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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"Young Shakespeare" Album by Neil Young - Preview Track + Video: "Tell Me Why"

"Young Shakespeare" Album by Neil Young


A preview track and video for "Tell Me Why" from the upcoming "Young Shakespeare" album by Neil Young  is now available on NYA.

As noted here in 2020, Neil Young discussed the unreleased album and film titled "Young Shakespeare" from January 1971 at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut as "the earliest known film of any of my performances."


Via press release:

Just two months after the release of his seminal After the Gold Rush, Neil Young sat down for a performance at The Shakespeare Theater on January 22, 1971. The Stratford, CT show captures the artist stripped down to the bare essentials—acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica.

The concert was recorded for presentation on German TV later that year but was not publicly available until now. The original 50 year-old analog tapes have been lovingly restored, making available early acoustic recordings of two After the Gold Rush songs, early Harvest tunes, and beloved favorites such as “Ohio,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” “Helpless,” “Down by the River,” and “Sugar Mountain.”

Young wrote on NYA that Young Shakespeare is, “a more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall, captured live on 16mm. Young Shakespeare is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever…one of the most pure-sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive.”

Young Shakespeare Deluxe (CD, LP & DVD) 

Previously Neil tantalizingly teased that maybe he would pair "Young Shakespeare" with the 50th Anniversary release of "After The Goldrush" in 2020 as a double record.

That window has come and gone and it now appears that both albums are on the NYA Timeline as separate albums for 2021.  

RELEASE DATE: March 26th with pre-orders for the album and film on LP, CD, DVD, and Deluxe Box Set beginning on Friday, 2/12.

Neil Young Concert Ticket Stub
1971-01-22, Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, Connecticut, USA

via Sugar Mountain

"Young Shakespeare" tracklist:

Tell me why
Old man
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
Sugar Mountain

Neil Young - Tell Me Why (live) - Young Shakespeare (Official Music Video)

More on "Young Shakespeare" album by Neil Young.

Young Shakespeare
Times Contrarian | NYA

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At 2/10/2021 06:19:00 PM, Blogger GmbArb said...

I am finding the audio but no video for this track preview.

At 2/10/2021 09:49:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

The video is available on the desktop version. It’s a great clip, although the video seems badly compressed and blocky on playback. Looking forward to the album’s release next month; it just might be the definitive performance of all the live records documenting this period!

At 2/10/2021 11:07:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

The new album cover for it is remarkably similar to the one for the Rust Bucket CD. A look at the box set for that one shows different art for each - CD, LPs, and DVD, with a separate design for the box itself. Maybe Young Shakespeare will be the same deal. We already see three different covers for it on NYA, and the one at the top of your post has got to be a DVD, by the shape of it.

It’s quite a thrill that these two records are coming out so close together, with such a resemblance in the artwork. They can each persuasively be viewed as the Holy Grail document of the eras they represent. I mean, we haven’t heard the whole Young Shakespeare album, but Neil at least says it’s the best one.

At 2/11/2021 07:42:00 AM, Blogger GmbArb said...

Tomatron,Thanks for replying the video for Tell Me Why can be viewed on a desktop. I was using my cellphone.

At 2/11/2021 08:44:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

I'll watch the pricing for the Deluxe version with great interest. Given the Rustbucket price, expecting this to be under to £50 in the UK.

At 2/11/2021 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Several months ago Neil previewed several videos from Young Shakespeare and his performances were outstanding. I’m very excited about this release, and equally for Rust Bucket too. Two completely different periods in a long and a lustrous journey through the past. Both capturing Neil at the height of his powers. Also real excited to hear that first show at Carnegie Hall from the bootleg series.

Peace 🙏

At 2/11/2021 07:19:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Glad to help, GmbArb! The desktop version has tons of videos on the song file cards we can’t get to through our phones.

At 2/12/2021 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

The de luxe edition and other tangibles of Young Shakespeare can be pre-ordered now. Just in case you are awake already and don't want to miss out on this one. NYA 2 and the de luxe Rust Bucket sold rather fast...

At 2/12/2021 11:26:00 AM, Blogger tomatron said...

Reasonably priced LP! Individually sold DVD! Fancy lithograph also available!

At 2/12/2021 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/12/2021 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I didn’t read anything on the description at Greedy Hand that this was limited or exclusive to the Hand. Anyone here who may know different, I would appreciate that information.

Peace 🙏

At 2/12/2021 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Andrew Byrom said...

Any idea of the tracklisting of the DVD. Seem to remember reading years ago that the Dutch film was 38 minutes long?

At 2/12/2021 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

All three versions of Young Shakespeare are now listed on Amazon although not available to preorder yet, so I’ll be ordering the deluxe edition from my local record store.

