Folk-rock obscurity Fred Neil is regularly touted as one of the movement's pioneering geniuses, and The Sky Is Falling: The Complete Live Recordings 1963-1971 puts his work into perspective for any doubters. Collecting his live 1971 swan song album, The Other Side of This Life (which counts celebrity guests like David Crosby, Gram Parsons, and Stephen Stills), and appending four early rarities taped from a Bitter End performance in 1963, this set bookends Neil's folk-rock career insightfully. From his most famous creation, a magically soulful rendition of "Everybody's Talkin'" (the song that Harry Nilsson made legendary), to the celebratory drug culture nugget "Sweet Cocaine," his music deserves a second listen. Still, the grooviest of all of these grooves is the recently unearthed bluesy "That's the Bag I'm In." Following the original issue of this disc, Neil quit music, became a Florida-based recluse, and lived on as a cult hero for 30 years until his death in 2001. Although his absence was inexplicable, his music lives on in this inspiring set.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen