Crosby, Stills & Nash (album)

Crosby, Stills & Nash is the debut studio album by the folk rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN), released in 1969 by Atlantic Records. It is the only release by the band prior to adding Neil Young to their lineup. The album spawned two Top 40 singles, "Marrakesh Express" and "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", which peaked respectively at No. 28 during the week of August 23, 1969, and at No. 21 during the week of December 6, 1969, on the US Billboard Hot 100. The album itself peaked at No. 6 on the US Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It has been certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of 4,000,000.[2]

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 29, 1969
RecordedFebruary–March 1969
StudioWally Heider, Hollywood
GenreFolk rock[1]
ProducerCrosby, Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash chronology
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Déjà Vu
Singles from Crosby, Stills & Nash
  1. "Marrakesh Express"
    Released: 1969
  2. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"
    Released: September 1969

History edit

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[according to whom?] away from the ruling late-1960s aesthetic of bands playing blues-based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock's roots, using folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication[according to whom?]. 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[according to whom?]. The album features some of their best known songs, including "Helplessly Hoping", "Long Time Gone", "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", and "Wooden Ships", a collaboration between Crosby and Stills as well as Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane.

Stills dominated the recording of the album. Crosby and Nash played guitar on their own songs, while drummer Dallas Taylor played on most tracks (session drummer Jim Gordon performed in his stead on "Marrakesh Express"). Stills played all the bass, organ, and lead guitar parts, as well as acoustic guitar on his own songs.[3] "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.[4] Even with this dominance, Stills does not appear on the tracks "Guinnevere" and "Lady of the Island", both featuring Crosby and Nash only and a precursor to their partnership on record and stage during the 1970s.[5]

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.[6] In a more recent interview, Crosby contradicted his earlier statement, stating that he had played guitar on the track.[7] He is so credited in the liner notes to the 1991 box set.[8]

The group performed songs from the album at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. In late 1969 the group appeared with Neil Young on the Tom Jones' TV show and performed "Long Time Gone" with Tom Jones sharing vocals.[9]

The 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 respect for the group within the industry and galvanized interest in signing similar 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 1970s. Their use 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.

The album has been issued on compact disc three times: mastered by Barry Diament at Atlantic Studios in the mid-1980s;[10] remastered by Joe Gastwirt at Ocean View Digital and reissued on August 16, 1994; reissued again by Rhino Records as an expanded edition using the HDCD process on January 24, 2006. On December 6, 2011, a Gold Compact Disc edition of the album was released on the Audio Fidelity label.

Cover edit

On the cover the members are, left to right, Nash, Stills, and Crosby, 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 demolished.[11]

Dallas Taylor can be seen looking through the window of the door on the rear of the sleeve.[12] 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),[13] as well as the iconic cover art. A long folded page inside displayed the album credits, lyrics, track listing, and a quasi-psychedelic pencil drawing.

Release and reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [15]
The Village VoiceB+[16]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [17]

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.[18] Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The New York Times, writing that "[Crosby, Stills & Nash] is as perfect as has been expected. But it also demonstrates the dangers of perfection: the wildness that should liberate great rock is so well-controlled that when it appears (as on Nash's excellent 'Pre-Road Downs') it seems to have been inserted just to prove the music is rock: the only exception is Crosby's wailing vocal on 'Long Time Gone.'"[19] In his capsule-review column for The Village Voice, he jokingly said the vocal saves the album from "a special castrati award".[16]

In a retrospective review, Jason Ankeny of AllMusic believed some of the songs' themes "haven't dated well" but "the harmonies are absolutely timeless, and the best material remains rock-solid".[14] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Crosby, Stills & Nash number 259 on their list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[20] then was re-ranked 262nd in 2012.[21] It was voted number 83 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). [22]

Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner was finally credited as co-composer of "Wooden Ships" on the expanded edition reissue, something long acknowledged on his group's version of the song from their Volunteers album, released the same year.[23] David Crosby singing an excerpt of "Come On in My Kitchen" between "Long Time Gone" and "49 Bye-Byes" was left off the 2006 expanded reissue at the request of the late Robert Johnson's estate.[citation needed]

In 1999, the album Crosby, Stills & Nash was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[24]

Grammy awards edit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1970 Crosby, Stills & Nash (performer) Best New Artist Won

Track listing edit

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"Stephen StillsStills7:25
2."Marrakesh Express"Graham NashNash2:39
3."Guinnevere"David CrosbyCrosby with Nash4:40
4."You Don't Have to Cry"StillsStills with Crosby & Nash2:45
5."Pre-Road Downs"NashNash2:56
Total length:20:25
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Wooden Ships"
Crosby with Stills5:29
2."Lady of the Island"NashNash2:39
3."Helplessly Hoping"StillsStills with Crosby & Nash2:41
4."Long Time Gone"CrosbyCrosby with Stills4:17
5."49 Bye-Byes"StillsStills5:16
Total length:20:22
2006 bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
11."Do for the Others" (demo)StillsStills and Nash2:49
12."Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)"CrosbyCrosby and Nash3:18
13."Everybody's Talkin'"Fred NeilStills with Crosby and Nash3:14
14."Teach Your Children" (demo)NashNash and Crosby3:14
Total length:12:35

Personnel edit

  • David Crosby – vocals; guitar on "Guinnevere"; rhythm guitar on "Wooden Ships" and "Long Time Gone"[7]
  • Stephen Stills – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion all tracks except "Guinnevere" and "Lady of the Island"
  • Graham Nash – vocals; rhythm guitar on "Marrakesh Express" and "Pre-Road Downs"; acoustic guitar on "Lady of the Island"

Additional personnel edit

Production edit

Charts edit

Certification edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[44] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP) Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA) 4× Platinum 4,000,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 100,000^
*sales figures based on certification alone

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References edit

  1. ^ Valdez, Steve (2014). "Folk rock". In Henderson, Lol; Stacey, Lee (eds.). Encyclopedia of Music in the 20th Century. London: Routledge. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-135-92946-6.
  2. ^ "RIAA – Soundscan". Greasylake. February 7, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "Stephen Stills (Music History)". Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  4. ^ David Wild, Crosby, Stills and Nash booklet, 2006 release, 6.
  5. ^ Doggett, Peter. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. ISBN 978 1 5011 8304 1. New York: Atria Books, 2019, p. 130.
  6. ^ "Stills played the bass, the organ, the guitar. Dallas played the drums. And it's excellent! It has a wonderful feel to it. When we came back and heard the playback, I just sat there, stunned." David Crosby and Carl Gottlieb, Long Time Gone: The Autobiography of David Crosby. Da Capo Press, 150.
  7. ^ a b "Interview: David Crosby on History and Harmonies – