Friday, February 09, 2007

206. David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971)

Track Listing

1. Music Is Love
2. Cowboy Movie
3. Tamalpais High (At About 3)
4. Laughing
5. What Are Their Names
6. Traction In The Rain
7. Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)
8. Orleans
9. I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here


Members of CSNY spoil me. And David Crosby, the walrus of folk, is no exception. This is a beautiful album with a lot of the type of music you would expect from David Crosby, still it is tinged with a deep sadness that is more and more apparent as the album progresses.

As the tracks become sadder they also become more beautiful and in the end the multi-dubbed a cappela I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here is a haunting Requiem for Crosby's girlfriend who had died just before Crosby started working on this album. It is a very short track, 1.23 minutes, but it sounds like something Dead Can Dance would do decades later.

All in all it is a great album, it does not have the joy of other CSNY off-shoots but it is beautiful, truly, really beautiful. With a sadness that is never whiny or self-pitying. Listen to it, and buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here
2. Laughing
3. Traction In The Rain
4. Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

A large grouping of big-name rock stars circa 1970 appear on the record, including members of Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana. Three of the nine tracks feature vocals without any lyric, and the lyrics of a fourth, "Orléans," consist entirely of a roll call of famous French cathedrals. The song "Cowboy Movie" is Crosby's lengthy shaggy dog story regarding the personalities of CSNY, and another track, "Laughing," received an airing by Crosby accompanied only with his guitar on CSNY's 1970 tour. A live recording of "Laughing" would be added to the 1992 reissue of the document of that tour, Four Way Street.

Aside from "Cowboy Movie," an ambience of ethereal abstraction permeates the record, very much a continuance of qualities exhibited on previous Crosby work both with The Byrds and CSN, such as "Everybody Has Been Burned" from Younger Than Yesterday or "Guinnevere" from the CSN debut. The lyrics parlay concerns typical to the era, "What Are Their Names" the notion of a ruling, invisible elite in America, and "Laughing" the elusiveness of enlightenment and the inherent wisdom of the child. Of the quartet, Crosby along with Nash echoed the Woodstock Nation ethos most strongly in their work. After this record, Crosby would wait eighteen years before releasing his next solo album.

Laughing, with a slide-show of people who contributed to this album:

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