Bronco – Ace Of Sunlight (1971)

FrontCover1Bronco were an English rock/country band signed to Island & Polydor Records 1969-1973.

Formed August 1969 by Jess Roden following his split from The Alan Bown Set, Bronco were signed to Island Records by Guy Stevens and, after initially recording tracks at Olympic Studios with him, recorded their first album – Country Home – at Island’s own Basing Street Studios during 1970 with the final mix being overseen by Paul Samwell-Smith. The group similarly recorded their second album Ace of Sunlight at Basing Street (1971) which was produced by the band and Richard Digby Smith.

Following a serious motorway accident between Cheltenham and Bristol (in which the group’s crew – Dick Hayes and Alan Stone – and drummer Pete Robinson and bass-player John Pasternak were badly injured) and a later, ill-fated West Coast of America tour, Roden left the band after a final British tour with label-mates Mott The Hoople and John Martyn in the spring of 1972 to start a solo career. Guitarist Robbie Blunt soon followed and the remaining members drafted in Paul Lockey on vocals (who Kevyn Gammond knew from Band of Joy) and Dan Fone on guitar. This incarnation of Bronco signed to Polydor and released one album, Smoking Mixture.

Bronco’s bass player John Pasternak died of a heart attack in September 1986. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant fronted a tribute event for Pasternak in December of that year that featured Plant and The Big Town Playboys, and concluded with an ensemble band featuring Plant, Jimmy Page on guitar and Jason Bonham on drums.

Bronco01

Two Bronco tracks are featured on Island records compilation albums: “Love” appears on Bumpers released in 1970 and “Sudden Street” appears on El Pea (1971).

“Time Slips Away” was included on the Island Records compilation Meet On The Ledge, released as part of Island’s 50th anniversary in 2009.

Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward guests on their début album Country Home. Trevor Lucas sings back-up vocals on Ace of Sunlight. Both Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople also guest on Ace of Sunlight. (by wikipedia)
I loved most of the Island acts that I heard in the early 70’s (Free, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Spooky Tooth, etc.). Many of them were on A&M here in the States. Since Bronco apparently wasn’t on any State-side label, I didn’t hear them then, although based on my “buying trends” in those days … Can’t stop playing this disc since I’ve gotten it. Marvelous stuff that’s very evocative of what I remember about being great with most of those Island/A&M artists I loved then (and still do). Very nice vibe throughout. Wonderfully sung and played. Excellent songs like Sudden Street, and New Day Avenue. How could I have lived so long without these tunes spinning in my head? What a great, soulful voice Jess had! (by John S.)

In other words: A classic Island recording from this period … a forgotten jewels of British folk-rock … Listen and enjoy !

Bronco02

Personnel:
Robbie Blunt (guitar)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar)
John Pasternak (bass)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion)
Jess Roden (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano)
+
Terry Allen (organ on 06.)
Paul Bennett (vocals on 02. + 07.)
Paul Davenport (piano on 03.)
Ian Hunter (piano on 01.)
Trevor Lucas (vocals on 02.)
Mik Ralphs (organ on 01.)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Amber Moon (Roden/Worth) 3.57
02. Time Slips Away (Blunt) 6.06
03. Some Uncertainty (Ward/Gammond) 3.39
04. 4 Woman (Ward/Gammond) 4.10
05. New Day Avenue (Roden/Worth) 6.34
06. Discernible (Gammond/Worth) 3.44
07. Sudden Street (Roden) 6.21
08. Joys & Fears (Roden/Worth) 3.37

LabelB1

*
**

StevensDigby

Guy Stevens & Richard Digby Smith (two very important persons for Island Records)

Advertisements

Gary Hoey – Deja Blues (2013)

FrontCover1Deja Blues is an interesting collection of blues tunes that features the blues skills of the talented rock and surf style guitarist Gary Hoey. Most people know him as an instrumental guitar player along the lines of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani because of his billboard hit “Hocus Pocus,” or possibly know him from his Ho Ho Hoey Christmas albums, or have seen trading licks on tour with Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale. Let’s set the record straight – Gary is not a one trick rock guitar shredder.

