Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – The Winterland Reunion (1973)

FrontCover1From the time they came together as a trio at the end of 1968, to the fall of 1973 when they turned in this impromptu set at Winterland, the three voices comprising Crosby, Stills and Nash had seen their share of changes: they triumphed with their 1969 self-titled debut, joined forces with Neil Young for the follow-up Déjà Vu in 1970, and took their show on the road; by the end of that run, they’d weathered the kind of wear and tear on their hearts and souls that could throw the average band off course for good. And yet, whether performing songs from those first two albums, Crosby’s If Only I Could Remember My Name, Nash’s Songs for Beginners, Crosby and Nash’s heralded duo album, or Stills’ solo albums and works with Manassas, when the original core CSN trio got together they still made sweet harmony, as they did on this night to remember.

In the Fall of 1973, Crosby, Stills and Nash were still slightly reeling from a busy period that followed recording in Hawaii with Young and the passing of CSN&Y roadie Bruce Berry (famously eulogized by Young on “Tonight’s the Night”). Stills had been on the road with Manassas, and Crosby and Nash were playing their own shows with an electric band. But when Manassas booked a couple of dates at Winterland on October 4 and 7 of 1973, it was family reunion time when Crosby and Nash pulled a walk-on and the trio appeared onstage together for the first time since 1970.

Informal, joking, and pleasingly loose, the three friends seemed to truly enjoy singing together, despite the occasional onstage bristling and ropy moments. Crosby sarcastically refers to “our usual slick Hollywood show,” explaining away the presentation’s unrehearsed nature as “more fun this way for us.” Stills answered his band mate’s quip drolly with, “Anything you say, David, anything you say.”

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Between the banter and tuning up, the three manage to turn in some prime vocal shots, from a version of the Beatle’s “Blackbird” to a handful of their group’s and solo works. Nash takes the lead on “Southbound Train” and retreats to piano for “Prison Song,” his protest of tough marijuana laws on the poor population. Stills sings Young’s “Human Highway,” which Crosby characterizes as a song by “our skinny friend;” the live version isn’t quite worked out the way we’ve come to know it, but that’s part of the excitement of this off-the-cuff set. “Wooden Ships” is dedicated to Crosby and Stills’ co-writer, the Jefferson Airplane/Starship’s Paul Kantner, before the evening is crowned with the vocal trio tour de force “Helplessly Hoping.”

The two sets from these Winterland shows foreshadowed a proper reunion on the horizon: a couple of months later, Young would join Nash and Crosby at an appearance at the San Francisco Civic and, the following year, CSN&Y would be on the road again, playing to their largest audiences ever. Marking a tentative step toward their mid-’70s triumph, as well as a throwback to their early days when the vocal giants were just a trio, this Winterland night is a historic footprint on CSN’s trail of rock & roll. Long may they continue to run its course. (by concertvault.com)

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Personnel:
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Graham Nash (guitar, vocals, piano)
Stephen Stills (guitar, vocals)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals, harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Helplessly Hoping (Stills) 4.00
02. Wooden Ships (Crosby/Kantner/Stills) 6.00
03. Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney) 2.56
04. As I Come Of Age (Stills) 5.56
05. Roll Another Number (Young) 4.37
06. Human Highway (Young) 4.07
07. Dreamland (Mitchell) 4.06
08. So It Goes (Nash) 6.40
09. The Prison Song (Nash) 4.18
10. Long Time Gone (Crosby) 7.27
11. Change Partners (Stills) 5.16
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12 Down By The River (ABC TV, 1969) (Young) 4.52

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The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

LPFrontCover1Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut album by the American folk rock band the Byrds and was released in June 1965 on Columbia Records (see 1965 in music). The album, along with the single of the same name, established the band as an internationally successful rock act and was also influential in originating the musical style known as folk rock. The term “folk rock” was, in fact, first coined by the U.S. music press to describe the band’s sound in mid-1965, at around the same time that the “Mr. Tambourine Man” single reached the top of the Billboard chart The single and album also represented the first effective American challenge to the dominance of The Beatles and the British Invasion during the mid-1960s.

