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Monday, August 05, 2013

Next Release: Neil Young Live At Cellar Door 1970, 'Performance Archive Series'

The Cellar Door (original w/ hinges)
Winnipeg, Canada

via Joey Gregorash Collection
(Click photo to enlarge)

For some time now, we've been hearing rumors that the next Neil Young release will be Live At Cellar Door 1970 from the Performance Archive Series.

As we discussed last night on Thrasher's Wheat Radio on, a listing for the release has appeared and disappeared on Amazon listings over the last month with a vinyl version currently listed on Germany's Amazon - Cellar Door [Vinyl LP] as a pre-order.

According to Sugar Mountain - Neil Young Set Lists, there were 6 shows at The Cellar Door, Washington, D.C. on 30th November, 1, 2 Dec. 1970 with an early and late show each day.

From a Oct. 2009 interview with Guitar World magazine:
Guitar World: So how many Archives sets are we looking at?

Neil Young: Maybe four, maybe five. It depends on how much cutting and paring down we do, and how much we get into using BD-Live, which is a really remarkable thing. It's tremendous. It's remarkable because we really only saw that aspect of it for the first time six or seven months ago....One thing that we figured out is that we're going to be able to do progressive download updates. So for instance, around 1970 I played a show at the Cellar Door club in Washington, D.C. That show was taped, but we don't have enough great takes to release it as its own disk.

Instead, I'll probably make the songs available as downloadable updates to Archives. We'll drop them onto the timeline one at a time... One thing I'll tell you about the next volume of Archives is that Time Fades Away II is in there. And it's interesting because the whole thing has a different drummer than what was on that album. I switched drummers halfway through the tour- Kenny Buttrey was in there for the first half, and Johnny Barbata came in for the second. It's a completely different thing, with completely different songs. So that's interesting. There's lots of stuff like that that I'm working on right now for the second volume.

Track list for Live At Cellar Door 1970:

1. On The Way Home
2. Tell Me Why
3. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
4. Old Man
5. Down By The River
6. After The Gold Rush
7. Expecting To Fly
8. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
9. Bad Fog Of Loneliness
10.See The Sky About To Rain

The release is tentatively set by Warner Reprise on September 6 2013.

Note that "See the Sky About to Rain" on Archives Vol. 1 Disc 6 is an edit of Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 shows.

From Steve Hoffman Forums:
All the 6 shows(30th November,1,2 Dec.1970) were recorded by Henry Lewy for a planned double album combined with the electric songs at the Fillmore East. The Cellar Door were 8-track recordings. It's likely that some multitracks from these concerts still survive . Most of the original reels from these shows were shown at The Visit To The Archives(2000, Some of the master logs are also listed in the Archives Book. The Neil Young Archives have all the 2 tracks from these shows. Sugar Mountain by Tom Hambleton takes his information from the Ghost on The Road(Pete Long), which sources are provided by Joel Bernstein. Neil promised the release of this record in Waging Heavy Peace, so this is really a great news.
Obviously, there's a lot going on with "The Cellar Door".

"The Cellar" was a Winnipeg club that Neil Young & The Squires once played.

The song "The Needle and the Damage Done" has the lyrics "knocking on my cellar door" line.

A very young Nils Lofgren talked his way backstage and introduced himself to Neil Young at Cellar Door club in Washington, D.C.

More interestingly, cellar door is a combination of words in the English language once characterized by J. R. R. Tolkien to have an especially beautiful sound. In his 1955 essay "English and Welsh", commenting on his affection towards the Welsh language, Tolkien wrote:
"Most English-speaking people...will admit that cellar door is 'beautiful', especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant."
Tolkien's discourse is the most likely origin of this concept and the only documented one. Nonetheless, this phrase has been subject to a legendary degree of misattribution. In common circulation, this pronouncement is commonly attributed to "a famous linguist". [1] It has also been mistakenly attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, Dorothy Parker[2], and Robert Frost although no such texts have surfaced. The most detailed account alludes to a survey, possibly conducted around the 1940s, probing the word in the English language generally thought to be the most beautiful. Contributing to this survey, American writer H. L. Mencken supposedly claimed that a Chinese student, who knew little or no English, especially liked the phrase cellar door — not for what it meant, but rather for how it sounded. Some accounts describe the immigrant as Italian rather than Chinese. Another account suggests that it is a mispronunciation of the French words C'est de l'or, which can be translated as "It is gold".