The album has many Gary Hoey originals, some of which feature great guest appearances, including James Montgomery on “Boot Hill Blues,” Jon Butcher on the Texas Shuffle “Almost Over You,” Johnny A on “She’s Walking,” and finally, Frank Hannon on the southern rocking “Got to Believe.” There are a couple of covers of traditional blues songs where Gary makes the blues rock. “Going Down” is a down, dirty rockin’ take on the Don Nix penned classic recorded by everyone from the late great Freddie King to Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. Along with that is the lightly distorted Albert King classic “Born Under A Bad Sign.” An interesting track at the end is “Hold Your Head Up High” which features some slide guitar playing. If you close your eyes and forget who you’re listening to you might confuse this with an outtake form a Derek Trucks Band release.

GaryHoey

There are two stand out tracks on this album though. “Stranger” is an atmospheric mysterious blues where the tones clearly set the mood for one of the lyrics when Gary sings about being “like a stranger in my own town.” The best work on here though is when Gary lets his guitar do all the work on the instrumental slow blues title track – “Deja Blues.” The tension builds and reaches what you think is the peak at each chorus only to be taken to another level with another solo and then finally releases you back to the original slow blues jam.

If you’re looking for an album that straddles that fine line of blues and rock without turning into nothing but a guitar shredders excuse to solo than this fits the bill. It’s always interesting to see how artists who are mostly known for a different style of playing interpret the blues. Deja Blues does the blues justice with his pyrotechnic fretboard fluidity and ability to blend them with his rock background without losing the feeling and intent. (by bluesrockreview.com)

BackCover

Personnel:
Gary Hoey (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards)
Matt Scurfield (drums)
+
Johnny A. (guitar, slide-guitar on 05.)
Jon Butcher (guitar on 03.)
Frank Hannon (slide-guitar on 08.)
James Montgomery (harmonica on 01.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Boss You Around (Hoey) 3.08
02. Boot Mill Blues /Hoey) 3.00
03. Almost Over You (Hoey) 4.44
04. Going Down (Nix) 3.40
05 She’s Walking (Hoey) 3.26
06. Stranger (Hoey) 4.22
07. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 3.59
08. Got To Believe (Hoey) 3.40
09. Deja Blues (Hoey) 4.22
10. Hold Your Head Up High (Hoey) 4.17

 

CD1

*
**

Inlet

Hassan Boussou – Maalem (80´s)

FrontCover1Hassan Hakmoun is one of the most notable figures in contemporary Moroccan music.

Though schooled in the deeply traditional sounds of the Gnawa people in his native Marrakesh, since moving to the U.S. in 1987, his music has absorbed elements from a variety of popular styles, from jazz and “world music” to neo-classical contemporary Western music and cerebral pop, resulting in a diverse, award-winning and critically acclaimed body of work. His participation in such internationally renowned arts festivals as WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) and collaborations with respected artists, including David Sanborn, Peter Gabriel, Don Cherry and The Kronos Quartet, among countless others, have brought him further into the spotlight and inspired many artists from North Africa and around the globe to follow in his footsteps.

As a master musician whose vision and contributions have enabled a unique fusion and blending of traditions, cultures and genres in a world of ever-expanding global communication and exchange, his work maintains its profound and enormous capacity to joyously inspire and heal the individuals and communities it reaches, as Hakmoun undoubtedly remains a commanding and intriguing artist in the world music scene.

Hassan01

Hakmoun’’s musical origins are rooted in the African folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants from West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago. Their music combines complicated West African syncopations with long, sinuous North African melodies. Tracing their roots back to the Bilal, a freed slave known for his beautiful voice and believed to have been chosen by the Islamic prophet Mohammed to serve as the first muezzin to call the people of the faith to their prayers, Gnawa musicians often express their religious devotion through their music, using it to enter into spiritual trance states.

