Thursday, February 24, 2011

if i could only remember my name...

David Crosby released this mystical hippie masterpiece with a little help from his friends: Graham Nash, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, as well as members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana.

Stephen Barncard engineered the album in Heider's Studio C, where he was also mixing the Dead's 'American Beauty' album. People were coming in and out of the studio and Barncard would record everything. Most of the songs were written by Crosby over the years; but some of them developed during studio jam sessions. He dedicated the album to his girlfriend, Christine Hinton (his “Guinnevere”), who had died in a car accident in 1969.

“I was in a pretty emotional state, trying to stay so deeply in the music that the other thing — Christine — wouldn't drive me under. I needed to work all the time, so I would write constantly, and when I wasn't writing, I was recording, and when I wasn't recording, I would try to get some place to play. It was all I had to hang on to, so I was pretty prolific.”

'If I Could Only Remember My Name' became his biggest solo success, peaking at number twelve on the US album chart.  

'Music Is Love' features Graham Nash and Neil Young and was composed by all three. The phasing effect happened by accident; but Crosby loved it.

The epic 'Cowboy Movie' is a metaphorical story of the breakup of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. It was recorded completely live and includes performances by members of the Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann.

The wordless, jazzy 'Tamalpais High (At About 3)' also has Garcia, Lesh, and Kreutzmann, along with Jorma Kaukonen on lead guitar.

'Laughing' includes Nash, Garcia, Lesh, and Kreutzmann. Joni Mitchell sings vocals.

"And I thought I've seen someone
Who seemed at last to know the truth
I was mistaken, only a child laughing in the sun, in the sun"

The anti-government opus 'What Are Their Names' starts out with a jam session that includes Young, Garcia, Lesh, and Kreutzmann. The end of the song features the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra chorus which includes vocals by David Crosby, David Freiberg, Jerry Garcia, Paul Kantner, Phil Lesh, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, and Grace Slick. Crosby, Garcia, Lesh, Shrieve, and Young share writing credit.

"I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live?
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give

Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot
To ask"

'Traction In The Rain'

"It's hard enough, I know
To find the strength to go
Back to where it all began
It's hard enough to gain
Any traction in the rain
You know it's hard for me to understand"

reissue bonus track

"Kids and Dogs"   David Crosby 7:01

'If I Could Only Remember My Name' 
full album:

Side one 
1. "Music Is Love"   David Crosby, Graham Nash, Neil Young 3:16
2. "Cowboy Movie"   David Crosby 8:02
3. "Tamalpais High (at about 3)"   David Crosby 3:29
4. "Laughing"   David Crosby 5:20
Side two
1. "What Are Their Names"   Crosby, Garcia, Lesh, Shrieve, Young 4:09
2. "Traction in the Rain"   David Crosby 3:40
3. "Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)"   David Crosby 5:53
4. "Orleans"   traditional 1:56
5. "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here"   David Crosby 1:19

alternative version:

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