Crosby-Stills-Nash Wind Up Album - Rolling Stone
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Crosby-Stills-Nash Wind Up Album

“Super-group” completes highly-anticipated record, details songs

Crosby Stills and Nash

Crosby Stills and Nash, circa 1960's

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Los Angeles —

The musical alliance of Crosby (David Crosby of the Byrds), Stills (Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield) and Nash (Graham Nash of the Hollies) has completed its first album, which will be released by Atlantic probably later this month.

The album, as yet untitled, is arguably the most talked-about LP-in-progress in Los Angeles, one of the most talked-about in the industry. And there is a natural hype that has grown up around the “super group” so strong it is beginning to get to the band itself.

“Yeah, I know it’s there,” Stills said, “and it scares me, man. Actually, it’s sort of funny. We have to chase dozens out of the studio every night. And it’s not the usual peanut gallery.” (Those who have been “chased out” range from Ahmet Ertegun, the president of Atlantic Records, to Donovan.)

“I guess what it comes down to is the music,” Stills added. “People will have to listen to the music and judge. I think the music’s good. We could be three cats out of the Hamburger Hamlet and it wouldn’t matter. Listen to the music.”

There are ten songs in the LP—five of them written by Stills, three by Nash, one by Crosby, and one by Crosby, Stills and Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner. In recording them, between nine and 16 tracks per song were used.

In the sessions, Crosby played rhythm guitar, Stills played all the lead guitar, keyboard and bass parts, and Dallas Taylor (formerly of Clear Light) played drums. Stills said that before the group appears publicly—sometime in July at the earliest—a bassist and organist would be added. (Bassist Harvey Brooks is not a member of the band, as previously reported.)

The first side of the LP begins with “Suite Judy Blue Eyes,” a song written by Stills. “It’s all about this chick, a friend of mine,” he said. (Stills has been seeing Judy Collins in recent months.)

The second is one of Nash’s, “Marakesh Express.” “A train song,” Stills said, “and it sounds like drunken Mexican cornet players in one part, but that’s my guitar overdubbed twice.”

Next on the disc is “Helplessly Hoping,” what Stills described as “a real country song, as opposed to all those plastic Hollywood country songs by plastic country groups I read are happening now.” Stills wrote it.

The fourth cut is “Lady of the Island,” another song by Nash, described by Stills as “a pretty song.”

The final song on the first side is “Pre-Road Downs,” which is a song about just that—the blues musicians get before going back on tour again. It’s a rock song, written by Nash. “It really trucks,” said Stills.

The second side begins with “Wooden Ships,” a longish (5:15) song written by Crosby, Stills and Kantner. Stills said this one begins with “our very own science fiction movie, a conversation between two voices” and closes with a large chorus. In between, he said, were “three different kinds of melodies.”

Next: “You Don’t Have to Cry,” written by Stills, who said it tells what a drag show business can be, “especially New York type show biz.” The third cut is Crosby’s only solo writing effort, “Gueneviere.” The next is a jazz piece called “Deja Vu.”

And the last is “Forty-nine Bye-Byes.” Stills wrote it and said it gets its title from the fact that “it’s sort of a combination of two other songs — ‘Forty-nine Reasons’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby.'” A rocker.

“I don’t know whether you should print all this,” Stills said. “It should be a surprise.” The album was recorded at Wally Heider’s Studio Three in Hollywood.


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