These rich, ancient Gnawa traditions have powerfully and intimately influenced Hakmoun’s early life and calling as a musician as his mother is a mystic healer known throughout Marrakesh for her derdeba trance ceremonies, often all-night affairs involving hypnotic playing and chanting to exorcise spirits. Steeped in Islamic mysticism and West African rhythms, the Gnawa musical form and its rituals lift the spirit and heal the sick and wounded through its songs of praise.

Hakmoun began learning Gnawa music after witnessing his first trance ceremony at the young age of four. Through a miraculous incident involving his younger sister, whose body was mysteriously touched by the spirit, covered in cigarette burns and then healed as a result of a meeting of the local Gnawa masters who proceeded to gather and conduct a ceremony of singing, drumming and playing instruments such as the sintir while asking for forgiveness and inquiring as to the cause of her ailments, Hakmoun proceeded to study percussion, as well as traditional trance-inducing dances.

Hassan02

He eventually chose the sintir as his main instrument, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood. The strings of the sintir are pitched low, enabling the instrument to serve as the bass foundation much like the Western string bass, while its tone is sweet, making it well-suited to carry the melodic line of a composition. By drumming on the body of the instrument, Hakmoun added his own percussion while contributing vocals, thereby creating a unique foundation for his musical explorations and growth. By the age of fourteen, he was an established musician performing at Gnawa lila ceremonies with his own ensemble.

Hakmoun made his U.S. debut in 1987 at Lincoln Center in New York City with Etian and Blanca Lee’’s Trio Gna & Nomadas dance group … (taken from his website)

Hassan03

I guess this is very rare record by Hassan Boussou … I found no further informations in the internet (this is maybe a bootleg, I don´t know) … I bought it last week in Marrakesh  at the Jamaa el Fna market:

Jamaa el Fna (also Jemaa el-Fnaa, Djema el-Fna or Djemaa el-Fnaa) is a square and market place in Marrakesh’s medina quarter (old city). It remains the main square of Marrakesh, used by locals and tourists.

And I guess, this were very erly recordings from the Eighties … unfortunatley the covers gives no more informations ..

So … listen to the magic of a real unique world of music …

Hassan04

Personnel:
Hassan Boussou (lute, vocals)
+
Marie le Baron et la troupe Boussou Ganga

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Part 1 / 22.07
02. Part 2 / 36.51

CD1
*
**

David Gilmour – On An Island (2006)

FrontCover1On An Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.On an Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.

The album features Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, Georgie Fame, David Crosby, Graham Nash, late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, early Pink Floyd member Bob Klose and Pink Floyd session and touring musician Guy Pratt. Chris Thomas and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera assisted with production. The lyrics were principally written by Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson.

Much of the album was recorded in Gilmour’s private studio aboard his houseboat Astoria. The track “Smile” was heard briefly in an unmastered form on the BBC2 show Three Men in a Boat which retraced a trip on the River Thames that passed the houseboat. Other sections were recorded at David’s farm in Sussex and Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studios
Orchestrations on the album were arranged by noted Polish film composer Zbigniew Preisner and conducted by Robert Ziegler. The orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Simon Rhodes.

Singles

The album also produced two singles; the title track “On an Island” and “Smile”, the latter peaking at #72 on the UK Singles Chart. “On an Island” also peaked at #27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Promo Single edits of “Take a Breath” and “This Heaven” were issued to coincide with the US leg of the tour, while “Smile” was the second single in the UK.

On an Island entered the UK charts at #1, giving Gilmour his first ever chart-topping album outside of Pink Floyd. It reached #1 on the European Chart, and #2 in Canada, Portugal and Iceland. It has also provided Gilmour with his first US Top 10 album, reaching #6. The album has achieved platinum status in Canada and has sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.