Tolkien also once used the phrase to illustrate a point about his writing process during an interview:

"Supposing you say some quite ordinary words to me - 'cellar door', say. From that, I might think of a name, 'Cellardoor', and from that a character, a situation begins to grow."[3]
I caught ya knockin' at my cellar door...



At 8/05/2013 08:27:00 AM, Anonymous Darrel said...

Shouldn't this be downloadable content for Archives Vol. 1 since it was recorded in 1970?

At 8/05/2013 09:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Archives Guy on Facebook, July 5: "Well.. this IS one of the many projects we are working on. To commit to a release date wouldn't be prudent at this point."

2) That same person you quoted from Hoffman Forums later posted there: "In Waging Heavy Peace Neil wrote that he listened to a tape recorded by Henry Lewy, when he was hospitalized at Cedar-Siani Medical Center, Los Angeles for his back problems on December 1970. Maybe Neil was a bit confused in his recollections. The late Henry Lewy was a a famous engineer based in California and effectively he recorded the Harvest Needle and The Damage Done at the Royce Hall, UCLA, on 30 January 1971. From the lines of this song, maybe the association with the Cellar Door concerts. Anyway, in the precise and detailed Archives Book, Henry Lewy isn't credited for the recording of the Cellar Door and Carnegie Hall concerts (December 1970)."

3) What does The Cellar in Winnipeg, much less Time Fades Away II, have to do with this release, anyway?

At 8/05/2013 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BD-Live was the only real advantage of the blu-ray Archives (24/192 audio was an admittedly-effective placebo), and even that has been used very 'stingily'.

What happened to this release being a BD-Live download? Come on Neil - it's almost as if you want fans to download your music illegally!

At 8/05/2013 09:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Perhaps it will still be a BD-Live download, but also released seperately for those without blu-rays? Personally I doubt it, but that's a possibility I guess?

The Flying Scotsman

At 8/05/2013 10:00:00 AM, Blogger wardo said...

So this would be NYA-PS 2.5? 00?

At 8/05/2013 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like nobody is developing bd live technology anymore, because from what I can see it seems that all new movie releases on blu ray from Hollywood majors doesn't include blu ray feature, probably because of lack of interest for it from the general public. So it seems unlikely that Neil Young Archives will be the only project still using bd live (by the way, we are not receiving new downlodas from a very long time). I hope that Archives Guy will be allowed to speak a few words about it on this blog

At 8/05/2013 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What i meant to say was:
"all new releases on blu ray... doesn't include BD live feature"

At 8/05/2013 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/05/2013 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archives Guy had the following to say on the subject of hi-res audio: "I've been doing some tests lately where I take a 24/192 track and play it over a "Mastered For iTunes" AAC track and extract the "difference"/the part that has been removed with lossy compression. Believe me, ya don't need to be a golden ear or look at a bunch of smoke and mirrors charts to understand that".

This seemed strange to me, so I did some research, asked some professionals who know what they are talking about.

The consensus was that the aforementioned tests are (to summize using one phrase that was used), bullsh*t.

At 8/05/2013 02:36:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

Thrasher's Wheat lends a dose of legitimacy to rumors. I was wondering when Cellar Door would be mentioned here. Is "Performance Archive Series" a new series different and distinct from the "NYAPS"? Has it been confirmed as such by Archives Guy along with the tracklisting and release date? Is this a scoop Thrasher or just a summary of the rumors out there? More than anything else, I am wondering what Series and number the disk will be. Because I seem to care about the really important stuff :-) !!!

At 8/05/2013 05:09:00 PM, Blogger kahunasunset said...

Nothing "official" just rumours, although we know this is coming we just don't know when.
Neil is yet to release any album this year so far, so we expect an announcement of something soon.
Could certainly be an archive series release or Live Alchemy.
OT but is anyone expecting Archives 2 next year with Pono?

At 8/05/2013 05:18:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ 12:12:00 PM - might be more helpful to provide some specifics?

@LRR - not a scoop, just a rumor summary with the German Amazon link. :)

Don't ever change! Stay focused on the important stuff. ;)

@ kahunasunset - yes

At 8/05/2013 06:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: 24/192, I would ask to hear the details of this test, but doing so would be a waste of time resulting in yet another cock-and-bull story. There is no test that allows you to 'cut out' the audio in 24/192 that is missing from mp3 and actually be able to hear that in isolation.

In this sense, Archives Guy either does not know what he is doing, or he is a liar.

When a product is marketed to us at significant price, and ultimately it does not deliver on any of it's key selling points: that seems to me to qualify as 'important stuff', too.

