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Monday, November 13, 2006

Reviews of Live At The Fillmore East


Neil Young - Fillmore East, 3-6-70
photo by Joel Bernstein

From Ultimate Guitar :
Live At The Fillmore East has been the subject of devotion among Neil Young followers since the shows themselves in 1970, when Young and Whitten’s dueling guitars were credited as one of the best match-ups in rock history. As heard on these six songs from those concerts, they perfectly illustrate exactly why. Joined by producer-arranger legend Jack Nitzsche on electric piano, a sometimes member of Crazy Horse, the Fillmore East shows are a landmark in Young’s unequaled musical career.

From The Independent:
The two keystones, accordingly, are versions of "Down by the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" stretching to 12 and 16 minutes respectively, characteristically questing bouts of tectonic guitar extemporisation hewn into jagged emotional blocks by Young's tense, stabbing lead lines. The show offers a thrilling affirmation of the synergy between band and leader: rarely before have the contradictions of the Crazy Horse style - the tight but loose playing, and the tough fragility of the sound - been captured with such freshness.

From San Jose MetroActive by David Sason:
"His best live release yet boasts a blistering 16-minute rendition of 'Cowgirl in the Sand,' featuring the dueling guitars of Danny Whitten and Young, whose corrosive, freeform soloing was decades ahead of its time."

From LA Daily News by Fred Shuster:
"Whitten, the best guitarist Young ever played with, almost steals the show again on an epic 16-minute 'Cowgirl in the Sand,' where his concise guitar lines in tandem with Young's, urged along by fellow Horsemen (pianist Jack Nitzsche, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina), reveal a great, loose band at the peak of its powers." by Jed Gottlieb:
"His two separate three-minute solos on ”Down by the River” are striking, but the knotted, unyielding guitar blasts that dominate ”Cowgirl in the Sand” reconfirm that everyone from Pearl Jam to Sonic Youth to Dinosaur Jr. discovered discord through Young."

From Bradenton Herald by WADE TATANGELO:
"The opening chords of 'Down By the River' immediately warrant a round of applause as Young and company ease their way into one of his greatest musical statements. 'Down By the River' opens like a pop song: 'She could drag me over the rainbow,' Young sings, his voice slipping tenderly while his bandmates harmonize with him. Then, suddenly, we get a line that sounds borrowed from a Delta blues ballad: 'Down by the river, I shot my baby.' And with that confession comes one blood-and-tear stained solo after another with Young and Whitten bobbing and weaving like men possessed."

From The World Wide Glen: Welcome to My Thoughtmare:
"For it's own part, 'Cowgirl' goes nearly fifteen minutes, building the tension steadily throughout before climaxing in crescendo upon crescendo of cacophonous sound. Towards the end there is so much going on, Neil's screaming guitar occasionally gets lost in the mix. As Whitten and Jack Nitzsche admirably try to keep pace throughout on guitar and electric piano respectively, Neil goes off into one of those trance places near the end. The end result is just nothing short of magnificent noise."

From the unbiased haahnster's hallucinations: Just Buy The Damned Thing!!!:
"This EASILY is some of the most blistering electric guitar work in the history of recorded music!!!"

From by Mike McGonigal:
"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."

From The New York Times :
It is blaring, primitive and in parts very, very good. Despite the slobby phrasing, the obdurate needling quality of Mr. Young’s straight eighth notes and the weird effect of a casual delivery at high volume, this music has a serene and direct purpose. The real action is in the long songs — a 12-minute “Down By the River,” in particular, and a 14-minute “Cowgirl in the Sand” — in which the band works within the dimensions of its gigantic, rolling, spacious sound. The record is a blast, but it’s also possibly the first stage in an entirely new way of understanding what Neil Young has done with his life.

Now in the Top 10 on Amazon Best Sellers Listing last we checked.

More on The Archives: Live at the Fillmore East and a history of the long awaited Archives Project [search].


At 11/14/2006 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picked up a copy today and after one listen sounds like it's been worth the wait. Bring on the next installment!

At 11/14/2006 06:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got this today for a birthday present and very very happy! I got the CD/DVD version and it was worth it. It's nice to see the pictures from the concert and the DVD has lots of other features and biographies on the artists! Best versions of Down By The River and Cowgirl that I ever heard. Well worth the price!

At 11/14/2006 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just got mine and boy is it ever good...not very long...but..worth the 21$ i paid for it

no dvd though?

anyway...i've got a question about the cover...if you look at the top left says

Neil Young Archives
Performance series
Disc 02"

why would it say "Disc 02"?what's the first one?i was just wondering what's up with that

hope someone can clear it up for me

At 11/14/2006 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: Do you guys know the status of the Cd/Dvd version of Fillmore East? I'm up here in Canada and was hoping for it today, but it's nowhere to be found.

At 11/14/2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Best Buy to buy my CD/DVD version and they only had one left...they had only a couple CDs left and I got the last CD/DVD. I think Fillmore East is selling well. There should probably be more sometime soon.

Oh yeah...and there's some cool home video footage of Neil looking through pictures and such. It lasts about 11 minutes long and can be found in the Set Up section under the tone test or whatever. Look for the Shakey Pictures logo.

Hope that helped anyone.

At 11/15/2006 01:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just picked up the DVD version of the Fillmore disc and it's well worth the extra cash! I won't reveal everything on the DVD, so as not to spoil it for those who want a surprise, but the photos of the show and Fillmore period memorobilia are great (including a Fillmore seating chart - I had no idea the place was so big!), and the full-length video of Neil pouring over the photos is really fascinating. is streaming a clip of it, but the DVD contains a 10+ minute cut. He even discusses a live album he wanted to release at the time comprising the Fillmore and Cellar Door shows from this period!! It may not be the full show, but the incredible sound quality and the DVD extras more than make up for it. I was skeptical at first, but this volume is truly, truly awesome.

At 11/15/2006 04:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fillmore DVD contains the archives Video???? How did I miss that? I saw there was a link to a file cabinet but I never figured out what was supposed to really be there other than the website link.

any easter eggs?

At 11/16/2006 05:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More is coming, from

Next in the archival series will be another single-disc live recording, again from the early ’70s, due in early 2007. It will be followed (in the fall) by the first of several box sets, an eight-disc compilation covering 1963 to 1971, made up of all kinds of tracks — released, unreleased and live.

At 12/05/2006 05:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't seem to find the 10 min video/home footage on the DVD you guys are talking about. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

At 1/06/2007 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff neil, cant wait to hear more from the archives, especially a really long acoustic set perhaps?? One question though, whats the song at the end after cowgirl in the sand? it just seems to be some recording playing in the background as the crowd are leaving. Anyone got any clues?

At 1/07/2007 07:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The song at the end of "Cowgirl" as the crowd is filing out is "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor.


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