Electric Boston (NYCH-112276L)
Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts – 22nd November 1976 Late Show
CD (70:00) 1. Country Home, 2. Don’t Cry no Tears, 3. Drive Back, 4. Cowgirl in the Sand, 5. Bite the Bullet, 6. Lotta Love, 7. Like a Hurricane, 8. After the Goldrush, 9. Are You Ready for the Country, 10. Cortez the Killer, 11. Cinnamon Girl, 12. Encore, 13. Homegrown, 14. Southern Man
After an early ending to the Stills/ Young band tour the November 22nd evening show at the Boston Music Hall was the 17th show of the 19 played by the newest incarnation of Crazy Horse on the short U.S. tour in 1976 rewarding the lucky fans with the longest set list with 22 songs played.
From what I can find on the internet this show has been released before in audience quality on the 2CD title “Wonderin Back Home” label unknown, “Hurricane Over Boston” on the Real life label had 7 songs from this show in SB quality, “A Man a Guitar and a Horse” on the Flashback label has a mix of songs from the acoustic and electric set but no mention of it is audience or SB and does not mention which show, early or late, the songs are from.
This NYCH release features only the second half electric portion of the 110 minute long concert missing the acoustic songs “Tell Me Why”, “Roll Another Number”, “Journey Through the Past”, “The Needle and the Damage Done”, “Harvest”, Campaigner”, “Pocahontas” “A Man Needs a Maid” and “Sugar Mountain”. It comes in a simple single CD jewel case with glossy inserts.
Of the 14 songs we do get there is a nice balance of the old and new with 3 songs, “Don’t Cry No Tears”, “Cortez the Killer” and “Drive Back” from the 1975 album Zuma and 3 songs, “Bite The Bullet”, “Like A Hurricane”, and “Home Grown”, which will not be officially released until the following June on the “American Stars and Bars” album.
The sound quality of this release is an absolutely stunning crystal clear SB recording well balanced with the vocals and guitars slightly forward in the mix. There is a wide well defined soundstage with the guitars separated in each channel. While it favours the bottom end, which gives the recording nice warmth, the upper frequencies are well represented.
The performance is as excellent as the recording and has a relaxed restrained intensity to it, possibly as the result of being the second show of the day, but still has all the energy you expect from a Neil Young performance. Possibly due to the song selection this is really a mellow electric set and for me made a perfect companion for a lazy Sunday morning listening while reading the newspaper and drinking my coffee.
While every song is expertly played the highlights for me a slow smoldering performance of “Cowgirl in the Sand”, a soulful performance of “After the Gold Rush”, intense performances of “Cortez the Killer” and “Southern Man” and the two new songs “Bite the Bullet” and the soon to be classic “Like a Hurricane”.
This is an excellent release from the NYCH label and, due to the official release quality of the recording and well played performance, it is an essential release for anyone who is a fan of Neil Young.
Excellent review, Classiccrawker! I agree this is a mellow but focused performance by Neil and co. The improvisations are inspired and the song selection too. I think this show/recording would make a fine entry in Neil’s official ‘performance series’ as a representation of his 1976 US tour with Crazy Horse. I know the official ‘Songs for Judy’ release covers this tour, but that is a compilation of songs from the opening solo acoustic sets, and does not contain any of the ‘plugged’ (and how!) second set songs. One of the best Neil boots available!
Good stuff oldman thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Because of the EXS sound quality of the audience tape, it has seen quite a few releases. Apart from the 2CD Wonderin Back Home(Capricorn) it was released on the 2CD The Late Show(Heartbreakers), 2CD Hurricane Over Boston(Real Life) and together with the early show on 3CD Journey Through The Past (Silver Rarities) and most recenly on 4CD Well Known Secret claiming to come from the master recordings and reviewed by GS on this site.
To my knowledge, this is the first time the soundboard was pressed on silver. Apparently the soundbard of the acoustic set does not circulate although 4 songs are circulating on a compilation tape of acoustic songs from this US tour.
The Flashback release mentioned in the review contains the first 11 songs of the early show from an audience tape.