I have been fully convinced, however, that Neil himself has the best of intentions. He personally is not misleading us, and his enthusiasm for audio quality is obviously genuine. Perhaps he needs to replace some of his staff with people who are neither incompetent, nor liars. Progress will then surely accelerate. Some of us many even live to hear Archives Volume 2.

At 8/05/2013 06:23:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What the shit is going on. Back in '07 I started buying the Archive series only for them to be included again in Archives volume 1. It was promised that with BD live we would be able to get a bunch of downloads but we got almost nothing. Now four years later we may get Cellar Door '70 which is redundant. Most of those cuts were on the Massey Hall,Riverboat,and Sugar Mountain albums and there is no way I'll pay again for more of the same. If it was for post '72 live recordings I would get it in a heartbeat. But to spend more money on the same songs (recorded at a different venue within a 3 year period) is utterly ridiculous especially since this same Cellar door performance was promised on BD Live. I can't believe in Neil Young anymore .

At 8/05/2013 06:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole thing has been, classic, textbook marketing stuff....squeeze as much money out of people as possible.

But that doesn't come from Neil, it's management who are really responsible for all that. Ultimately, Neil is responsible for the music: and in that respect (and perhaps that respect alone), Archives vol. 1 delivers.

At 8/06/2013 12:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with Anonymous 06:34:00 PM. Although I am as cynical about marketing and management as the next guy, I believe that the push for the release of Cellar Door is coming from Neil. I think Neil has total control over all such things.

At 8/06/2013 05:20:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

Neil promised the release of the Cellar Door recordings in Waging Heavy Peace. I don't know where is "the marketing stuff"? Greateful Dead release the same material over and over. Sometimes 70 discs from the same tour. I don't read complaints there. Fans interested buy the product, the others not. Buying it's not mandatory.
In few years, we'll have a lot of releases from different periods, Neil isn't going to perform forever.

So Tired.

At 8/06/2013 05:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea - "Where is the marketing stuff"?

Releasing the performance series in advance, then rereleasing the same discs in the box set...(we don't need/want them twice; we all bought them twice!)...

....heavily promoting BD-Live, then barely using it....

....making "hi-res" sound the key feature of the Archives, which in fact sounds the same as CD (does anyone actually doubt this anymore? If so, do a 'blind test').

Selling us the same sound for a hefty price increase, essentially. And we are mostly happy to go along with it! Is that not shrewd marketing?

Releasing the box set in 3 make the CD option seem less appealing compared to the others.....but it's the same. And again, people will buy the same music twice (or 3 or 4 times). Classic marketing.

Not a criticism, you understand; that's their job, and they are admirably good at it! It's hard work selling music in the 21st century. Easier to sell the same thing multiple times to less people.

At 8/06/2013 06:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I too am not excited about this at all. it will equate to about 35 minutes worth of music. Nothing particularly new. The vinyl will be priced at 1/3 more than other LP's (which are also pressed on 180/200 gram virgin vinyl). Okay we do not have to buy it on vinyl but I would prefer NY to be more considerate of his fans economic commitment to his art. Lets not blame the greedy hand record companies, NY and his team have full control over the supply/demand chain.
I personally feel the Massey Hall release captured NY circa 1970 at his pure brilliance. I would prefer something more 'off the wall'...Toast, Ducks, Weld Blu Ray remastered and reconsidered (Neil always said he was unhappy with the CD version of Weld, or a sneak preview of the next phase, Post 71 e.g. the first version of the Tonight's the Night album.

Being one of those people who totally overhauled his music system by buying a blu ray with internet connectivity, a receiver to bypass the tv speakers and some 2.1 speakers to experience the Archives I too feel a bit let down we have not had what we thought we were going to get.

Final point, I am looking more forward to Dylan's Self Portrait 2 release. I think that will be a total gem.

At 8/06/2013 08:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one solo acoustic release from that period that wouldn't be redundant... Canterbury House II from October '69. Now that's a setlist. I do wish the Archives team would put a little more importance on putting out songs in different versions(that we haven't heard). Like an acoustic EKTIN with an extra verse? Now that sounds like the kinda thing that would make the hard core fans jazz.


At 8/06/2013 08:47:00 AM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

I agree with Syscrusher on some points. I can't understand because Canterbury House II hasn't been released with the wonderful acoustic Everbody's Alone. I think that it should be a good thing to release more "alternate" versions from different sessions, maybe with different musicians.

