Neil Young / Young Shakespeare

Archive live album from 1971

Neil Young‘s 1971 solo show at The Shakespeare Theater (in Stratford, Connecticut) will be released next month as Young Shakespeare, across a number of formats.

The show was filmed and recorded on 22 January 1971, just two months after the release of After The Gold Rush and the concert was shown on German TV later that year. The performance has an amazing setlist but features only a couple of songs from After The Goldrush while Neil previews four from Harvest which, amazingly, was still over a year away from being released at that point.

The concert was shot on 16mm film and is apparently “the earliest live footage of Neil performing that is known to exist”. Young himself considers the performance “superior to our beloved ‘Massey Hall'” and says “Young Shakespeare is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever.”

The analog tapes have been lovingly restored, resulting in what Neil Young calls “one of the most pure sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive”.

Just over 50 years from the original show, the concert is being issued on CD, vinyl and DVD. A deluxe box set brings all three formats together and that is available to order via the SDE shop using this link or the button below.

Young Shakespeare is issued on 26 March 2021.

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Young Shakespeare - super deluxe box set with CD, vinyl and DVD


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Neil Young

Young Shakespeare - vinyl LP


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Neil Young

Young Shakespeare - CD edition


Young Shakespeare CD edition

01 Tell Me Why
02 Old Man
03 The Needle and the Damage Done
04 Ohio
05 Dance Dance Dance
06 Cowgirl in the Sand
07 A Man Needs A Maid/Heart of Gold medley
08 Journey Through The Past
09 Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10 Helpless
11 Down By The River
12 Sugar Mountain

Young Shakespeare vinyl LP

Side A

01 Tell Me Why
02 Old Man
03 The Needle and the Damage Done
04 Ohio
05 Dance Dance Dance
06 Cowgirl in the Sand

Side B

07 A Man Needs A Maid/Heart of Gold medley
08 Journey Through The Past
09 Don’t Let It Bring You Down
10 Helpless
11 Down By The River
12 Sugar Mountain


Full concert film – as per CD

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John Mason

‘Sugar Mountain’ concert database shows two performances at the venue this date: do we know if this is correct and, if so, the upcoming release is a composite or taken wholly from one show or the other?

Alan Blevin

The stand alone DVD for Down In The Rust Bucket is now up for preorder at Greedy Hand US store only.Same price as Young Shakespeare but better value at nearly 3 hours compared to 38 minutes.Release next week with the other Rust Bucket releases.

Carl Jacobs

Hi fellow Superdeluxers and specifically Rusties. It seems that DVD of W.D.I.T.R.B is only available in US Greedy Hand store (not checked Canadian store). U.K. store only has DVD as part of the now sold out (on the Greedy Hand Store) box set.

Paul Wren

Just placed my order for the vinyl version via Amazon UK – nice price.

Peter Jongeneel

I have no dvd player since 2010 or so. So an mkv file would be a better fit for me.
Dvd, whats next 8 track ?

Bill Kubert

FYI: You can play the DVD in most Blu-Ray players. A basic BR player can be had for under $100 USD.


DVDs were launched in 1996. If that’s ancient media, I wonder what you must make of the rest of the formats we celebrate on here!

John MC cann

Peter didn’t mention ancient media!,,he just trotted out that tired old chestnut about 8 tracks!, Paul did appeal a couple of years ago to forum users to stop using that patter ,,wax cylinders etc

Donal Murphy

Thrilled he is releasing all this stuff. This is NY heaven, right here, right now !

He has also mentioned Original Release Series Volumes 4 & 5 are scheduled for this year. The first 3 vinyl volumes covered up to 1979, and were superb reproductions, in terms of packaging and sound, i have no doubt this quality level will continue, but slightly miffed, the 5 Geffen albums, are being skipped, as no agreement in place.

Also Archives Volume 3 box set, coming out in 2022, which should wrap up the ‘70’s.

Ken Evans

The 5 Geffen albums are all available on NYA in best possible sound, and Landing on Water is even in high-res which is a surprise since everything else from that period up until as late as Greendale I think was recorded directly to redbook, which Neil has said recently he regrets.


Yeah, he really needs to call the upcoming volumes of his non-Geffen work Volumes 5 & 6, leaving a hole where the Geffen albums undoubtedly will one day be able to sit. We know he’s no stranger to arcane numbering habits; this should be a no-brainer for him.


Yes, he is flooding the market!! And about time too. I wish other artists would do the same….. I mean, you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want it.