Booklet02A

Gilmour toured the album with Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera and long-time members of the live Pink Floyd band, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. Steve DiStanislao was brought in as drummer. The shows included the entire On an Island album plus Pink Floyd songs such as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Echoes”, “Arnold Layne”, “High Hopes”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” among others. No songs from Gilmour’s two previous solo albums were played. The tour is documented on the DVD/Blu-ray Remember That Night and the live album & DVD Live in Gdansk. (by wikipedia)

Booklet03A

To think that David Gilmour waited 22 years to record his third solo album is a pretty solid indicator that he’s not the kind of bloke to merely cash in on his name. After all, he’s the guy who sold his house for four million English pounds and gave the money to charity. Perhaps now that the Pink Floyd reunion happened and he and Roger Waters are at least civil to one another, the Floyd enigma can finally find its way into the annals of history and rock legend. This catches listeners up to On an Island. Those desiring something edgy and dramatic will have to wait. Gilmour wrote six of these ten tunes with his wife, Polly Samson, who also plays a bit of piano and sings. Musically, On An Island is mostly a laid-back, utterly elegant English record. It has the feel of taking place between twilight and dawn. There are a few rumblers to upset the overall balance of tranquility and stillness, like flashes of heat lightning across the dark skies; they add dimension and a quiet power to these proceedings. Produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera (who appears on keyboards), and Chris Thomas, the album features guest spots from the likes of Richard Wright, Robert Wyatt, B.J. Cole, Floyd/Sly Stone drummer Andy Newmark, Georgie Fame, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Jools Holland, Willie Wilson, and many others.

Booklet09A

The set opens with “Castellorizon,” a moody showcase with Gilmour’s guitars backed by the orchestral arrangements of Zbigniew Preisner as conducted by Robert Zeigler. Preisner’s arrangements throughout are wonderful and not quite as dark as one might expect, given his track record. Atmospheric and dramatic, it offers a lovely if off impression of the album. The title track, which follows, is all breezy strummed chords, keyboards by Wright, and dreamy vocals with Gilmour backed by Crosby and Nash. It’s a slow, textured, and spacy love song. “The Blue” follows suit; it too is so utterly full of air that one can hear the wind rustling through the palms. Wright’s backing vocals lend a slight PF “Echoes” slant (as does the Hammond organ); the instrumentation just shimmers, hovers, and floats the track along. There are rockers here, though — “Take a Breath” features chunky razor-wire chords, Leszek Mozdzer’s piano, and Manzanera’s synth work winding around one another, and the mood is wonderfully plodding, dramatic, and futuristically “heavy.” On the gauzy wee-hours instrumental “Red Sky at Night,” Gilmour plays sax as well as guitars, and it gives way to “This Heaven,” a bluesy stroller that’s given deluxe organ treatment by Fame.

Gilmour2006

There’s a delightfully nocturnal feel that makes the track feel a bit sinister, but really it’s the sound of eros making itself heard, and Gilmour contributes a biting solo and fills amid the drum samples and strings. Wyatt appears on the back-porch spacehead soundtrack-like tripnotica of “Then I Close My Eyes.” His and Gilmour’s wordless voices slip under and around the considerable space between instruments — which include Wyatt on cornet and percussion as well as Cole playing a Weissenborn guitar, Caroline Dale’s cello, a pair of harmonicas, and of course Gilmour’s high-register blues twang. The set ends on a gentle note in “Where We Start” — so much so that it may make some scratch their heads and wonder where the cranky, diffident Gilmour has wandered off to, but others will be drawn into this seductive, romantic new place where musical subtlety, spacious textures, and quietly lyrical optimism hold sway. (by Thom Jurek)

