Neil Young’s vaunted album After the Gold Rush celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. To honor the occasion, Reprise Records will issue a special re-release of the LP, which may include archival concert footage from the era.
News of the anniversary edition came via a post on the Neil Young Archives website. In the message, Young discussed the concert film titled Young Shakespeare.
“The earliest known film of any of my performances, Young Shakespeare was recorded and filmed in January 1971 at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford Connecticut,” the rocker explained. Some visuals from the Shakespeare concert were previously used alongside audio from Young’s famous Massey Hall performance, which had taken place three days prior but was not filmed.
Though fans have long regarded the Massey Hall concert — which was widely bootlegged before officially being released in 2007 — as the ultimate After the Gold Rush era performance, Young believes Young Shakespeare is actually the stronger piece. “As we listen and compare, [producer] John Hanlon and I both feel Shakespeare is superior to our beloved Massey Hall,” the legendary musician confessed. “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 live album/film track list can be found below.
Though the rocker is clearly excited about Young Shakespeare, he admitted that a final decision on whether to pair it with the 50th anniversary edition of After the Gold Rush has yet to be made. The LP officially turns 50 in September.
After initially suggesting that he wouldn’t be touring in 2020, Young recently hinted at a Crazy Horse “barn tour.” Though exact details have not been revealed, the rocker noted he’d decided to “play the old arenas,” rather than modern venues. According to Young, fans can expect further information on these performances “pretty soon.”
Neil Young, ‘Young Shakespeare’ Track List
“Tell Me Why”
“The Needle and the Damage Done”
“Cowgirl in the Sand”
“A Man Needs a Maid”
“Heart of Gold”
“Dance Dance Dance”
“Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
“Down by the River”