So Tired.

At 8/06/2013 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand what the Anonymous posters are talking about when they say that the CD Archives sounds the same as high definition Blu-Ray audio.

It sounds to me like you either :

1) Bought a cheap low quality stereo system


2) You haven't correctly hooked up all of your components & aren't listening in full 24/192

Any of Neil's music that has been released in 24/192 audio is FANTASTIC to me and completely blows away a standard cd. Hell the DVD audio of Harvest that I have (the one with Neil being interviewed while lying in a field drinking a Coors) just might be the cleanest re-mix I've ever heard. It's like I'm in the room with the Stray Gators in 1971...

At 8/06/2013 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every Neil Young performance officially released is a Neil Young only decision in the end, I don't think the Archives team has any word about it. They do their (great) job on every other aspect except artistic choice which, as always, belongs to Neil and Neil only. We have to remember that we waited 37 years to listen to Massey Hall, despite David Briggs suggestion, and David Briggs was one of the very few people that Neil took in high consideration as for artistic suggestions.

At 8/06/2013 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way - DTS 5.1 is my favorite way to listen to high resolution audio...nothing compares to it in my THC induced opinion...

At 8/06/2013 11:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it seems like Archives Guy cannot speak in this topic, because at this stage we are talking about a release just tentatively and not officially scheduled, and he is probably not allowed to talk about the future of BD live downloads.
In my opinion I think that having Cellar Door on cd means the death of Bd live downloads R.I.P.
Am I disappointed by that?
Of course I am
Will I continue to buy everything Neil decide to put out and travelling around the globe to go see him live?
Of course I will

At 8/06/2013 01:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi-res audio is just a placebo.

A blind test will very quickly confirm this for you - you don't have to trust me. You can find instructions on how to set up such a test in a fair way on the web.

At 8/07/2013 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hi-res audio is just a placebo"

ok hi definition television a placebo as well?

What about high-grade medical marijuana? Is that a placebo?

Is drinking alcohol a placebo for water or other non-alcoholic liquids?

Come on...

At 8/07/2013 04:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunno what you're telling me to "come on" for...just try the blind test! Simple - if you're not too scared that is! :-b

All the many people who have done blind tests are feeling embarrassed for short, the emperor is not wearing any clothes. .

At 9/19/2013 08:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, does anyone know what happened to the expected early September release of Cellar Door?

At 10/21/2013 01:14:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

I was right -- it's 2.5!

Neil Young will release Live At The Cellar Door, the latest in his Archives Performance Series, on November 26th on Reprise Records. The album collects recordings made during Young's intimate six-show solo stand at The Cellar Door in Washington D.C. between November 30th and December 2nd, 1970, a few months after Reprise released his classic third solo album After The Gold Rush in August.

The album, which features Young performing on acoustic guitar and piano, includes tracks that are interesting for several reasons, such as stunning live versions of songs that appeared on After The Gold Rush ("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 the Buffalo Springfield songs "Expecting To Fly" (from their 1967 second album Buffalo Springfield Again), "I Am A Child" (from their third and final album Last Time Around and Young's 1977 Decade compilation), and "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong," from their 1966 self-titled debut.

In addition, Live At The Cellar Door features early, raw performances of songs that wouldn't appear until subsequent Young albums, including the rarity "Bad Fog Of Loneliness" (which appears on Live At Massey Hall '71 - released in 2007-but was previously unreleased until the studio band version was included on Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972), "Old Man" (released two years later on 1972's Harvest album), a rare solo performance of "Cinnamon Girl" on piano (the full band version appears on Young's 1969 second solo album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere), and "Down By The River," also from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

Live At The Cellar Door was recorded by Henry Lewy and produced by Young.

As with Young's previous releases in the Archives series, Live At The Cellar Door will be released digitally, on CD, and on 180-gram vinyl (mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Pallas in Germany).

The track-listing for Live At The Cellar Door is as follows:

Side One:
Tell Me Why
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
After The Gold Rush
Expecting To Fly
Bad Fog Of Loneliness
Old Man

Side One:
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
See The Sky About To Rain
Cinnamon Girl
I Am A Child
Down By The River
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong

At 10/21/2013 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous LRR said...

Yes. It will be released on November 26th with a different tracklisting:

Tell Me Why
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
After The Gold Rush
Expecting To Fly
Bad Fog Of Loneliness
Old Man
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
See The Sky About To Rain
Cinnamon Girl (Piano)
I Am A Child
Down By The River
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong


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