One has to wonder how diferent things might have been for ND had he not angered CBS by deciding at the last minute not to release that album?
CBS planned for the double live set called "Live at the Forum" to be their biggest release in December of 1983. They planned a big promotional blitz. Instead Neil at the last minute only gave the the "Classics The Early Years" album.
I remember seeing in Variety back then how excited CBS was about the project. Apparently Neil chickened out because he didn't like how the live versions sounded. For the life of me I can't figure this one out. We have heard several of them released in recent years. "Moringside" "Summerlove" "You Baby" "On the Robert E. Lee." All of them sounded great and better than anything on HAN II.
If you noticed it was then, when CBS/SONY started jerking Neil around. They would not let him release the "Primitive" album in it's original form. It was about this time when videos were coming into their own. This would have been a great chance for Neil to break into the video world. Hell, back then MTV even played a lot of Manilow's "Let's Hold On to What We've Got."
"Live At the Forum" would have been a smash, triple platnium. In that period Neil was a huge superstar. He had four to seven night sell outs in large cities.
This was a very good post and I agree 100% with you, I think this indeed was the start of the break down of the relationship between Neil and Sony. At some point in the distant future (I Hope) I believe Live at the Forum will be released. I also suspect that somewhere in the MCA Vault is a totally complete recording of the Hot August Night concert.
Was it filmed or videotaped?
Maybe Sony/CBS looked at the record at this level,especially it was the beginning of the video rock stars and probably wanted it market it as a complete package,both audio and visual
And since Neil had only on audio ,overlooked it in preference to Michael Jackson who had Thriller out as a complete package at the same time
Any thoughts along this line?
I attended the first and last of ND's Forum '83 shows,
August 26 2002, 6:41 PM
and while the last was better than the first, they were heavy on pyrotechniques....explosions and smoke, especially on 'America'...and lots lf lasers (he did a whole JLS segment, my least favorite ND music)...
I don't recall them being overly spectacular, but they were good...I believe the Wiseman book quotes ND as saying the tapes he heard were 'the best live recordings he had ever heard', and I don't recall why he pulled the release.
Just 6 years after the dreadful 'Love/Greek', I don't think it was a good idea to put out a 2nd live lp within a decade or so after a classic live album...live records cease being an 'event' release when they are done too often...