Neil Young has been releasing archival concert albums since 2006 as part of his Archives Performance Series, and up next for that series is Live At The Cellar Door, recorded during a six night solo acoustic stand at the Cellar Door in Washington D.C. between November 30 and December 2, 1970, shortly after the release of his classic third solo album, After The Gold Rush.

The album features songs from that album (including “Tell Me Why,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Birds,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” and the title track) and solo performances of Buffalo Springfield songs “Expecting To Fly,” “I Am A Child” and “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong.” There’s also the rare “Bad Fog Of Loneliness,” a rare solo piano version of “Cinnamon Girl,” “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and “Old Man,” two years before its release on Harvest.

This is the seventh release in the Archives Performance Series, and the fifth solo acoustic one. The previous releases include:

  • Sugar Mountain – Live At Canterbury House 1968 –  A solo acoustic show that sees him performing songs from his self-titled debut months before its release (as well as Buffalo Springfield songs).
  • Live At The Riverboat 1969 – Included as part of the massive Archives Vol. 1 box set, this is also solo acoustic, and also draws from the debut album and the Buffalo Springfield catalog.
  • Live At The Fillmore East – recorded in 1970 with Crazy Horse. The album was missing the opening song of the concert, “Cinnamon Girl,” but that track was later released on iTunes. The set features the same version of “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” that was included on Young’s Tonight’s The Night album; “Wonderin'” would later be released in radically different form on Young’s rockabilly album Everybody’s Rockin’.
  • Live At Massey Hall 1971 – another solo acoustic show, this one coming between After The Gold Rush and Harvest, and sees him trying out songs from the latter album. “A Man Needs A Maid” and “Heart Of Gold” were played as two halves of one large suite.
  • A Treasure – Recorded during 1984 and 1985 with his large country band the International Harvesters, supporting Young’s Old Ways.
  • Dreamin’ Man ’92 – Solo acoustic versions of the songs that would later end up on his Harvest Moon album.

Each volume in the series is numbered Sugar Mountain is 00, Riverboat is 01, Fillmore is 02 and Massey 03. But A Treasure is 09 and Dreamin’ Man 12, all of which suggests that there are several more volumes to come in the series. But as Young fans know, he doesn’t always stick to his plans.

Brian Ives, 


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