Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash (Vinyl)

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Crosby, Stills & Nash is an extremely rich and influential debut album from the “super group” of the same name. The trio of vocalists / guitarists which forged this group each came from successful 1960s pop/rock acts. David Crosby was from The Byrds, and Stephen Stills played in Buffalo Springfield, both Southern California folk/rock groups, while Graham Nash was from the British pop group The Hollies. Together, the group put an original twist on folk, country, blues, and rock topped by their masterfully blended three-part harmonies. Many credit this album for helping spawn the prolific soft rock groups of the 1970s which dominate many of the pop charts through that decade.

Crosby was dismissed from The Byrds in late 1967 due to internal conflicts, while Buffalo Springfield broke up a few months later, leaving Stills without a permanent gig. The two met informally during a jam with Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner. Crosby knew Nash from a UK tour in 1966 featuring The Byrds and The Hollies. The three members first performed together at a private party in July 1968 where they instantly realized they had a unique vocal chemistry. This sparked Nash to depart from The Hollies and use their surnames as the title of a brand new group.

The debut album was co-produced by Bill Halverson, in collaboration with the three members of the band. Musically, Stills took the lead role by providing most of the lead guitars, bass, and keyboards along with his vocal parts. Crosby and Nash each added some acoustic and/or rhythm guitar along with their vocals, with Dallas Taylor providing drums. The simple, improvised album cover features the three members sitting on a couch in front of an abandoned homes just days before that dwelling was torn down.


So much timeless music came floating through my open door around the year 1969, with one of the seminal albums being, for both its innovative sound, character and quality, the first Crosby, Stills & Nash release. Looking back at the cover, I can only wonder if I was ever so young, where if I didn’t have the pictures to prove it, I may have dismissed those years as nothing more than a long series of hallucinogenic dreams.

So ... I could talk about the groups these amazing artists sprang from, but you all know those stories. Or I could talk about the splendid harmonies, jangling guitar playing and the return to an authentic Americana musical sound, but it would be much more pleasant to listen to them than to read my words. Of course, I could always speak of the times, or the counter culture, yet all of that is now the stuff of history at this juncture. So where does that leave us at this point ... why with me, and the effect this album had on my life.

I had just landed in Vietnam when I finally got myself a copy of this album, thought I didn’t need one, as it was drifting from record players and reel to reel tape machines from every hootch ... at times the whole base was awash in the sounds of Crosby, Stills & Nash. With this release, the world was finally to came to terms with the mighty ‘Air Guitar,’ and though it was not a very feminine or a girlie thing to do, I swear, you guys have never experienced ‘Air Guitar’ until you have seen a woman in olive drab BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniform), left foot on her camouflaged helmet, wailing away, using a fully automatic M16 (with the safety in the ‘On’ position) as a guitar, with the music blasting to the max. That was the one good thing about being in Vietnam, there weren’t a lot of people to disturb, and I was the undisputed champion of the ‘Air Guitar’ for the entire 44th Medical Unit. I was lightening fast on the draw, I had the power chords down, I could reel back and bow forward with my head almost touching my knees, I had blisters on my fingers, and a smile on my face ... of course we all scrambled when we heard the feedback from the rotors, as a line of choppers were circling to touch down.

And even in the OR, some kind soul had made a tape mix of songs which always included, “Guinevere,” “Wooden Ships,” “Lady Of The Island” and of course “Helplessly Hoping.” I can still taste the tears from that song, as they inched their way down my cheeks, leaving tiny trails in the red dust that caked my face. Sometimes now, back in the real world, I’ll hear a song from this precious album ease its way through an open car window at a stoplight, turn slowly, knowing that for a brief second, that the girl in the other car will look, once upon a time, just like me.

*** The Fun Facts:  The current residents don't wanna see your face on their porch, it's now a private residence at 809 Pam Avenue in West Hollywood, California. The truer side of the story goes thusly … when the to be album cover photo was developed, the boys realized they were not in Crosby, Stills and Nash order. Returning to the house a few days later to reshoot the photo, they discovered that house had been torn down and carted away, meaning the out of order photo was the last of the house at 809 Pam Avenue in Laurel Canyon.

By: Streetmouse

A1 Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
A2 Marrakesh Express
A3 Guinnevere
A4 You Don't Have To Cry
A5 Pre-Road Downs
B1 Wooden Ships
B2 Lady Of The Island
B3 Helplessly Hoping
B4 Long Time Gone
B5 49 Bye-Byes

Mastered From The Original Analog Master Tapes
Replica Of The Original Textured Gatefold Jacket

Atlantic Records
R1 8229