Friday, May 30, 2014

crosby, stills, and nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash told it like it was with the free and easy acoustic surge and helplessly hoping harmonies of this lacy, lilting, leery landmark.  The trio came together from three successful groups:  the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and the Hollies, respectively.  Their first time singing together was at an informal jam session at Cass Elliot's house in Laurel Canyon.  

Stephen Stills says:  "I abhorred hippies. That’s fair and accurate. I went to a military school and my mother tried to make my manners refined, except for when I was a drunken lout, so all that carrying on about something you’ll never have an answer for never quite worked for me. I went to San Francisco looking for musicians and I saw all these drummers, and I was like, man, back down South none of these people would get jobs ever. And so all that was pretty much lost on me...My favourite was Cass Elliot [of the Mamas and the Papas]...She was the one I always looked forward to coming home and going out for dinner with and just yakking endlessly. She also did this one clever thing of getting me up to her house when Graham was going to be there and not telling me...Graham was head over heels in love with Joni Mitchell and they were smoking some stultifying weed so they’ve misremembered it. The fact is I would never have sung together for the first time in front of Joni Mitchell. I know myself well enough to know I would have been petrified. I would never have been able to function. We did it at Cass’s house and two days later we sang at Joni’s to show off. But the first time was at Cass’s house as I am sitting here...I have a smellophonic, stereophonic image of this thing and I can describe the house in vivid detail."

David Crosby considers:    "The term 'supergroup' didn't exist until we formed.  We were the first second-generation band to form. We had all been in successful bands before, but something like us had never happened. We set the precedent. And for us to become even bigger than our previous bands, that was even more unique.  In a sense, we knew what we were after.  I had heard Stephen's songs, and they were great. He was the up-and-coming young writer in LA. He was the guy with the best songs. So I started singing with him. [Sings] 'In the morning when you rise…' ...When we were done, Nash said, 'Can you do that one more time? Just one more time.' The third time we sang it, Nash joined in and added a top harmony line. It was amazing! It really was...It was the year of the guitar player – Clapton and Hendrix.  Everybody wanted to go in that direction, and we had this completely different thing, even though Stephen was a really fine guitar player. We wanted to do this thing with our voices, because it worked. And we had songs – really good songs. We knew we had our own sound...It's not a concept we invented, but I think it's a wonderful thing to do."

Graham Nash remembers:  "The music of the three of us -- or sometimes the four of us with Neil (Young) -- has provided a great deal of happiness and insight into the societal stream of consciousness... kind of a little foggy...I tend to believe that it was born in Joni's (Mitchell) living room. Stephen believes it was in Cassie's (Elliott) kitchen. But whichever the place was, David and Stephen were singing a song that they'd been rehearsing two-part called 'You Don't Have to Cry,' and I said, 'Wow, that sounds good. Sing it again.' And they sang it again. I said, 'Boy, that sounds really good, sing it again. I've got something here.' And they sang it again and I put my high part on the top and it was over. It was as pure and as angelic as it is today...It's just music. It's not rock and roll, it's not folk, it's not hip-hop, it's not anything. It's just us. That's one of the great things, you know. A lot of people can sing the same notes we do, but nobody can sound like me and David and Stephen...The music, that's always been the backbone of our relationship and that's always been the most important part. It never was important to us who was fighting, who didn't like who, who stabbed who in the back, all that stuff. The only thing that was truly important and the only thing that will be left when we're all dead and dust is the music...The making of it. The sculpting of something from nothing and that's basically what music is. All of it. We get great feelings when we write a tune, I get a great feeling when I sit down and play it for David and Stephen. I get a great sense when we record it."

Crosby, Stills &  Nash produced the sessions at Wally Heider's Studio III in Los Angeles featuring David Crosby on vocals and rhythm guitar;  Stephen Stills on vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and percussion;  and Graham Nash on vocals and acoustic guitar on "Lady of the Island" and "Marrakesh Express";  with Dallas Taylor on drums;  Jim Gordon on drums on "Marrakesh Express";  and Cass Elliot on background vocals on "Pre-Road Downs".    Stills dominated the production of the album and played most of the instruments:    "The other guys won't be offended when I say that one was my baby, and I kind of had the tracks in my head."    Bill Halverson was engineer; while David Geffen is credited with direction and Ahmet Erteg√ľn with spiritual guidance.    'Crosby, Stills &  Nash' became an instant classic, going to number twenty-five in the UK, six in the US, and number two in the Netherlands.  The album has been certified platinum four times over.

'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' was inspired by Judy Collins, pieced together from several songs Stills had been working on at the time.  The single went to number thirty in the Netherlands and twenty-one in the US.  

It's getting to the point

Where I'm no fun anymore
I am sorry
Sometimes it hurts so badly
I must cry out loud
I am lonely

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Remember what we've said

And done and felt about each other
Oh babe, have mercy
Don't let the past
Remind us of what we are not now
I am not dreaming

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Tearing yourself away from me now

You are free and I am crying
This does not mean I don't love you
I do, that's forever
Yes and for always

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Something inside

Is telling me that I've got your secret
Are you still listening?
Fear is the lock
And laughter the key to your heart
And I love you

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are

You make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard

Friday evening

Sunday in the afternoon
What have you got to lose?
Tuesday morning
Please be gone, I'm tired of you
What have you got to lose?

Can I tell it like it is? (Help me, I'm suffering)

And listen to me baby
It's my heart that's a-suffering (Help me, I'm dying)
It's a-dying, that's what I have to lose

I've got an answer

I'm going to fly away
What have I got to lose?
Will you come see me
Thursdays and Saturdays?
What have you got to lose?

Chestnut brown canary

Ruby throated sparrow
Sing the song, don't be long
Thrill me to the marrow

Voices of the angels

Ring around the moonlight
Asking me, said she so free
How can you catch the sparrow?

Lacy, lilting, leery

Losing love, lamenting
Change my life, make it right
Be my lady

Do do do do do, do do do do-do-do

Do do do do do, do do do-do
Do do do do do, do do do do-do-do
Do do do do do, do do do-do

Que linda me la traiga Cuba

La reina de la Mar Caribe
Quiero solo visitarla alli
Y que triste que no puedo vaya
O va, o va

'Wooden Ships'

live at Woodstock

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Crosby Stills and Nash - Judy blue eyes by Salut-les-copains

'Crosby, Stills &  Nash'
full album:  

Side one
1. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" (Stephen Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills 7:25
2. "Marrakesh Express" (Graham Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 2:39
3. "Guinnevere" (David Crosby)  Lead vocals:  Crosby with Nash 4:40
4. "You Don't Have to Cry" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:45
5. "Pre-Road Downs" (Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 3:01
Side two
1. "Wooden Ships" (Crosby, Paul Kantner, Stills)   Lead vocals:  Crosby with Stills 5:29
2. "Lady of the Island" (Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 2:39
3. "Helplessly Hoping" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:41
4. "Long Time Gone" (Crosby)  Lead vocals:  Crosby 4:17
5. "49 Bye-Byes" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 5:16

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