Hey KB, DVD available separately from Greedy Hand Store! Just ordered from UK store for £16.49 incl shipping.


Great period and a very welcome release. Only beef is that you cannot buy the dvd separately & that the footage is rather poor, presumably only shot on cine camera? Better than not being filmed for sure!

Why on earth has the amazing live at BBC 1971 footage not been released? That was professionally filmed and is a superb concert and is also 50 years old this year (unless he’ll pop that one out as a 50th anniversary as part of Harvest? ) Who knows, either way I’ll buy the vinyl of the Shakespeare gig so not complaining! :)


Is it just me or, if you look at this Cover shot, the hazy image, the lighting, the hair and the profile, Neil looks like a character from Planet of The Apes!

John MC cann

I don’t c any resemblance whatsoever to Charlton Heston or Roddy McDowall!

Steven Roberts

If I’m honest, he looks more like Helena Bonham-Carter from the Tim Burton Apes remake.


I can see where your coming from


I’m excited for this release. It’s likely to be up there with his best as it’s from a time when he could do little wrong.

Dismayed, however, to discover people elsewhere on the web actually COMPLAINING about the flood of NY releases. It’s surely far better that he oversees these projects with care and attention during his lifetime than for us to be potentially deluged with shoddy cash-in “product” later (as has happened with other artists). And with Neil covering different eras and bands across these releases, it’s easy enough for us to pick and choose which we buy. So Way Down in the Rust Bucket was an instant purchase whereas Return to Greendale is a case of “maybe if the price drops”.

It’s win-win for fans and more casual listeners too.


Also, those asking “why so many now”, I think he usually has a lot of projects on the go at once, and I get the impression he (understandably) has more time to work on his archive recordings at the moment.

Same as you, I’m delighted all this is coming out. I’ll pick some up immediately and others down the line.

Jamie Starr

I guess least he is doing archive material, least can be said bout the Michael Jackson’s, Madonna’s and George Michael’s of the world, by the time any form of back cat appraisal is due most of us will be dead.

Alan Blevin

In case anyone’s wondering what comes after this in this wonderful rush of Archives releases 7 May sees the first release in a new series called the Bootleg Series (sound familiar?) to go alongside Performance Series and Special Release Series.The idea of this is to take famously bootlegged shows and release them with original Bootleg title and artwork but using their own source tapes.Sometimes these will be multi tracks but sometimes they are going so far as using audience tapes.
First release is Carnegie Hall 1970 solo followed about 2 weeks later by the simultaneous release of 5(!) other shows.These include things like the Rainbow Tonight’s The Night concert and Bottom Line 1974.
Confirmed to follow in the months after that is an expanded Ragged Glory called the Tattered Edition and Alchemy (29 October release) which is a concert album/film from the Psychedelic Pill tour.Neil also confirmed on Saturday that Archives Volume 3 is definitely coming in 2022.He has stated it goes at least as far as including International Harvesters.
Whew!Meanwhile my Archives Volume 2 box hasn’t arrived 81 days after Warner’s Canada handed it off to Canada Post.What a joke.


Alchemy is one I’m particularly looking forward to. I was at a couple of shows on that tour. Would love to see the tracklist!

John Barnes

It’s a great shame NY has dropped off tidal, I was really digging his live material via headphones and cyrus soundkey combo. I gather NY wasn’t happy with tidal’s reference to ‘master recordings’ on their platform. I still hope they come to some sort of agreement and his music reappears on tidal.


Ken Evans

Tidal does not deliver true high-res audio. Qobuz and Amazon HD both do, and even better (and I do not know why it sounds better but it does) is Neil’s own site which delivers the same FLAC files as Amazon but with a different technology called Orastream.


did he just sell of some of his copyrights? hence the rush of archival releases.

Paul MacLennan

The American Shakespeare Festival Theater used to reside just a few miles from my home. It was kind of like the world’s largest barn, or the Grand Ole Opry of New England! A very casual and comfortable place, located in Stratford, CT (USA). I can only imagine how great it must have been to have seen Neil Young in this small venue. Sadly, it burned to the ground a few years ago.

John MC cann

Maybe it was the embers of a southern man that caused the fire ?


A video of Neil at the BBC a month later has been circulating for years. Really excellent performance. Looking forward to this product.


The BBC In Concert performance is on YouTube in full, and it’s great.


Why no Blu-Ray release? NY is obsessed with audio quality, and Blu-Ray has superior sound to DVD. It just doesn’t make sense.

