was a much superior show according to Young.

The concert’s generous setlist covers one of the most revered eras of Young’s career, with stripped-down versions of the tunes Down By the River, Helpless and Sugar Mountain plus After the Gold Rush, from the album of the same name, released only nine weeks prior to the show. Neil even plays the poignant songs Bad Fog of Loneliness, Old Man and See the Sky About to Rain before they were recorded and released. Carnegie Hall is an album full of gems.”