Peace 🙏

At 2/12/2021 01:19:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

There is only one track listing on the Greedy Hand, so I’m assuming that the DVD is the same as the CD and LP.

Peace 🙏

At 2/12/2021 03:43:00 PM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...


From the NYA email:

This beautiful concert is being released on LP, DVD and CD, plus a numbered deluxe boxed edition that includes all 3 formats – LP, CD and DVD.

At 2/12/2021 06:32:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The deluxe edition is now available for preorder from Amazon. So I’ll order through my local record store.

Peace 🙏

At 2/12/2021 07:08:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

So, if you buy the LP, CD and DVD you spend $63.95. If you buy the deluxe, you get the same thing with a big fat LP sized inch thick box for $69.98. So the box costs $6.03. I always thought the marketing was that when you bought a bundle you get a bit of a break on price, right? Not the opposite. Hey, at least the it's down from $99.98 like the single LP of After the Gold Rush and Greendale, and you can get all the items separately (and even cheaper than the deluxe bundle). But it seems that appropriately it should be at $59.98 for the complete set, and not $69.98. I love all this new Neil, believe me I do, but it is getting real expensive to keep up.

At 2/12/2021 07:12:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

I wish there was an edit function for the comments to correct typos missed when published originally......

At 2/13/2021 03:55:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

In Germany and other European countries the record stores are shut down due to the pandemic. So if you want to buy the De Luxe edition you will have to go through online order procedures. With the problems around Warner's European store, and not to speak of the store in that other country, and my rather strict boycott of Amazon because of their known disrespect for employee's rights I ordered through the US Greedy Hand and will pay custom fees of course. I know that this Young Shakespeare is not a GH exclusive. But with the current situation here it is not likely that record stores are ordering stock and / or will be provided with stock. By the time they will re-open(maybe at the end of March or April?), it will be difficult to buy or order a copy with a German record store. Many of these store might be going down the drain anyway if they do not have a solid online-customer base. Naturally, I would got through local record stores anytime, if I had a chance.

At 2/13/2021 03:57:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

I second Aer Stephens recent call for an edit function. I do make mistakes, but not that many, if I had the chance to correct them.

At 2/13/2021 06:16:00 AM, Blogger Phil said...

We are really lucky. How many more gems will we receive in 2021?
Way Down in February, Shakespeare in March and in a LTE today, NY announces Alchemy for October 29, 2021.
Lots of interesting information this week in LTE: Johnny's Island finished with 7 unreleased tracks + the 3 Trans acoustic, Ragged Glory extended would have 4 more tracks, etc....

At 2/13/2021 10:40:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Phil : Not to forget 6 bootlegs all being released at once sometime this year, and Eldorado on vinyl for the first time. Plus several film projects alluded to for 2021. That’s potentially at least 14 new releases this year,,,,....... a Neil Young avalanche causing unprecedented damage to every bank account or credit card for every NY fan...... talk about climate change!!!!!

God bless him.

Peace 🙏

At 2/13/2021 11:15:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Aer & Dionys - sorry about the lack of comment edit feature.

The blogging platform is going on 20 years of age here @ TW.

After TW 2.0 & 3.0 we sort of vowed never again after the experiences. We again re-considered an update a few years ago but could never allocate the time to focus. (It's like 100's of hours of work).

But after seeing everything that's been going down of late, it all seems to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. It's sort of like having an analog system system when an electronic blitz hits. We'll just leave that there ...

@ Phil - yes, we are lucky. just posted @

@ Dan - good points, which our post misses except for noting Eldorado.


At 2/13/2021 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Devin said...

Can someone explain how different this might be from Massey Hall and Cellar Door? (And even Songs for Judy..)

Feels like it's just the same tunes again. Really finding it hard to justify buying new vinyl all the time... who am I kidding though I'll probably end up getting it at my local store.

Rust Bucket at least feels like an era we don't have a ton of vinyl releases from recently.

Anyway, I'm just glad he's releasing stuff. Still waiting for Toast though...

At 2/14/2021 12:29:00 AM, Blogger tomatron said...

It’s an era that is well covered by live album releases. It seems like the biggest difference is in the more relaxed performance, Neil is simply singing better on that night. And the film is a big deal because it’s so early in his career, and this was the film they used for the Massey Hall DVD 12 years ago. Now the film has the proper audio and can be seen as a full performance. There’s a whole lot of footage right here:

At 2/14/2021 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Neil has said that Massey Hall was very emotional for him, but he believes his performance at Shakespeare was simply a much better one. Just like the bootleg of his late show @ Carnegie Hall wasn’t the better performance, which is why he’s releasing the early show in its place. As much as I love Massy Hall, the performances that have been played on the Hearse Theatre a few months back, and the ones he’s previewing for us now from Shakespeare, are simply extraordinary. Neil is only going to release the shows he’s most proud of, and no one knows what those shows are better than Neil.

As far as the deluxe edition of Shakespeare being individually numbered. Those will most likely be sold through the Greedy Hand. I bought all three of the official release box sets but only the third one from the local record store. Even though the sticker said limited /numbered edition, there was no number on the box or the record covers. The first two I bought directly through the Warner website and they had numbers both on the box and the same numbers on each album cover. I have stopped buying my music through Amazon and want to help support my local record store, so I’m sure there’s won’t be numbered.

But as Neil himself has said: ”Numbers add up to nothin’ “.

Peace 🙏

At 2/15/2021 01:21:00 AM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

@ Dan Swan
Where does it say anything about this being limited, or numbered?
No deluxe edition I have ever bought from greedy hand has ever been numbered, and the only one that said limited, really didn't end up being. But please, where are you getting limited and/or numbered information?

At 2/15/2021 06:57:00 AM, Blogger Mister Henry said...

So many great performances on that stage. Forty years ago this Summer, I saw James Earl Jones play Othello with the late, great Christopher Plummer as Iago. Magical, astounding artists at the peak of their craft.

At 2/15/2021 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Are Stephen. : The three Official Release Series on “vinyl” Box Sets where promoted as numbered and limited. My first one Discs 1-4 is number 153 on the actual box, with the same number embossed on the back of each album cover. The second box Discs 5-8 is numbered 219 with the same number embossed on the back of each album cover. These first two were ordered directly through the Warner website . The third one was released on RSD in 2016, which I bought from my local record store. This third box containing Discs 8.5 - 12. I saved the silver sticker that was on the outer plastic wrap that reads:

The Neil Young Official
Release Series Volume 3

Numbered Limited Edition
Box Set Includes

Long May You Run
American Stars N’ Bars
Comes A Time
Rust Never Sleeps
Live Rust

Remastered from the original
Analog recordings at
Bernie Grundman mastering

Historically accurate artwork
Reproduced by Neil Young’s long
Time art director Gary Burden

Reissued on 180 gram audiophile
Vinyl for the first time

Because Sound Matters

Even though the sticker says limited/ numbered, mine wasn’t. But I did read at the time that the ones ordered through the Warner website were. I hope that explains it for you.

Peace peace 🙏

At 2/15/2021 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

@ Dna Swan : Ahhhhh. Thank you for the clarification. As we were talking about Young Shakespeare in conjunction with the numeber/limited classification, I thought you were speaking of the official release box sets like Young Shakespeare Deluxe - Return to Greendale Deluxe Edition, After The Gold Rush 50th Anniversary Edition Vinyl Box, Way Down In The Rust Bucket Deluxe Box Set Edition - the new official release box sets, and not the official re-issue sets. It all makes perfect sense to me now. As far as I know, none of the ones I have mentioned come as limited or numbered, nor are they advertised that way (except, of course, the now not limited NYAII Deluxe Edition.)

At 2/15/2021 07:21:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

@ thrasher
I totally get it. There will be no hiding from the warts of my typing. I had no idea of the trouble it would take to have the edit option. Definitely just leave that there......

At 2/16/2021 10:50:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Aer Stephen : Glad I could help clarify....... Also all the titles you listed above, the only one that has been released already in The Return to Greendale deluxe which actually has a number embossed on the back of the outside box. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s limited though, just has a number.

Peace 🙏

At 2/16/2021 09:57:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

@ Dan
Yup. You are more observant than me! My Greendale does in fact have "No 1957". Missed my birth year by 2. I assume that others are different. Yours? I guess I will find out about the others. All except the After the Gold Rush 50th. I just can't bring myself to buy a single vinyl, a 7" single, and the 12x12 litho (which these days, aren't really litographs, but prints, and they call them lithographs. They aren't made by a hand press and method, but by a huge machine press process.) That package should be no more than $49.98 instead of the $99.98!. It doesn't even include the CD! My bet is they will have a bunch of those for some time.

A shame that the Archives II didn't get an embossed number like Greendale......

Thanks again.

At 2/17/2021 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Aer Stephen: My number on Return to Greendale is 1026. Also the vinyl box set of vinyl for Blue Note Cafe’ is also numbered. Mine is 3005.

As for After the Gold Rush 50th.... I completely agree. I have purchased every single release from Neil throughout his career, and have invested an astronomical amount of money to support his work, but this will be the first time I will be passing up on this one. I bought the CD with the two bonus tracks, and that will have to do. Neil has mentioned that the record company set the price and he’s acknowledged that it is too expensive. Why he hasn’t forced them to drop the price to a logical amount suggest’s to me that he apparently doesn’t have total control of his releases.

Peace 🙏


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