GilmourNashCrosby

Personnel:
BJ Cole (guitar on 07.)
David Crosby (vocals on 02.)
Caroline Dale (cello on 04., 05. + 07.)
Ilan Eshkeri (programming on 05. + 09.)
Georgie Fame (organ on 06.)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals, lap steel guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, saxophone, cümbüş, harmonica)
Jooly Holland (piano on 03.)
Rado Klose (guitar on 02, +  03.)
Chris Laurence (bass on 05. + 09.)
Alasdair Malloy (glass harmonica on 07. + 09.)
Phil Manzanera (guitar on 04., 06. + 07.)
Leszek Możdżer (piano on 04. + 09.)
Graham Nash (vocals on 02.)
Andy Newmark (drums on 02.,03., 96. + 10., percussion on 07.)
Guy Pratt (bass on 02. + 04.)
Polly Samson (piano on 03., background vocals on 08.)
Chris Stainton (organ on 03.)
Chris Thomas (keyboards on 09.)
Lucy Wakeford (harp on 09.)
Willie Wilson (drums on 08.)
Richard Wright (organ on 02., vocals on 03.)
Robert Wyatt (cornet, percussion, vocals on 07.)
+
Zbigniew Preisner (orchestration)

Booklet08A

Tracklist:
01. Castellorizon (Gilmour) 3.54
02. On An Island (Gilmour/Samson) 6.47
03. The Blue (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
04. Take A Breath (Gilmour/Samson) 5.46
05. Red Sky At Night (Gilmour) 2.51
06. This Heaven (Gilmour/Samson) 4.24
07. Then I Close My Eyes (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
08. Smile (Gilmour/Samson) 4.03
09. A Pocketful Of Stones (Gilmour/Samson) 6.17
10. Where We Start (Gilmour) 6.45

CD1
*
**

Front´BackCover1

Various Artists – Gnawa Music Of Marrakesh – Night Spirit Masters (1990)

FronzCover1As Paul Bowles states in his liner notes, the music of the Gnawa (Malinese slaves brought to Morocco in the 16th century) is very different than most of what’s heard in Morocco. Indeed, there’s a healthy strain of the kind of vocal and percussion styles heard in the Gnawa’s West African homeland on this fine collection. And even though the Middle Eastern darbouka drum is occasionally used and the language sung in is Arabic, the predominant sound comes from large, deep-toned drums called the tbola (akin to the talking drum of Ghana) and from the chorus of singers heard on half the cuts (the harmonies produced being similar to those in both traditional and popular West African song).

Sounding like a cross between the oud (the Middle Eastern predecessor to the lute) and the West African kora, the upright string instrument the sentir musically fuses the two cultures. Musicology aside, this Bill Laswell-produced recording is a must for fans of both African and Middle Eastern music. Half the pieces feature lead and group singers in call and response mode buoyed by a full compliment of sentirs, drums, hand clapping, and qrakechs (finger cymbals made from sheet metal). The other portion includes both drum features and sentir and vocal pieces. A great collection. (by Stephen Cook)

BackCover

 

Tracklist + Personnel:

01. Baba L’Rouami1 Baba L’Rouami 3.05
Goblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamSintir, Vocals – Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Ahmed Hamzaoui, Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Said Oughassal
02. . Mimoun Mamrba 5-12
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim Oughassal, Abelmar Bou NaamSintir, Vocals – Said OughassalVocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

03. Tramin 2.57
Drums – Abbes Larfaoui, Brahim El Belkani, Mahjoub Jaffer

04. Chabako 6.27
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Hassan Zougari, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

05. Moulay Abdellah Ben Hassaine / Moulay Brahim 4.12
Shaker – Ahmed MamzaoiSintir, Vocals – Mustapha Baqbou

06. Toura Toura Tour Kelilah 4.07
Sintir, Vocals – Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Abdel Kbir Mershan, Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Mbarrek Ben Othane

07. Baniya 5.59
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Hassan Zougari, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

08. Jillala 4.49
Sintir, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Mershan, Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Mohammed Qrifli

