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Live At the Cellar Door

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iTunes Review

Live at the Cellar Door will likely go down as one of the essential live albums from Neil Young’s ever-growing archives. Recorded during a six-show stopover at a tiny Washington, D.C., club, where you can hear each individual handclap, Live at the Cellar Door is Young at his lonesome peak, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar or piano. After the Gold Rush had been released months earlier, and its songs—“Tell My Why,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Birds," “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” and the title track—would one day rank among his most iconic. But here he's still relatively new to them and has a freshness to his performances that can’t be faked. He previews “Old Man” (which would appear on 1972’s Harvest) and “See the Sky About to Rain” (which wouldn’t show up until 1974’s On the Beach). Songs cut with Crazy Horse—“Cinnamon Girl,” “Down by the River”—take on a naked, visceral quality that’s enhanced by the audience (which can only be heard when the music stops). Buffalo Springfield tunes and the ultra-rare “Bad Fog of Loneliness” round out this incredible set.

Customer Reviews

Go for Massey Hall 1971 instead

This sounds like a rehearsal for Massey Hall which was recorded a few months later. The sound is good but not as good as the other show, and I would say the same about the playing. As a guitarist I find the MH show to be far, far superior. Also, the guitar sounds slightly out of tune to me on several of these cuts.

OK for the completist but you get most of these songs on Massey Hall 1971 and a better overall experience in my opinion. I'm actually somewhat surprised Neil released this.

Great sound, spectacular show!

Like reaching back in time for a vintage bottle of wine...tasty and ageless.


You can’t go wrong with some Neil!!!!


Born: November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After Neil Young left the California folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield in 1968, he slowly established himself as one of the most influential and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters of his generation. Young's body of work ranks second only to Bob Dylan in terms of depth, and he was able to sustain his critical reputation, as well as record sales, for a longer period of time than Dylan, partially because of his willfully perverse work ethic. From the beginning of his solo career in the late '60s through...
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