The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. The Bob Dylan penned “Mr. Tambourine Man” single was released ahead of the album in April 1965, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[6][7] A second single from the album, “All I Really Want to Do”, also a Dylan cover, was moderately successful in the U.S., but fared better in the United Kingdom, where it reached the Top 10.

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Prior to forming the Byrds in 1964, most of the members of the band had come from a folk and roots music background, rather than a rock and roll one. Lead guitarist Jim McGuinn had been a solo folk singer and sideman with various professional folk groups, as had singer and songwriter Gene Clark. Clark and McGuinn first met in early 1964 at The Troubadour folk club in Los Angeles and, after discovering a mutual love of the Beatles, formed a Peter and Gordon-style duo, playing Beatles’ covers, Beatlesque renditions of traditional folk songs, and some self-penned material. The duo soon added another folk singer, David Crosby, to the line-up and named themselves the Jet Set. Over the coming months, bass player Chris Hillman, whose musical background was more oriented towards bluegrass music than folk, and drummer Michael Clarke were both added to the group. The Jet Set were signed to Columbia Records on November 10, 1964 and changed their name to the Byrds over Thanksgiving that year.

On January 20, 1965, the band, along with a group of L.A. session musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew, entered Columbia Recording Studios in Hollywood to record the Bob Dylan song “Mr. Tambourine Man” as their debut single. Released in April 1965, with the Clark-penned song “I Knew I’d Want You” on its B-side, the single was an immediate hit, reaching number 1 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart. In addition, the electric rock band treatment that the Byrds and producer Terry Melcher had given “Mr. Tambourine Man” effectively created the template for the musical subgenre of folk rock.

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For the most part, Mr. Tambourine Man consisted of two types of songs: band originals, primarily penned by Clark, who was the group’s main songwriter during its first eighteen months of existence, and covers of modern folk songs, composed primarily by Dylan. The album opens with its Dylan-penned title track, which had been a big international hit for the group, prior to the album’s release. Band biographer Johnny Rogan has noted that the two most distinctive features of the Byrds’ rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” are the vocal harmonies of Clark, McGuinn and Crosby, and McGuinn’s jangling twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing (which complemented the phrase “jingle jangle morning” found in the song’s lyric). This combination of 12-string guitar work and complex harmony singing became the band’s signature sound during their early period.[4] Music critic Richie Unterberger has also noted that the success of the Byrds version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” saw an explosion of Byrds imitators and emulators having hits on the American and British charts during 1965 and 1966.

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Another Dylan cover, “All I Really Want to Do”, was the first song to be recorded for the album, following the “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Knew I’d Want You” session. Melcher felt confident that the band’s then-unissued debut single would be, at the very least, a regional hit and so he brought the Byrds back into the studio on March 8, 1965 to record a follow-up.[18] This March 8 recording session yielded the version of “All I Really Want to Do” that appears on the album, but the song was re-recorded on April 14, and it was this later take that graced the A-side of the band’s second Columbia single release.

The abundance of Dylan material on the album—with three songs taken from the Another Side of Bob Dylan album alone—led to accusations of the band being too reliant on his material.[20] However, the Dylan covers, including “Chimes of Freedom”, “All I Really Want to Do”, and “Spanish Harlem Incident”, in addition to the title track, remain among the Byrds’ best-known recordings.