09. Said Fafy Drum Solo 2.15
Drums – Said Fafy, Said Oughassal

10. Toura Toura Tour Kelilah #2 3.12
Castanets [Qrakech], Vocals – Mahjoub MethoumHandclaps – Rachid El BelkaniSintir, Vocals – Brahim El Belkani

11. Hamouda 6.00
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

Inlet

 

*
**

MusicInMarrakesh

Crosby, Stills & Nash – Same (1969)

FrontCover1Crosby, Stills & Nash is the first album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, released in 1969 on the Atlantic Records label. It spawned two Top 40 hit singles, “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of December 6, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 4,200,000.Crosby, Stills & Nash is the first album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, released in 1969 on the Atlantic Records label. It spawned two Top 40 hit singles, “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of December 6, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 4,200,000.

The album was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Along with the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Band’s Music from Big Pink of the previous year, it helped initiate a sea change in popular music away from the ruling late sixties aesthetic of bands playing blues-based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock’s roots, utilizing folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication. Not only blending voices, the three meshed their differing strengths, David Crosby for social commentary and atmospheric mood pieces, Stephen Stills for his diverse musical skills and for folding folk and country elements subtly into complex rock structures, and Graham Nash for his radio-friendly pop melodies, to create an amalgam of broad appeal.

CSN3The album features some of their best known songs: “Helplessly Hoping”, “Long Time Gone” (a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy), “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (composed for Judy Collins) and “Wooden Ships” (co-written with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane).
Stills dominated the recording of the album. Apart from drums, handled by Dallas Taylor, he played nearly all of the instruments on the album. Nash played acoustic guitar on two tracks and Crosby rhythm guitar on a few. Stills played all the bass, organ, and lead guitar parts, as well as acoustic guitar on his own songs. “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,” Stills said.

The singles:
Singles

David Crosby bristled over the plan for “Long Time Gone” as he thought he should at least play rhythm guitar on his own song. Stills convinced him to go home for a while and when he returned Crosby was won over by the music track that Stills and Taylor had recorded. In a more recent interview, Crosby contradicted his earlier statement, stating that he had played guitar on the track.

The group performed songs from the album at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969. In late 1969 the group appeared on the Tom Jones TV show and performed “Long Time Gone” with Tom Jones sharing vocals.
This album proved very influential on many levels to the dominant popular music scene in America for much of the 1970s. The success of the album generated gravitas for the group within the industry, and galvanized interest in signing like acts, many of whom came under management and representation by the CSN team of Elliot Roberts and David Geffen. Strong sales, combined with the group’s emphasis on personal confession in its writing, paved the way for the success of the singer-songwriter movement of the early seventies. Their utilization of personal events in their material without resorting to subterfuge, their talents in vocal harmony, their cultivation of painstaking studio craft, as well as the Laurel Canyon ethos that surrounded the group and their associates, established an aesthetic for a number of acts that came to define the “California” sound of the ensuing decade, including the Eagles, Jackson Browne, post-1974 Fleetwood Mac, and others.

CSN2

On the cover the members are, left to right, Nash, Stills, and Crosby, for no particular reason, the reverse of the order of the album title. The photo was taken by their friend and photographer Henry Diltz before they came up with a name for the group. They found an abandoned house with an old, battered sofa outside, located at 815 Palm Avenue, West Hollywood, across from the Santa Palm car wash that they thought would be a perfect fit for their image. A few days later they decided on the name “Crosby, Stills, and Nash”. To prevent confusion, they went back to the house a day or so later to re-shoot the cover in the correct order, but when they got there they found the house had been reduced to a pile of timber.

Dallas Taylor can be seen looking through the window of the door on the rear of the sleeve. In the expanded edition, however, he is absent. The original vinyl LP was released in a gatefold sleeve that depicted the band members in large fur parkas with a sunset in the background on the gatefold (shot in Big Bear, California), as well as the iconic cover art. A long folded page inside displayed the album credits, lyrics, track listing, as well as a quasi-psychedelic pencil drawing.

