Thursday, April 12, 2007

257. Stephen Stills - Manassas (1972)

Track Listing

1. Song Of Love
2. Crazies
3. Cuban Bluegrass
4. Jet Set
5. Anyway
6. Both Of Us (Bound To Lose)
7. Fallen Eagle
8. Jesus Gave Love Away For Free
9. Colorado
10. So Begins The Task
11. Hide It So Deep
12. Don't Look At My Shadow
13. It Doesn't Matter
14. Johnny's Garden
15. Bound To Fall
16. How Far
17. Move Around
18. Love Gangster
19. What To Do
20. Right Now
21. Treasure
22. Blues Man


Wow, this must be the only Rock/Folk/Country/Bluegrass/Latin album with synths on the list. Weird as it might sound it really isn't because it all works perfectly due to the genius of Stephen Stills and Chris Hillman who bring us a pretty extensive album comprised of all these influences. Like the Todd Rundgren album reviewed here recently this album also attributes different themes to the four different sides of the vinyl.

Unlike Rundgren, however, the different parts of the album seep into each other a lot. On the second part, for example, the Bluegrass element is introduced, and Fallen Eagle sounds almost like something out of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. If you know the people in the album though you understand where it is coming from: Chris Hillman. In the end the idiosyncratic mix isn't weird enought to actually interfere with the pleasure of listening to the album, particularly after the first listening.

In the end it really comes across as a Stephen Stills album, substituting the Gospel influences of his debut with the country influences of his back-up band. The only track which sounds like the same Stills of CSN(Y) is Johnny's Garden and this is not a bad thing, it shows a very interesting evolution of a great artist. This is a large album but it never feels sprawling, there's a nice spread of the highlights which make always ant to hear what comes next, also no song here is a dud, they are all great. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Colorado
2. Treasure
3. Song Of Love
4. Bound To Fall

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It is a double album and, according to the sleeve notes, it is intended to be in tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Al Wilson and Duane Allman. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. "It Doesn't Matter" was released as a single and peaked at #61. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones plays bass on "The Love Gangster." Stills considers this double album to be among his best work. It is perhaps the most highly regarded of Stills' solo albums.

It Doesn't Matter, not the best song on the album, but you can see the latin/country mix and was the only single and is therefore the only thing I can find on youtube:

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