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Another cover which stressed the band’s folk music roots was Idris Davies and Pete Seeger’s “The Bells of Rhymney”. The song, which told the sorrowful tale of a coal mining disaster in Wales, was a relative newcomer to the band’s repertoire at the time of recording, having only been worked up in March 1965, during the Byrds’ residency at Ciro’s nightclub on the Sunset Strip. Although the song had a somewhat sombre theme, it became one of the band’s most popular numbers during their residency at Ciro’s. The band’s cover of “The Bells of Rhymney” was also influential on the Beatles, particularly George Harrison, who co-opted McGuinn’s guitar riff and incorporated it into his composition “If I Needed Someone” from the Rubber Soul album.
The album’s distinctive front cover fisheye lens photograph of the band was taken by Barry Feinstein and has, according to author Christopher Hjort, become an acknowledged classic since its release. The back cover featured liner notes, written in the form of an open letter to a friend, by Columbia Records’ publicist Billy James. In addition, the back cover also featured a black and white photograph, taken by the Byrds’ manager Jim Dickson, of the band on stage with Bob Dylan at Ciro’s nightclub in L.A. (by wikipedia)

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One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. It was also the album that was most responsible for establishing folk-rock as a popular phenomenon, its most alluring traits being Roger McGuinn’s immediately distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker jangle and the band’s beautiful harmonies. The material was uniformly strong, whether they were interpreting Bob Dylan (on the title cut and three other songs, including the hit single “All I Really Want to Do”), Pete Seeger (“The Bells of Rhymney”), or Jackie DeShannon (“Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe”). The originals were lyrically less challenging, but equally powerful musically, especially Gene Clark’s “I Knew I’d Want You,” “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” and “Here Without You”; “It’s No Use” showed a tougher, harder-rocking side and a guitar solo with hints of psychedelia. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Gene Clark (guitar, tambourine, vocals)
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass)
Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals)
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on “Mr. Tambourine Man” + “I Knew I’d Want You “:
Jerry Cole (guitar)
Larry Knechtel (bass)
Leon Russell (piano)
Hal Blaine (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 2.34
02. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” (Gene Clark) 2.36
03. Spanish Harlem Incident (Dylan) 2.01
04. You Won’t Have To Cry (Clark/McGuinn) 2.12
05. Here Without You (Clark) 2.40
06. The Bells Of Rhymney (Davies/Seeger) 3.35
07. All I Really Want To Do (Dylan) 2.08
08. I Knew I’d Want You (Clark) 2.18
09. It’s No Use (Clark/McGuinn) 2.29
10. Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe (DeShannon) 2.59
11. Chimes Of Freedom (Dylan) 3.55
12. We’ll Meet Again (Parker/Charles) 2.19
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13. She Has A Way (Clark) 2.29
14. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (alternate version) (Clark) 2.32
15. It’s No Use (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.24
16. You Won’t Have To Cry” (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.07
17. All I Really Want To Do (Single version) (Dylan) 2.02
18. You And Me (Instrumental) (Crosby/Clark/McGuinn) 2.11

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Paul Brett´s Sage – Jubilation Foundry (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1Paul Brett (born 20 June 1947, Fulham, London) is an English classic rock guitarist. He played lead guitar with Strawbs (though he was never actually a member), The Overlanders, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, The Velvet Opera, Tintern Abbey, Fire, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, Lonnie Donegan, and switched to twelve-string guitar in the 1970s.

His first twelve-string guitar suite, Earth Birth, was released on his own label, Phoenix Future, and was produced by artist Ralph Steadman of Fear and Loathing fame. Critical acclaim led to Brett being signed on a four-album deal with RCA Records. His K-tel Romantic Guitar album went platinum in the UK, but Brett stopped recording soon afterwards. He started recording again in 2000, with long-time friend and fellow twelve-string guitarist, John Joyce.

Brett wrote for music magazines Melody Maker, Sound International and International Musician and continued working in the music industry in the later part of his career. He now writes a regular column for Acoustic, a magazine specializing in acoustic guitars. He is also the Associate Editor and Features Writer for Music Maker and Live in London magazines.

He has appeared on BBC Television’s Antiques Road Show and Flog It in the mid-2000s.