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone critic Barry Franklin called Crosby, Stills & Nash “an eminently playable record” and “especially satisfying work”, finding the songwriting and vocal harmonies particularly exceptional. Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The Village Voice: “I have written elsewhere that this album is perfect, but that is not necessarily a compliment. Only Crosby’s vocal on ‘Long Time Gone’ saves it from a special castrati award.”

In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Crosby, Stills & Nash number 262 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. (by wikipedia)

Inlet1

The Crosby, Stills & Nash triumvirate shot to immediate superstardom with the release of its self-titled debut LP, a sparkling set immortalizing the group’s amazingly close, high harmonies. While elements of the record haven’t dated well — Nash’s Eastern-influenced musings on the hit “Marrakesh Express” now seem more than a little silly, while the antiwar sentiments of “Wooden Ships,” though well-intentioned, are rather hokey — the harmonies are absolutely timeless, and the best material remains rock-solid. Stills’ gorgeous opener, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” in particular, is an epic love song remarkable in its musical and emotional intricacy, Nash’s “Pre-Road Downs” is buoyant folk-pop underpinned by light psychedelic textures, and Crosby’s “Long Time Gone” remains a potent indictment of the assassination of Robert Kennedy. A definitive document of its era. (by by Jason Ankeny)

CSN4

Personnel:
David Crosby (vocals, guitar)
Graham Nash (vocals, guitar)
Stephen Stills (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion)
+
Cass Elliot (background vocals on 05.)
Jim Gordon – drums on 02.)
Dallas Taylor (drums)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stills) 7:25
02. Marrakesh Express (Nash) 2:39
03. Guinevere (Crosby) with Nash 4:40
04. You Don’t Have To Cry (Stills) Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:45
05. Pre-Road Downs (Nash) 3:01
06. Wooden Ships (Crosby/Kantner/Stills) 5:29
07. Lady Of The Island (Nash) 2:39
08. Helplessly Hoping (Stills) 2:41
09. Long Time Gone (Crosby) 4:17
10. 49 Bye-Byes (Stills) 5:16

LabelB1

*
**

Front+BackCover1

 

The story behind the song “Marrakesh Express”:

With 60s pop music going psychedelic, The Hollies’ Graham Nash wrote a song about the hippie trail in Morocco. But it had to wait till he teamed up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.

By the late 60s, Morocco was fast becoming an essential stop-off point on the new hippie trail. It was a place frequented by seekers of all stripes, from travellers and the more adventurous tourists through to artists, writers, fashionistas and rock stars. They were all drawn by the exotica of this storied corner of North Africa, whose heady promise of spiritual enlightenment and hashish served to melt away the conventions of the West.

In 1966, Graham Nash made a pilgrimage of his own, one that sparked off one of his most famous songs. On holiday from his day job as leader of The Hollies, Nash bought himself a ticket and hopped aboard a train from Casablanca to Marrakesh. “I was in first class and there were a lot of older, rich American ladies in there, who all had their hair dyed blue,” Nash recalls today. “And I quickly grew bored of that and went back to the third class of the train. That was where it was all happening. There were lots of people cooking strange little meals on small wooden stoves and the place was full of chickens, pigs and goats. It was fabulous; the whole thing was fascinating.”

So rich was the experience that Nash poured it into a vivid piece of psychedelic pop: Marrakesh Express. Mellifluous, carefree and irresistibly catchy, the lyrics made reference to ‘animal carpet wall-to-wall’, ‘coloured cottons’ in the air and ‘charming cobras in the square’. But they also hinted at a vague sense of dissatisfaction with life, as if Nash was on some indefinable quest for something better. Particularly the lines: ‘Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind/Had to get away to see what we could find.’

