Crazy Horse at the
The first installment of
Neil Young archive release, Live at the Fillmore East capture
the band in March 1970. The personnel includes the original Crazy Horse line-up with Danny Whitten
and is by far my
favorite electric Neil Young band. This isn't a complete show
material including an electric "Cinnamon
Girl" and an acoustic set. Apparently this is all that exists
in high enough quality to release from this short
tour, too bad. Actually, the sound quality of Crazy Horse at the Fillmore is only good,
certainly not great.
It is also skimpy on liner notes and the quantity of music, around
Since this is my favorite
period of Neil Young it is certain worth having this archival debut. The list
price is a bit steep, but I've seen copies selling for six or seven
dollars. Three of the
six songs come from his second solo album, Everybody
Knows This is Nowhere. The same core band plays on this
concert, but they add Jack Nitzsche on electric piano; however, you
can barely hear him. The two extended tracks, "Down by the River,"
and "Cowgirl in the Sand" both are longer than their
studio counterparts and go places that the originals do not.
The track "Wonderin'"
wasn't released until 1983 on his rockabilly release Everybody's
Rockin'. Funny, it was introduced by Young, "this is a song
from our new album, when we record it."
A studio version "Winterlong"
appeared on Decade adding charm to a still relevant
compilation since its 1977 release. A Crazy Horse track sung
by Danny Whitten and co-written by he and Young, "Come On Baby
Let's Go Downtown" precedes "Cowgirl in the Sand."
Crazy Horse record this track on their debut release under the name,
"Downtown," while Young recorded a version on Tonight's
For the CD / DVD rendition,
the DVD is an audio with a
photo collection that rotates throughout the disc. They do a good
job with capturing relevant photos at key spots.
For years, fans of Neil Young and Crazy Horse have been waiting for an official chance to hear Crazy Horse live with original leader Danny Whitten, the insanely talented guitarist who died of a heroin overdose in late 1972, inspiring
Tonight's the Night. Tuned-in fans have been awaiting this very set for at least a dozen years, as it was originally to be tacked onto the end of a Decade-style triple CD of outtakes. Thankfully, this well-recorded live set from the infamous Fillmore East was well worth the wait. Here are scorching, extended takes of "Down by the River," "Winterlong," and "Cowgirl in the Sand," each propelled by guitar interplay so delightful you have to keep rewinding to hear it again. In fact, bits of it seem to prefigure the ways that Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine would feed off each other in the band Television, only with less of a sweet edge. But the world doesn't need any more arguments that Young was a proto-punk; what the world does need is at least a dozen more releases from Neil's archives! And hopefully, with this awesome live album, the floodgates have truly been opened and there are many more to come, in the vein of Dylan's Bootleg series. This disc is worth it alone for the version of "Wondering," a tune not officially recorded until many years later in Neil's weird '80s rockabilly phase. --Mike McGonigal