// Album Recommendation

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash

(1969)

“You know there's something
That's goin' on around here,
That surely, surely, surely
Won't stand the light of day.”

The classic debut album by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Three talented songwriters from three different legendary bands join forces to create an iconic super group and a classic debut album. When David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash attended a party at Cass Elliot’s house (or Joni Mitchell’s, depending on who you ask) in July 1968, all three musicians found themselves in transitional periods. David Crosby had been fired from The Byrds, Stephen Stills was “out of a job” after the break-up of Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash was seriously considering leaving The Hollies as a result of his dissatisfaction with the band’s conservatism and continued lack of creative aspirations. As Stills and Crosby were performing a new song, which Stills had written (You Don’t Have To Cry), Nash joined in, improvising a harmony part – and that’s when they realized that they had a very special and unique vocal chemistry. The ensuing debut album, 1969’s Crosby, Stills & Nash, peaked at no. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Chart and propelled them into superstardom (Their second LP, 1970’s Déjà Vu with Neil Young, secured them a place in music history and, eventually, a legendary status).

During the course of all of 7:26 minutes, Stephen Stills’ Eastern-tinged Suite: Judy Blue Eyes unfolds like an epic love song to his then-girlfriend, singer/songwriter Judy Collins. The acoustic guitar, bass, lush three-part harmonies and metaphorical lyrics perfectly encapsulate the sun-soaked, back-to-nature spirit of the times. Graham Nash’s charming Marrakesh Express, inspired by a trip to Marrakesh, Morocco, is a spirited, steel guitar-driven number, which reached no. 28 on the U.S. Billboard Chart. The tranquil Guinevere is a characteristic David Crosby composition – meditative and atmospheric – all pot, endless summer and stoned hippie attitude, a style he first explored with Everybody’s Been Burned on The Byrds’ 1967 album Younger Than Yesterday and perfected on his masterpiece of a debut solo album, 1971’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.

Accompanied by just an acoustic guitar and a bass guitar, You Don’t Have To Cry is classic Crosby, Stills & Nash. Not only was it the song that brought them together, it was also a clear indication of the level of quality they would reach, and the kind of magic they would achieve, again and again for years to come.

 

[To be completed soon; Volt & Volume is still "under construction"]

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