The song itself was written during The Hollies’ Yugoslavian tour of June 1967. It was one of a number of new tunes that showcased Nash’s outward growth as a songwriter as he attempted to steer The Hollies away from the confines of the singles market into the more lysergic, experimental realm of peers like The Beatles and The Byrds – though the rest of the band didn’t all share his vision. Initially reluctant to record Marrakesh Express _at all, The Hollies only got as far as cutting a backing track at Abbey Road in April 1968. Nash, who remembers that “it wasn’t very good”, explains that he’d written a bunch of similar songs at that point – among them _Lady Of The Island and Right Between The Eyes – which The Hollies weren’t moved by either.

It wasn’t just the tunes. Nash’s burgeoning interest in the counterculture and its lifestyle meant he was the only band member to embrace LSD and marijuana. Allied to the fact that King Midas In Reverse, one of his finest compositions, had only been a moderate hit, Nash sought a move away. “Yeah, it was obvious that my career with The Hollies was coming to an end,” he says.

Not that Nash hadn’t planned for the immediate future. On his first trip to LA with The Hollies, in June 1966, he’d been introduced to the Mamas & The Papas’ Cass Elliot, one of California’s leading scenesters. She in turn had introduced him to David Crosby, ace harmony singer and songwriter in The Byrds. “I’d been in a showbiz environment with The Hollies,” says Nash, “but Crosby and The Byrds weren’t like that. So there may have been a cultural difference, but there weren’t any musical differences with us. I knew he was serious as a heart attack about his music, that The Byrds were a great band and that the modal stuff I was attracted to in their music was mainly down to David. When Cass introduced us, it was instant friendship.”

Crosby and Nash would bump into each other regularly over the next couple of years and, by the summer of 1968, both men found themselves at a critical juncture in their respective careers. Ever the egotist, Crosby had been ousted from The Byrds less than 12 months earlier. And while Nash had already decided to quit The Hollies, Stephen Stills’ tenure in dynamic LA rockers Buffalo Springfield had also come to a close. Stills and Crosby had been jamming informally for months before Nash was invited into the fold. The rapport was sensational. Grounded by Stills’ masterful guitar playing and achieving lift-off with their gorgeous three-way harmonies, Crosby, Stills & Nash were suddenly a serious concern.

In November 1968, Nash officially left The Hollies, heading out to California and taking up temporary residence at Crosby’s place. When it came to selecting songs for their self-titled debut album, Nash revived Marrakesh Express. Easily the most ‘pop’ song in the CSN canon, it was recorded at Wally Heider’s LA studio in February ’69. Stills’ guitar races along at a clip, echoing the literal rush of Nash’s Casablanca train and imbuing the song with a wondrous sense of buoyant optimism. There’s a smattering of nonsensical wordplay to begin, before Nash begins to sing in his warmest tones, exhorting everyone to climb aboard. You can almost feel the sunset through the windows.

Issued in May 1969, the album marked out Crosby, Stills & Nash as America’s first great supergroup and provided the counterculture with its definitive soundtrack. Marrakesh Express was released as the lead-off single and made the Billboard Top 30. Over here it reached No.17 and remains the only UK Top 20 hit of CSN’s entire career. It’s a song that continues to run on in its creator’s heart.

“I thought it was a funny song when I wrote it,” says Nash. “It’s not the greatest song in the world, but people still really like it whenever we sing it live. Whenever we need a little light-hearted, uptempo thing, that’s what we reach for.”

NASH, CASH, BASH

The late 60s found country titan Johnny Cash at the very peak of his commercial fame, hosting a hit show on TV and scoring high with his celebrated live albums Johnny Cash At San Quentin and Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison. He also hosted regular gatherings with his songwriting chums at his home in Tennessee.

One night in January 1969, he invited Bob Dylan, Shel Silverstein, Joni Mitchell and Kris Kristofferson. “We’d have a big circle with people passing a guitar around,” recalls Kristofferson. “I remember Graham Nash there with Joni Mitchell and nobody knew who he was. We thought he was just Joni’s boyfriend. Then he picked up the guitar and sang Marrakesh Express. Man, he knocked everybody out with that song.” (by teamrock.com)