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As someone who has salivated for these "archives" for twenty years or so now, personally I'm still waiting for something truly new.

Music Review: Neil Young Archives Series: Live at Massey Hall

So I've got to be honest and say that at this point I am a little underwhelmed by this.

Don't get me wrong here. I am as big a Neil Young fan as you will find anywhere. And I am as happy as a clam in shit to see the so-called "Archives Series" finally coming somewhat to light.

I guess the problem is, that I just expected more.

When last years Live At The Fillmore East 1970 deal with Crazy Horse came out, I was hoping for some truly radical, never before seen DVD footage. When I didn't get that, I was more than happy to settle for the amazing live versions (and they really are amazing) of "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Down By The River" on that CD.

But you've just got to understand something here. As pretty much a life long Neil Young fan, I've been waiting for these "Archives" tapes to finally surface for something like twenty five years. So now, here they finally are. And what is really new? You tell me.

The story here is Neil did an acoustic show at Massey Hall in Toronto in 1970, debuting much of the material that would eventually show up on Harvest. The set that night was so good that Neil's producer implored him to put out this concert, rather than the album which eventually became Harvest.

The thing is Neil did eventually put out the absolutely classic album Harvest. True enough, many of the songs heard here from that album were played for the very first time. Equally true is the fact that they sound damned good here. As do the acoustic versions of songs like "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Down By The River".

This is a great Neil Young show. No doubt about it.

But as someone who has salivated for these "archives" for the twenty years or so they have been rumored, personally I'm still waiting for something new.

This is without a doubt an awesome Neil Young acoustic show. I'm just not entirely sure that the twenty something year wait for stuff like this lives entirely up to the hype. Hopefully, the really good shit is yet to come in the form of the Big box coming this fall.

Do ya hear me Neil?

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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