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There are now a range of critically acclaimed acoustic guitars available that Paul Brett designed for Vintage in the UK that are distributed Worldwide. http://www.jhs.co.uk for information. They carry individual name such as The Viator 6 and 12 string travel guitars, The Gemini, alternative baritone and 6 strings, The Viaten , tenor guitar, paul Brett signature 6 and 12 string guitars and the most recent released in 2017 is the Statesboro’ 12 string which is a tribute to the blues legend Blind Willie McTell. (by wikipedia)

And here´s the second album by his frist own group called “Paul Brett´s Sage”:

PaulBrettsSageNicky Higginbottom departed Paul Brett’s Sage after the release of the band’s eponymous debut album, and with her went the haunting flute that gave much of the album such a rich, pastoral sound. But the band was already moving in a new direction, exploring rock’s roots and the genre’s many permutations. Jubilation Foundry welds Sage’s varied influences onto their sleeves, from “Cottage Made for Two,” an homage to the Everly Brothers, to the gospel fired “Help Me Jesus” and the Stax inspired “Hold My Hand Mother.” There are tributes to Southern blues and Southern rock, nods to singer/songwriters Cat Stevens and Harry Nilsson, and even a tip of the hat to the Beatles. With the group here sporting rich harmonies, the emphasis is on great songs in a variety of musical veins and moods, with singalong choruses, memorable melodies, and flashy musicianship evident throughout the album. (by Dave Thompson)

And yes, Paul Brett is one of the finest acoustic guiar players from UK and he´s criminally underrated !

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Personnel:
Paul Brett (guitar, piano, vocals)
Stuart Cowell (guitar, vocals, piano)
Dick Dufall (bass, vocals)
Bob Voice (drums, percussion)
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Paul King (harmonica on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Cottage Made For Two (Dufall) 2.26
02. Hold My Hand Mother (Hutcheson) 2.48
03. Pasadena Days (Voice) 2.59
04. Keeper Of My Heart (Myers/Brett) 3.32
05. Goodbye Forever (Hutcheson) 2.53
06. Good Old-Fashioned Funky Kind Of Music (Hutcheson) 4.09
07. Bits (1) (Brett/Cowell) 0.27
08. I Fell So Far (Dufall) 2.57
09. Written In Winter (Brett) 2.44
10. Tuesday Evening (Brett) 2.15
11. Help Me Jesus (Hutcheson) 4.02
12. Jubilation Foundry (Brett) 4.35
13. Bits (2) (Brett/Cowell) 0.46

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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.

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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 !

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Personnel:
Robbie Blunt (guitar)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar)
John Pasternak (bass)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion)
Jess Roden (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano)
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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.)

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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

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

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:
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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.

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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)

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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)

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

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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

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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)

Traffic – Live At Santa Monica (VHS-rip) (1972)

FrontCover1Traffic left behind precious few concert videos in any form, so this show, from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, is an intrinsically valuable document of the band, even though it does feature a later lineup: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Rebop Kwakubaah, Roger Hawkins, and David Hood. Chronologically, the show comes roughly a year later than the Welcome to the Canteen album. At 65 minutes running time, they include “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” “John Barleycorn,” “Rainmaker,” “Glad,” “Freedom Rider,” “Forty Thousand Headmen,” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” all of which are worthwhile although also curiously lacking in the urgency that one would hope for in a concert performance. There are some many wonderful shots of the band members from varied angles and all kinds of different lighting, even within the same song, courtesy of video producer Taylor Hackford (White Nights, Against All Odds) but, in fact, this wasn’t the ideal version of the group to capture on stage: Winwood had suffered a serious illness the year before, the group was always in a state of flux as far as its line-up was concerned, and they were entering the period of decline that would coincide with the recording of Shootout at the Fantasy Factory. The musicianship is there, found intact in the thick electric guitar textures of “Light Up or Leave Me,” Winwood’s acoustic guitar performance on “John Barleycorn,” and Wood’s spotlighted flute and sax work on “Rainmaker.”

