Friday, November 03, 2006

139. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

Track Listing

1. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
2. Marrakesh Express
3. Guinnevere
4. You Don’t Have To Cry
5. Pre-Road Downs
6. Wooden Ships
7. Lady Of The Island
8. Helplessly Hoping
9. Long Time Gone
10. 49 Bye-Byes


Here's another band I'm a big fan of. Altough I actually prefer them as CSNY (with Neil Young), CSN are still amazingly good. And in fact a lot of ex Byrds members went on to do good work. Soon we'll have Gram Parsons and Hillman here on another project, and here we have Crosby from the Byrds, Stills from Buffalo Springfield and Nash from the Hollies. It is actually strange how they all come from different band, seeing as unlike their later Deja Vu as CSNY they actually sound like a band who has been together for a long time.

The album is surprisingly consistent, and you can see that these three great artists gelled particularly well; it wouldn't last too long, as we'll see later in the project. I love CSN, they make perfect harmonies, really beautiful music, but are not limited to that. Lyrically they are very good, moving from the medieval fantasy to political commentary on the death of Bobby Kennedy, and in musical terms they are again moving away from psychadelia into a purer form of folk-rock music. CCR moved into Southern rock, and Neil Young into a harder type of folk-rock, but all these guys are coming from bands that were at one time or another psychadelic, and you can hear what they learned from that in the music. There are definite influences from the Psychadelic movement, and it shows in a good way, the excesses have been striped down.

The closeness of the harmonies is quite impressive, and unlike a band like the Beach Boys, where Brian Wilson was the brain and the talent and the rest of the members were trained harmony monkeys, CSN has three brains and talents, and as CSNY four. So really a super-super group. You can stream it from Napster or buy it from UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Guinevere
2. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
3. Long Time Gone
4. Marrakesh Express

Final Grade



Suite: Judy Blues Eyes (Live at Woodstock 1969):

From Wikipedia:

Crosby, Stills & Nash is the first album released by Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969 on the Atlantic Records label. It spawned two Top 40 hits, "Marrakesh Express" and "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of October 25, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart.

The album was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Along with the Band's Music From Big Pink of the previous year, it helped initiate a sea change in popular music away from the ruling late sixties aesthetic of bands playing blues based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock's roots, utilizing folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication. Not only blending voices, the three meshed their differing strengths, Crosby for social commentary and atmospheric mood pieces, Stills for his diverse musical skills and for folding folk and country elements subtly into complex rock structures, and Nash his knack for radio-friendly pop melody, to create an amalgam of broad appeal. Eventually going multi-platinum, in addition to the abovementioned singles, Crosby, Stills & Nash features some of their best known songs in "Wooden Ships" and "Helplessly Hoping." "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was composed for Judy Collins, and "Long Time Gone" was a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

No comments: