Neil Young

First Plane Outta Here!

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Three months after the 1974 opening of the New York club the Bottom Line, Neil Young gave a solo acoustic performance there that was among the more remarkable shows of his career. Even for an artist accustomed to throwing a new song or two into his concerts, this set was unusual: of the 11 songs, only one, "Helpless," had been released on record, with many of the others, including "Ambulance Blues," "On the Beach," "Roll Another Number," and "Pardon My Heart," later scattered among records like On the Beach, Tonight's the Night, and Zuma. But it wasn't just the set list that made the show memorable. Usually reticent on-stage, Young was talkative and enjoyed a close interaction with the audience; he told stories, explained his feelings about his songs, even gave recipes. And he sang some of his strongest material of the mid-'70s. In addition to containing the Bottom Line show on its first three sides, the double-disc First Plane Outta Here! adds five of the seven songs Young recorded in the fall of 1965 as a demo for Elektra before he joined Buffalo Springfield; as Young's first studio recordings to come to light, these tracks have historical significance, and include "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing," later recorded by the Springfield, and "Don't Pity Me Babe," later reworked into Zuma's "Don't Cry No Tears."