Traffic01
But one also gets the sense that a lot of excitement was disappearing for the players, apart from Rebop Kwaku Baah, in what Winwood later described as a grind of touring and recording. It’s not a bad video, and well worth tracking down as a document of the group; the sound is very good (especially for the period in which it was recorded), and it would make a good DVD, but one wishes a full-length video of a show from perhaps a year, or two, or three earlier could have found its way into existence. Originally available through RCA Columbia, but packaged by Pacific Arts, this long out of print video was apparently owned by Island Records, and may have reverted to them, which means that it is now somewhere in MCA’s vast holdings of the Polygram Records conglomerate (which bought Island); finding a used copy or getting someone to dub off the laser disc might be easier than waiting for it to be rediscovered by its current owners. (by Bruce Eder)

Chris Wood

Personnel:
Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion)
Jim Capaldi (percussion, vocals)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
David Hood (bass)
Steve Winwood (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Chris Wood (saxophone, flute, organ)

BackCover.jpg

Tracklist:
01. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Capaldi/Winwood) 13.48
02. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone (Capaldi) 6.35
03. John Barleycorn (Traditional) 5.32
04. Rainmaker (Capaldi/Winwood) 8.35
05. Glad (Winwood) / Freedom Rider (Capaldi/Winwood) 14.05
06. Forty Thousand Headmen (Capaldi/Winwood)
08. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood) 8.10

VHS-Tape1

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Traffic02

Lindisfarne – Fog On The Tyne (1971)

FrontCover1Fog on the Tyne is a 1971 album by English rock band Lindisfarne. Bob Johnston produced the album, which was recorded at Trident Studios in the summer of 1971. It was released on Charisma Records in Great Britain and Elektra Records in America.

It gave the group their breakthrough in the UK, topping the album charts early in 1972 for four weeks and remaining on the chart for 56 weeks in total. “Meet Me on the Corner”, one of two songs written by bassist Rod Clements, reached No. 5 as a single. The title track became the band’s signature tune. Simon Cowe made his debut as a writer, contributing the song “Uncle Sam”.

Both tracks on the B-side of “Meet Me on the Corner”, “Scotch Mist” (an instrumental), and “No Time To Lose”, appeared as bonus tracks when the album was reissued on CD.

A heavily reworked version of the title track with vocals by footballer Paul Gascoigne was released in October 1990 under the title “Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)”, credited to Gazza and Lindisfarne. It reached number two in the UK Singles Chart.

Reggae group The Pioneers recorded a version of “Alright on the Night” on their 1972 album “I Believe in Love”. (by wikipedia)

Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne’s second album, Fog on the Tyne fulfilled and expanded on the promise of their debut, offering a brace of memorable folk-rock (or, perhaps more properly, acoustic rock) songs that were compared favorably with Bob Dylan’s work and that of the Band, and even the Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds, among others, without ever sounding like any of them. “Meet Me on the Corner” and “Fog on the Tyne” are the two best-known songs here, but there’s plenty else that’s their equal, including “Uncle Sam” and “Together Forever.” The only cautionary element to the album was its short running time, an indicator that perhaps the group was being pressed to hard to get records out too, quickly. (by Bruce Eder)

Single front + back cover:

SingleFC+BC

Personnel:
Rod Clements (bass, guitar, violin)
Simon Cowe (guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Alan Hull (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Ray Jackson (vocals, mandolin, harmonica)
Ray Laidlaw (drums)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Meet Me On The Corner (Clements) 2.40
02. Alright On The Night (Hull) 3.34
03. Uncle Sam (Cowe) 2.58
04. Together Forever (Noakes) 2.36
05. January Song (Hull) 4.16
06. Peter Brophy Don’t Care (Hull/Morgan) 2.50
07. City Song (Hull) 3.08
08. Passing Ghosts (Hull) 2.30
09. Train in G Major (Clements) 3.10
10. Fog on the Tyne (Hull) 3.26
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11. Scotch Mist (Clements/Cowe/Hull/Jackson/Laidlaw) 2.08
12. No Time To Lose (Hull) 3.17

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Press release:

Press Release