Neil Young – Cinnamon Girls

Neil Young
RustWorks, Vol. 15
Cinnamon Girls

Download FLAC: Google Drive

1. Solo (New York, 1970-12-05)
2. Crazy Horse (New York, 1970-03-07L)
3. Stray Gators (Seattle, 1973-03-17)*
4. Crazy Horse (Los Angeles, 1978-10-24)
5. Solo (New York, 1999-04-21)
6. Crazy Horse (Princeton by the Sea, 1996-06-09)
7. Electric Band (Wallingford, 2007-12-07)
8. Solo (Los Angeles, 1992-09-22)
9. Crazy Horse (Tokyo, 1976-03-11)
10. Crazy Horse (Los Angeles, 1976-11-04)
11. Chrome Dreams Band (Mountainview, 2007-10-28)
12. Crazy Horse (Oklahoma City, 1991-03-17)
13. Solo (Worcester, 2010-05-21)
14. Electric Band (London, 2008-03-05)

RustWorks continues with an ode to one of the purest pop rock songs ever written. Cinnamon Girl encompasses all those themes about which Neil has always written: love, longing, mystery, dreams, girls, sex, music, the moon, the road. And itís all contained in that explosive musical package with a hook and a melody that you just can’t get out of your head. Whether played acoustic or electric, you hang on every lyrical and musical phrase waiting for the release of that ascending guitar riff followed by its descent down to that wonderful F-G power chord.

Some songs have that moment where you arrive at a chord change, a lyric, or a note that “makes” the song. “Layla” has Duaneís incredible guitar riff, “Ticket to Ride” has Lennonís sigh on the final chorus, “Cinnamon Girl” has two of those moments. The first is the climactic “You see your baby loves to dance, yeah, yeah, yeah” followed by the rush into that one note solo and, as the first guitar break begins, “WHOOOOH!!!!” What do we need for a great Cinnamon Girl? Well, other than the long sandy blond hair, deep blue-green eyes, and mysterious smile, we need a great guitar solo. So how many ways can Neil play a one note solo, anyway? Well, as it turns out, many ways.

Opening with the solo 1970 Carnegie Hall performance, I imagine Neil hanging out at home one afternoon, fooling around with his acoustic guitar, and suddenly his fingers play “the riff.” What he plays the rest of the day sounds like this performance. What strikes me about the 3/7 Fillmore East performance is the driving rhythm, the crispness of the electric guitars and the ever-rising intensity and drive of the song. On the other hand, the 1973 Seattle performance is one of the weirdest Cinnamon Girls Iíve ever heard. Lethargic and angry (as if thatís even possible), the ending finds Neil trying something different and then seeming to think better of it. Listen for those handclaps! In 1978, Neil and Crazy Horse perfected the Rust Never Sleeps sound as exemplified by the 10/24 L.A. performance. The final 1978 RNS tour performance is one of my favorites-wonderful closing solo-listen to that descending guitar line. By contrast, the 1999 acoustic performance convincingly demonstrates the power of the song, even in an intimate setting.

The 1996 OPL performance is really the essence of the song, played in a California bar, beer bottles clinking, people singing along and, I imagine, dancing in the back. And then we come to Wallingford 2007: the stop-start of the signature riff punctuated by those harmonics. Sublime. Another acoustic performance follows, this time from Los Angeles 1992. In 1976, Neil was playing Cinnamon Girl really, really loud at breakneck speed, the closing solos different each night. This Tokyo performance is great for its energy and the final “thank you, goodbye!” Listen to how Neil plays the second guitar break right through the turnaround. That night at the Forum in November blows me away every time I hear it:
with the herky jerky verses, harmonics, followed by the Buffalo Springfield-like solo. At Mountainview, we come to a C&W Cinnamon Girl (yeah, it works any way you play it). The Oklahoma City Ragged Glory treatment is perfect-great bass, nice high end, and an overall fantastic performance. In 2010-2011 Neil was playing CG solo electric. And finally, we come to the epic 10 minute 2008 London performance. Yep, ten minutes. Whooh!

A word about compilations: I compiled these performances for my personal listening pleasure, and share them for the same reason. There are many Neil Young compilations available out there: ìArchives be Damned 2000î (and 2006), ìAcoustic Masterpieces,î ìA Perfect Echo.î Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released ìArchives.î Nothing beats the original tracks themselves. This compilation is not meant to replace any of the aforementioned. It, simply, is what it is.

I urge you to seek out the entire original performances (theyíre all available somewhere). Thank you so much to the original tapers and uploaders and all who share this great music (what we do here at DIME is a rare and precious thing). And, of course, thanks, Neil.

January 2012

Lineage: All recordings obtained from various torrent sites (DIME, Traderís Den, HungerCity, TapeCity, Zomb): FLAC > WAV > CD-R > FLAC (8) > DIME
Notes on Sound Quality: All Audience Recordings except as noted, the SQ is Excellent to Excellent+ throughout except*
*SQ is Fair to good
Convert to lossy for personal use only
Please support this artist-purchase official recordings, attend live performances regularly, and visit the websites:

3 thoughts on “Neil Young – Cinnamon Girls

  1. Pingback: Neil Young Shows by Date |

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