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Saturday, May 07, 2022

First Impressions: Citizen Kane Jr. Blues by Neil Young | Old Grey Cat

Citizen Kane Jr. Blues by Neil Young


As Neil Young has been announcing now for several years now (see Neil Young's Official Bootleg Series: Next 3 Vinyl Boots | NYA ), bootlegs are now incrementally being officially released.

Yesterday,  the 2nd batch (3 of 6) from Official Bootleg Series is being released at long last. (UPDATE: the 1st release in OBS was Carnegie Hall 1970.  See REVIEW: The Neil Young Official Bootleg Series -- Carnegie Hall 1970 by Harvey Kubernik. Thanks Eddie! )

Neil Young's Official Bootleg Series: Next 3 Vinyl Boots | NYA 


Included in this batch is the well known bootleg Citizen Kane Jr. Blues.  Here are First Impressions: Citizen Kane Jr. Blues by Neil Young | Old Grey Cat:

It’s a spellbinding set punctuated by clinking glasses, a creaking door, ill-timed coughs, occasional background chatter, plus a drunken someone shouting for a country song—in the last instance, Neil responds with a “novelty tune,” “Roll Another Number.” 

It’s the stuff of an audience recording, in other words, and—as a result—includes omnipresent tape hiss. Casual fans should get a kick out of it, while us lifers should enjoy it all the more—in large part because it’s long been a part of our unofficial collections.

Listening to Neil’s “official bootleg” version of Citizen Kane Jr. Blues, which features slightly tweaked sound, I’m amazed that I didn’t include it in my Best of the Unofficial Canon roundup in 1999. The ambience of the Bottom Line bleeds into the proceedings in a way that makes the recording a true slice of audio verité. We’ve all been at shows where folks shout out and chatter incessantly, after all, and sat in rooms where the noise from the bar interrupted some songs, with little to none of the unwanted sounds interfering with our enjoyment. Which is to say, if you close your eyes, you’ll swear you’re in the room. 

There’s not much more one can ask from a concert recording than that.

Full review @ re First Impressions: Citizen Kane Jr. Blues by Neil Young | Old Grey Cat.

Officially released this week and now available on Neil Young's Archive website are:

  • Royce Hall (1971-01-30) 
  • I'm Happy ... (Dorothy Chandler Pav. 1971-02-01) 
  • Citizen Kane ... (Bottom Line 1974-05-16)
Neil Young's Official Bootleg Series
image via Rusted Moon 

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At 5/07/2022 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

I am surprised that Old Grey Cat didn't mention the missing raps on the CD and vinyl. In order for the enterprise to fit onto a single vinyl disk, the Honeyslide recipe and story about Southern Man were cut from the bootleg. This, to me, is a crime. Bootlegging a bootleg with the original tape has a lot of promise, and surely the whole show could have fit onto a CD. But it seems that Neil's official output is being artificially throttled by global vinyl capacity and maybe economics. In fact, all three of the boots which were released this past week should have been double vinyl. Why do we listen to boots? To hear whole shows.

Having said all of this, NYA DOES have the full show up on NYA. To listen to it, all you have to do is pull up the album on either the website or app version and across down the track listing to the bottom where outtakes sometimes reside. There, you will find a lengthy track of the whole show, great sounding, with all of the raps in there. That is the best way to listen to Citizen Kane Jr. Blues, now.


At 5/07/2022 04:45:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks so much here LRR!

Yeah, we were streaming last night and wondered about the Honeyslide Rap?

Didn't see the full unedited stream at bottom of card.

NYA Pro tip! :)

At 5/07/2022 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Citizen Kane Jr. Blues is great, but isn’t it essentially just a ripoff of EARTH, with coughers and clinking cocktail glasses standing in for the animal sounds?

Thanks for the rundown as well as the pro tip, friends. Never heard the original bootleg, but the honeyslides rap seemed like it was missing something! This full version track is much better; I think I’ll add it to my super Archives Vol II playlist [(don’t) ask me about my super Vol II playlist]. For the “Official” version, they cut out all the non-PC stuff. Today’s man doesn’t look expect his “old lady” to cook up his honeyslides. He Can Do It Himself!

At 5/07/2022 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Argh, a typo. Keep seeing all these “comments deleted by author.” How do I get in on this action?


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