Earliest Known Live Footage of Neil Young to Be Released as 'Young Shakespeare' Next Month

Neil Young performs at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 1971
(Image credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images)

A new live album and concert film showcasing the earliest known live performance footage of Neil Young will be released next month as Young Shakespeare

Recorded on January 22, 1971 at a Young solo performance at The Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut, the album features early performances of a number of Young's biggest hits – “Old Man,” “The Needle and the Damage Done,” “A Man Needs a Maid,” and “Heart Of Gold” – from over a year before their eventual release on Young's seminal, chart-topping 1972 album, Harvest.

Set for a March 26 release via Reprise Records, the album will be available on vinyl, CD, DVD, and digitally, or in a Deluxe Box Set Edition containing the album in all four formats.

You can get a preview of the album and film, a clip of Young performing "Tell Me Why" at the Shakespeare, below.

Young Shakespeare is “a more calm performance," Young said in a statement, "without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall [a reference to Young's Live at Massey Hall 1971 album] 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.”

To preorder Young Shakespeare, step right this way. You can check out its cover art and tracklist below.

For more on Young and his music, stop by neilyoungarchives.com.

Neil Young's 'Young Shakespeare'

(Image credit: Reprise Records)

Neil Young – Young Shakespeare 

1. Tell Me Why
2. Old Man
3. The Needle and the Damage Done
4. Ohio
5. Dance Dance Dance
6. Cowgirl in the Sand
7. A Man Needs a Maid/Heart Of Gold
8. Journey Through the Past
9. Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10. Helpless
11. Down by the River
12. Sugar Mountain

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.