Jim – This is the same footage from the Massy Hall DVD, since the Massy Hall show wasn’t filmed, they substituted this footage. “A cheap Hollywood trick” NY is quoted as saying in his book Raging Heavy Peace.

Ben Williams

It’s great Neil’s releasing this stuff whilst he still here to approve it and ensure it’s done right. What a time to be a Neil fan!

Steven O’Driscoll

I’d love the Neil young original release series box sets ( 5-8 & 8.5-12 to be released, expensive when first issued now a fortune in eBay. I believe, according to Neil Young’s archive app, he’s been in touch with the record company regarding this

Paul Wren

Yup, vinyl version ordered from Rough Trade.

Geoffrey K.

I too would love to buy a CD/DVD combo of this release. The DVD is available from his website but, to purchase it by itself the cost is just under $40 Cdn (with shipping and taxes included). The price from other vendors for the box set may be a better deal (around $80 Cdn with taxes and shipping).

Almost Dead Guy

It makes you wonder when Neil woke up to the dying of the light. He could’ve been releasing archival albums for decades but now with at least a significant amount of his audience already passed on, he’s rushing to make sure he gets as much out there under his supervision as possible.

Imagine his will! I can just see all the stipulations regarding future releases. Whether they will be honored or not remains to be seen.


i got a COA for the Archives 2 box last week in a separate mail. the Neil autograph looks neat but i think its reprinted.

John Berning

look at it under a magnifying glass. do you see dots in the signature ?
if so, it is printed.


The DVD is for sale individually on NYA website. I’ve checked a number of websites that only show the CD, the LP, and the Deluxe box available. I’m wondering if the individual DVD is exclusive to NYA website? Since the CD+DVD don’t appear to come together, like Massey Hall or other earlier archive releases, I would hope to have the option to purchase/pre-order the DVD from more than one vendor than just the official NYA site, but it doesn’t appear that is an option yet or at all. I would settle for a CD and DVD bundle if any site is offering that option.

Mike M

Looking forward to this, think I’ll just go with the LP though. Cheers Paul


If you want the stand alone DVD it is going to be exclusive to his store.

I love Neil, but man is he ever flooding the market with archival releases. I’m not complaining, but it’s hard to let one sink in before the next one will be out.

James Rainbow

Blimey, he keeps them coming. Rust Bucket’s not even out yet and I’m still waiting for archives 2 to arrive. The marketing made me laugh. I was looking at it and thinking do I need this one. But now I know it’s officially better than Massey Hall I’ll get it! Anyone know why the tracklist is comparatively short?
According to the Archives wikipedia page there’s another 5 or so coming out in May called the Official Bootlegs or something like that. Would quite like a readily available Time Fades Away cd too.
Can you have too much peak era Neil? Possibly not!!!

Jason Brown

This is ‘new’, yes? As in not part of the Archives series (or box sets) released thus far?


Okay, I like Neil Young, particularly his earlier material. But, what I don’t understand is why “Young Shakespeare” SDE, which includes a CD, vinyl LP and DVD concert film is $69 USD, while the upcoming anniversary edition of “After the Gold Rush” consisting of one vinyl LP and a 7″ double single bonus track is priced at $100 USD? It seems to me that there would have been much more time involved to remaster and clean up a recently found archival live concert tape versus Neil Young’s ATGR professionally recorded studio master tape.


I think there’s a Lithograph with the After the Goldrush reissue. They tend to be expensive for some bizarre reason.

Andrew Greenwood

I really don’t understand the pricing for this. Initially it looked as though the only way to buy the DVD was via the box-set with the throw-away vinyl. Then I discovered you could buy it on its own for £15 at the official Greedy Hand Store (EU/UK version). The price of all three individual items there is £47 (Vinyl £22, CD £10 and DVD £15) so once again in a Bowie-like way, we are being charged £13 or more for the cardboard box as there is no booklet in the “Deluxe”.
It’s a funny old world


I personally have no interest in the box set — vinyl will do for me — but I’m not sure I get why it’s so strange to consider the box itself an additional expense. If you want the box, you have to pay for the box. Do you think it’s designed, printed, and shipped for free?

simon stokes

Is there a separate release for the DVD?


Neil’s been busy lately!
This looks great!
You get your certificate of authenticity for the box yet?


I‘d love to have the Cd with dvd like Massey and Filmore East. It’s so sad that these combo cd+DVD are not offered!


Isn’t the footage on the Young Shakespeare DVD the same footage from the Massey Hall DVD but was synced with the Massey Hall audio?

Arthur O'Brien

You are correct. This was discussed at the time.