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Neil Young Preps Two ’70s Bootlegs For Official Release

Projects chronicle live performances from 1973 and 1977
Neil Young
Neil Young in London, March 1976 (photo: Michael Putland / Getty Images)

Releases move at their own unpredictable pace in Neil Young‘s Archives program, but two long-discussed projects are finally seeing the light of day this spring. On April 14, Young will release High Flyin’, chronicling a 1977 run of shows with short-lived band the Ducks, and Somewhere Under the Rainbow, taped live at the Rainbow Theater in London on Nov. 5, 1973.

High Flyin’ finds Young backed by guitarist Jeff Blackburn, Moby Grape bassist Bob Mosley, and drummer Johnny Craviotto during 20-plus performances at a variety of small venues in Santa Cruz, Ca. These were the only gig the band ever played, and featured only a few familiar Young songs, including “Long May You Run,” “Mr. Soul,” “Are You Ready for the Country”,” and the then-new “Sail Away.”


Somewhere Under the Rainbow was recorded during a tour previewing material from the then-unreleased album Tonight’s the Night and features backing by the Santa Monica Flyers: guitarist Nils Lofgren, pedal steel player Ben Keith, and Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot. Young was still mourning the recent deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and road crew member Bruce Berry from heroin overdoses, and he often performed obviously under the influence of alcohol.

Nine of the 14 songs are from Tonight’s the Night, which wouldn’t hit stores until June 1975. The group also played Buffalo Springfield’s “Flying on the Ground Is Wrong,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Helpless,” and older Young cuts such as “Cowgirl in the Sand.”

As previously reported, Young recently made his first live appearance since the pandemic when he played two songs at a British Columbia rally for the United for Old Growth forest protection movement. He’ll also perform at the Light Up the Blues benefit (hosted by longtime bandmate Stephen Stills) on April 22 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. A week later, Young will take part in Willie Nelson‘s 90th birthday celebration at the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend of April 29-30.

Ahead of the bootlegs, Young and the current members of Crazy Horse will release All Roads Lead Home under the moniker Molina, Talbot, Lofgren & Young on March 31 through NYA Records/Reprise.

Here is the track list for High Flyin’:

I Am a Dreamer
Younger Days
Gypsy Wedding
Are You Ready for the Country?
Hold on Boys
My My My (Poor Man)
I’m Tore Down
Hey Now
Wide Eyed and Willing
Truckin’ Man
Sail Away
Gone Dead Train
Silver Wings
Human Highway
Your Love
I’m Ready
Little Wing
Car Tune
Windward Passage
Leaving Us Now
Mr. Soul
Two Riders
Honky Tonk Man
Sailor Man
Silver Wings

Here is the track list for Somewhere Under the Rainbow:

Tonight’s the Night
Mellow My Mind
World on a String
Speakin’ Out
New Mama
Roll Another Number (For the Road)
Tired Eyes
Tonight’s the Night – Part II
Flying on the Ground Is Wrong
Human Highway
Don’t Be Denied
Cowgirl in the Sand