Forty summers ago, North America’s greatest dysfunctional supergroup patched things up for a while, filled stadiums and left behind tales of backstage excess and shaky vocal harmonies. The first-ever set of recordings from those shows is fittingly over-the-top – three discs and one DVD with footage of eight songs. The two electric-set discs have a crackling, wired-on-something energy: Check how Stephen Stills and Neil Young trade unhinged solos on Young’s “Revolution Blues.” The often exquisite acoustic disc fi nds all four lending harmonies to solo songs like Stills’ “Change Partners” and reveling in a compatibility that often escaped them offstage.
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With strong then-new material from all four – including Graham Nash’s agitated “Fieldworker,” Stills’ Latin-soul “My Angel,” David Crosby’s ethereal “Carry Me” and several Young songs, especially the wrenching “Pushed It Over the End” – CSNY 1974 may be the closest we’ll come to hearing a mid-Seventies reunion album from this band. (After the tour, the group convened for a new record but fell apart yet again.) In another of Young’s songs here, the droll honky-tonk shu e “Love Art Blues,” he sings, “I went and played too hard and I lost my fun.” It’s a prophetic line for a tour that pushed a great band over the edge but left us, finally, with this overabundance of treasures.