Neil Young – Madison Hurricane (Seymour SR-012/13)


Madison Hurricane (Seymour SR-012/13)

Dane County Coliseum, Madison, WI – November 14th, 1976

Disc 1:  The Old Laughing Lady/Guilty Train, Human Highway, Journey Through The Past, Pocahontas, Too Far Gone, The Needle And The Damage Done, A Man Needs A Maid, No One Seems To Know, Sugar Mountain

Disc 2:  Cowgirl In The Sand, Don’t Cry No Tears, Bite The Bullet, Down By The River, Lotta Love, Like A Hurricane, After The Goldrush, Cinnamon Girl, encore, Cortez The Killer, Drive Back


Electric Live In N.Y.C. (Zooey Records ZRDB-003)

Palladium, New York, NY – November 20th, 1976

Bonus disc, electric live in New York City, Palladium, N.Y., – November 20th, 1976:  Intro., Country Home, Don’t Cry No Tears, Down By The River, Bite The Bullet, Lotta Love, Like A Hurricane, Cortez The Killer, Cinnamon Girl, Helpless

There have been many interesting Neil Young documents released in the past year including several from his U.S. tour in the fall of 1976.  Madison Hurricane, documenting the complete performance in Wisconsin may be the most interesting of the lot.  The sound quality of the audience recording is fair to good but nothing like the tapes from Japan or Boston.  There is constant low frequency distortion throughout its duration and not even the first half is able to escape that.  There are some conversations captured by the recording between some of the songs that are funny and thankfully don’t interfere with the music.  “He can be the new Dylan,” some guy says before “Pocahontas”.  “The new Dylan, yeah” his friend replies.  One of the characteristics of this tour is Young’s desire to be as loose as possible with the audience and to address the crowd frequently, effectively breaking the “fourth wall” (to use a film term).  “Too Far Gone”, for example, is dedicated to those who were kicking garbage cans before the show.  “It’s a good intro, right?” he asks the crowd.  A further delay prompts him to say “there’s a soap opera going on in front of me, let’s have a little light…Actually it was kind of entertaining” after security deals with whatever is going on.  The acoustic set contains “Human Highway” and “Journey Through The Past” which were less frequent inclusions during this time.  The electric set is as cool as the acoustic is warm and the emphasis is upon hard rocking jams with only “Lotta Love” and “After The Goldrush” providing any respite.  During the long solos in “Like A Hurricane” Young puts his guitar down and plays the piano before returning to guitar for the ending.  It’s a unique event.  The track labeled “encore” is five minutes of the audience yelling, screaming and talking for an encore and they get two, “Cortez The Killer” and “Drive Back”.  The former sounds especially long and drawn out for maximum impact as he tells the tale of the conquistador.  The bonus cdr on Zooey records (Seymour’s cdr label) is the electric set from the early show at the Palladium in New York a week after the Madison show.  It is missing two songs, “Peace Of Mind” and ” After The Gold Rush”.  The sound quality is very nice, well balanced and very warm and enjoyable which makes me think this was made for an official release.  Both pieces of this release come packaged with thick glossy paper inserts, an upgrade from previous releases on Seymour.  The layout is again not very attractive using very dark red on black making it difficult to discern the pictures included and making it overall a not very attractive title.  That aside the show is great and the tape is good enough to be worth having.  (GS)    

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