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American Dream (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album)

For the Mike Jones album, see The American Dream (Mike Jones album)

American Dream is the ninth album by the band Crosby, Stills & Nash, their fifth studio album and their second with Neil Young. Released in 1988 on Atlantic Records, it peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. To date, it is their final album of original material to receive either a gold or platinum citation by the RIAA.[2] It is the highest-selling album by Neil Young in the 1980s.[3] The album is dedicated to Jan Crosby, Anne Stills, Susan Nash and Pegi Young.

American Dream
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1, 1988 (U.S.)
RecordedApril 24, 1987 – September 16, 1988 at Redwood Digital, Woodside, California; mixed at A&M Studios and Record One, Los Angeles[1]
ProducerNiko Bolas, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young chronology
American Dream
Live It Up



Neil Young promised David Crosby in 1983 that he would reunite with Crosby, Stills & Nash if Crosby could solve his problems with drugs and clean up.[4] Five months in prison for Crosby at the Texas Department of Corrections in Huntsville during 1986 accomplished exactly that, and good to Young's word the quartet assembled to record the second CSNY studio album at Young's ranch in Woodside, California.[5][6]

The title song, written by Neil Young, was a satire of sensational political scandals involving Oliver North, former presidential candidate Gary Hart and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Released as a single, it missed the Billboard Hot 100 completely, as did three of the other four singles released from the album. The only single to chart, "Got It Made", peaked at #69.


David Crosby recounted, "The whole thing, the recording of American Dream, it got stretched out. And we did not have, really, the best group of songs to work with. Then, even though we did not have enough good songs, we ended up putting fourteen of them on the album! I think that was stupid."[7] For the first time in the group's history, none of the songs from a studio album became standard items in the group's live repertoire.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [9]
Robert ChristgauC+[10]
Rolling Stone     [11]

Writing in Rolling Stone, critic Anthony DeCurtis wrote that "Despite pleasant melodies, the occasional interesting song, and the signature harmonies, American Dream is, for the most part, a snoozefest."[12]

Track listingEdit

Side oneEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)Recording dateLength
1."American Dream"Neil YoungMarch 3, 19883:15
2."Got It Made"Stephen Stills, Neil YoungJuly 28, 19884:36
3."Name of Love"Neil YoungFebruary 25, 19884:28
4."Don't Say Goodbye"Graham Nash, Joe VitaleSeptember 15, 19883:23
5."This Old House"Neil YoungMay 4, 19884:44
6."Nighttime for the Generals"David Crosby, Craig DoergeMarch 24, 19884:20
7."Shadowland"Rick Ryan, Graham Nash, Joe VitaleApril 24, 19874:33

Side twoEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)Recording dateLength
1."Drivin' Thunder"Stephen Stills, Neil YoungMarch 2, 19883:12
2."Clear Blue Skies"Graham NashMarch 28, 19883:05
3."That Girl"Stephen Stills, Joe Vitale, Bob GlaubMay 10, 19883:27
4."Compass"David CrosbyMarch 22, 19885:19
5."Soldiers of Peace"Graham Nash, Craig Doerge, Joe VitaleSeptember 16, 19883:43
6."Feel Your Love"Neil YoungJuly 21, 19884:09
7."Night Song"Stephen Stills, Neil YoungJuly 28, 19884:17


  • David Crosbyvocals; acoustic guitar on "Clear Blue Skies" and "Compass"
  • Stephen Stills – vocals; guitars on "Name of Love", "Don't Say Goodbye", "Nighttime for the Generals", "Drivin' Thunder", "Clear Blue Skies", "That Girl", "Soldiers of Peace" and "Night Song"; keyboards on "American Dream" and "Got It Made"; bass synthesizer on "Don't Say Goodbye"; bass, synthesizer and handclaps on "Night Song"; percussion on "Drivin' Thunder"
  • Graham Nash – vocals; piano on "Don't Say Goodbye"; electric guitar on "Nighttime for the Generals"; sound effects on "Shadowland"; keyboards and harmonica on "Clear Blue Skies"
  • Neil Young – vocals; guitars on all tracks except "Compass"; all instruments on "This Old House"; piano on "Don't Say Goodbye"; harmonica on "Compass"; percussion on "Name of Love" and "Feel Your Love"

Additional personnelEdit

  • Joe Vitaledrums on "American Dream", "Got It Made", "Name of Love", "Don't Say Goodbye", "Nighttime for the Generals", "Drivin' Thunder", "Clear Blue Skies" and "Night Song"; all instruments, sound effects and vocals on "Shadowland"; keyboards on "Clear Blue Skies", "That Girl", "Compass" and "Soldiers of Peace"; synthesizer on "Don't Say Goodbye"; percussion on "Drivin' Thunder" and "Feel Your Love"; vibraphone on "Feel Your Love"
  • Mike Finniganorgan on "Nighttime for the Generals"; keyboards, backing vocals on "Soldiers of Peace"
  • Bob Glaub – bass on "American Dream", "Got It Made", "Name of Love", "Nighttime for the Generals", "Drivin' Thunder", "Clear Blue Skies", "That Girl" and "Soldiers of Peace"
  • Joe Lala – percussion on "Got It Made", "Shadowland", "Clear Blue Skies" and "That Girl"; drums on "Soldiers of Peace"
  • Chad Cromwell – drums on "That Girl"
  • The Bluenotes: Tommy Bray, Claude Callilet, Larry Cragg, John Fumo, Steve Lawrence – horns on "That Girl"
  • Brian Bell – synthesizer programming on "This Old House"
  • Rhett Lawrence – synthesizer programming on "Soldiers of Peace"
  • Niko Bolas, Tim Mulligan, Tim Foster, Brentley Walton – handclaps on "American Dream"
  • Bill Boydston, Don Gooch, Bill Lazerus – sound effects on "Shadowland"
  • The Volume Dealers Choir: Kelly Ashmore, Betsy Aubrey, Tom Banghart, Cha Blevins, Niko Bolas, Craig Doerge, Scott Gordon, R. Mac Holbert, Stanley Johnston, Bill Krause, Debbie Meister, Tim Mulligan, Susan Nash, Jay Parti, Steve Perry, Vince Slaughter, Joe Vitale, Paul Williamson – backing vocals on "Soldiers of Peace"



  1. ^
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum searchable database retrieved 23 August 2015
  3. ^ "RIAA - Soundscan". Greasylakes. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ Zimmer, Dave. Crosby, Stills & Nash The Biography. Da Capo Press 2000, ISBN 0-306-80974-5, p. 264.
  5. ^ Four Way Street The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Reader. Da Capo Press 2004, ISBN 0-306-81277-0, pp. 275-276. Article by Dave Zimmer, originally in BAM April 22, 1988.
  6. ^ Zimmer, Dave. op. cit., pp. 263, 266.
  7. ^ Zimmer, Dave. op. cit., p. 266.
  8. ^ website retrieved 23 August 2015
  9. ^ Ruhlmann, W. (2011). "American Dream - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young | AllMusic". Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young". Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11. ^ Decurtis, A. (2011). "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: American Dream : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  12. ^ Rolling Stone review retrieved 23 August 2015