Archive for David Crosby

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Graham Nash & David Crosby

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , on September 12, 2010 by 30daysout

Back to albums after playing all of my sister’s singles over the past few weeks … Let’s start with an easy one, an album you may have heard back in the day but now it’s rather hard to find: Graham Nash David Crosby, from 1972.

By 1970, one of the biggest bands in the world was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – comprising David Crosby (formerly of the Byrds), Graham Nash (the Hollies), Stephen Stills and Neil Young (both ex-Buffalo Springfield).  Probably the best example of a “supergroup,” the quartet released the monster hit Déjà Vu in 1970 and mounted a massive tour.  The four then went their separate ways and each cut a solo LP that got a lot of attention.  Then Nash and Crosby decided to team up, each bringing to the table their respective strengths: Crosby’s introspective, moody and (sometimes) dense music and lyrics, and Nash’s knack for catchy pop melodies.

Like they had done when cutting their respective solo LPs, Nash/Crosby invited the cream of L.A.’s session players to join them on the album.  The Section, an aggregate of players that included bass player Leland Sklar, pianist Craig Doerge, guitarist Danny Kortchmar and drummer Russell Kunkel, backed the singers on most of the album.  One song, Crosby’s “The Wall Song,” had backing from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh, while Garcia played pedal steel on “Southbound Train” by Nash.  Guitarist Dave Mason, now solo after his stint in Traffic, played the tasty lead guitar on “Immigration Man,” which was the first single from the album.

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Bad Career Moves, Part 3

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , on July 25, 2009 by 30daysout

Stephen Stills - No booty today!

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were huge stars and gods of the counterculture in the late 1960s, but what many have forgotten (or didn’t know) is that CSNY was also a so-called “supergroup.”  Graham Nash was in the second-wave British invasion band the Hollies, and David Crosby spent a few years in the original Byrds.  Stephen Stills and Neil Young were the twin towers of Buffalo Springfield, probably the finest American rock band ever.

For some reason, Nash was always considered the weak link in the group – although he wound up writing and singing most of CSNY’s hits (“Teach Your Children,” “Wasted On The Way,” “Our House”).  Crosby always kind of a loudmouth and his songs had no melody and made no sense.  Stills and Young were the guitarists, and they gave this group its rock and roll kick.

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Lost Classics? “Allies,” Crosby, Stills & Nash

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by 30daysout

Stills and Crosby, Houston 1977

To help us get in the mood to make the trek up to New York for the 40th anniversary of Woodstock (August 15), I made a couple of mix CDs with some music of the era and in doing so I marveled at how well much of that stuff still holds up today.  (Well, it may depend on how old you are and what you’ve been smoking …)

And I wondered how often did some of these acts go astray in the ensuing years?  Here’s an example: Allies, a 1983 mostly live effort from Woodstock vets Crosby, Stills and Nash.

In 1977 I saw CSN at the Summit in Houston – they had put out the highly successful CSN album that year and scored a radio hit: the Graham Nash-penned “Just A Song Before I Go.”  The album itself would have been No. 1, but it was kept out of the top spot by a little thing called Rumours.

Anyway, CSN in Houston sounded pretty good, Stephen Stills played great and David Crosby hadn’t spiraled into drug-induced insanity yet.  Cut to 1983 – CSN’s  hit album from the year before, Daylight Again, anchored by “Wasted On The Way” and “Southern Cross,” is still on the charts.  They are approached by Hollywood to write a song for an upcoming movie about a kid who hacks into the top-secret U.S. Defense computer system, taking the world to the brink of a nuclear war.

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New (Old) Stuff!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by 30daysout

COVER        cover

So the summer’s here and even though the major record labels are basically drowning in their own red ink, they still manage to throw out these repackages to make a few quick bucks.

The Beach Boys’ Summer Love Songs is the third themed repackaging in as many years from Capitol Records.  Far from scraping the bottom of the barrel, this one is themed “love songs” and “summer songs.”  I guess.  It doesn’t matter – this is still great stuff, even though most of it is more than 40 years old!   There are new stereo mixes of “Don’t Worry Baby” and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” and “Hushabye,” there is even a previously unreleased Dennis Wilson tune, “Fallin’ In Love” (which was an Australian single B-side).

Neil Young has been tirelessly releasing his vast collection of old tapes, and his recent live offerings have been great to merely OK.  The 8-disc music collection Archives: Volume 1, 1962-1972 (10 discs on DVD) is painstakingly detailed, giving us some of Neil’s first recordings with his Canadian garage band The Squires, some Buffalo Springfield rarities (in mono) and so on, until just after Harvest.   There’s a lot of great stuff here, but if you are not a serious fan you better pass – or at least wait for the truncated CD version.

Not to be outdone by their sometime bandmate, Crosby, Stills and Nash have released the shorter-and-much-sweeter Demos, 12 songs that are mostly just solo performances from the band member who wrote each tune.  The exception is the opener “Marrakesh Express,” which features a gorgeous blending of the voices of David Crosby and Graham Nash that not only illustrates what made not only CSN sound so great, but their old bands too (Crosby in the Byrds, Nash in the Hollies).  Still, this is of interest primarily if you want to hear how these classics started out.

MP3: “Your Summer Dream” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Dance Dance Dance” by Neil Young

MP3: “Marrakesh Express” (demo) by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Everybody Must Get Stoned – Even Bob Dylan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 7, 2008 by 30daysout

From a 1990 tribute to Roy Orbison: Bob Dylan and the surviving Byrds.  Dylan has no idea what the chords are, David Crosby has to fill him in before the song.  Wonder why?  And how about that mullet on Roger McGuinn!  Have a great weekend!

Lost Classics! The Byrds

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by 30daysout

When the hype arrived in 1972, it was almost too much to believe: the five original Byrds were going to reunite for a new album.  For years the group had limped along under the Byrds banner, with original member Roger McGuinn heading a lineup that was sometimes brilliant (Gram Parsons, Clarence White) and sometimes shaky (Skip Battin). 

After having not played together since 1965, The Byrds’ original lineup – McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark, Michael Clarke and David Crosby – came together at the urging of Crosby, who was hot at the time (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) and wanted a chance to lead his former band.  The resulting album, simply titled Byrds, came out in 1973 on Asylum Records, run by up-and-coming mogul David Geffen.

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Review: “Déjà Vu Live,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on July 29, 2008 by 30daysout

With the 40th anniversary of Woodstock looming for next year, expect to see some of the original participants (those who are still alive, that is) making themselves a little more high profile.  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young enter the sweepstakes a year early with Déjà Vu Live, the soundtrack to Neil Young’s documentary movie about a recent CSN&Y tour. 

What made this tour different was that they chose to perform many of their politically and socially relevant tunes, including “Teach Your Children,” “For What It’s Worth” and “Wooden Ships.”  So far, so good – however, more than half the songs on this album are selections from Young’s ultra-political album Living With War, and that effectively turns the rest of the band into his backing group.

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