Neil Young: Roxy Tonight’s The Night Live

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This is a live release whose backstory is perhaps as interesting as the actual album. It was originally released as a record store day package, so more of a treat than essential listening, good as it is.

The 1973 gig, the inaugural show at the Roxy in LA, was the first public performance of the songs that would make up Young’s album Tonight’s The Night, which would not come out for a year. The album was named one of Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time.

The band had finished recording the album and decided to celebrate with a gig at a new club opening on the Sunset Strip. They knew the Tonight’s the Night songs inside out so played the album, start to finish, two sets a night, for three nights.

Basically: if you want the album, buy the studio version. If you’re a Neil Young fan and want to hear early versions of a great album, plus Nils Lofgren bashing out Roll Out The Barrel on piano, some stage banter and chat, get this. It’s well played, the band is tight, Young sounds sober and they’re great songs. The studio album is better, but this is a bonus for fans.

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