Aurora Borealis OMS-016
Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada - January 19, 1971
Stereo Soundboard
Clear Jewel Case Color Artwork

Goin' Back To Canada front



1.  On The Way Home, 2. Tell Me Why, 3. Old Man, 4. Journey Through The Past, 5. Helpless, 6. Love In Mind, 7. A Man Needs A Maid/Heart Of Gold, 8. Cowgirl In The Sand, 9. Don't Let It Bring You Down, 10. There's A World, 11. Bad Fog Of Loneliness, 12. The Needle & The Damage Done, 13. Ohio, 14. See The Sky About To Rain, 15. Down By The River, 16. Dance, Dance, Dance, 17. I Am A Child   bonus tracks BBC 1971:  18. Out On The Weekend, 19. Journey Through The Past

Well, this is fun.  To be able to stand on a pedestal and shout to all collectors that we have a clear front-runner for best bootleg for 2005.  Aurora Borealis' "Goin' Back To Canada" captures a previously unreleased solo acoustic performance in his hometown at a time when Neil couldn't squint his eyes without a complete song being born - on a fantastic soundboard tape!  In fact, word has it this particular show was considered for official release but obviously that didn't happen.  The creativity was boiling over in 1971.  We've seen other periods in Neil's career that behave similarly but the body of classic work that came out of this time is amazing.

Recorded live at Massey Hall in Toronto on January 19, 1971, "Goin' Back To Canada" clocks in at approximately 60 minutes.  An hour of the best Neil Young live acoustic to ever be caught on tape.  The inside sleeve for this set quotes Neil's manager, Elliot Roberts as stating (this is) "The best show Neil ever played"!  From the outset, the audience is anxious, appreciative and polite (though Neil does have to remind one overzealous photographer of proper etiquette on when the proper time to shoot pictures is).  At this point in time, many of these songs hadn't even been released yet, with a handful to surface on 1972's "Harvest" LP.  Neil even mentions several of them were just written traveling between New York and Chicago over the past couple of weeks.  Being able to soak this up 35 years later is just very cool on several levels. 

The tape and presentation of the audio itself is getting a "9" here only because there is some sort of frequency noise present through the first 3 or 4 tracks, noticeable due to the low recording level from the board at the beginning.  After that, forget about it.  It's a magnificent recording given the age, with a performance that sets the bar high.  Simply put, fantastic stuff and a must-have title.

The 2 bonus tracks are taken from BBC recordings of unkown origin, attributed to 1971 only.  We can surmise that these were taped  about a month later when Neil took the same tour theme to London that February, and these performances perhaps taking place around the 20th of February, 1971.  The quality is still excellent but not near a master quality and certainly not as warm as the core Toronto show concert featured on the disc - but a nice inclusion by Aurora Borealis.  The CD art also gets top marks for the thoughtful choice of photography and wonderful approach to the graphics with nothing overdone.  It represents the material perfectly.  The disc is 24kt gold plated and part of Aurora Borealis' Original Master Series.

Would like to see the reviewer compare this release with the now-official "Live At Massey Hall" CD.
Comment by John wrote on 2007-03-14 11:54:38

The best toys are the ones that are both educational and multi-purposeful.
Great Toys For Tots


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Nov 24, 2005 - 9:05:00 AM

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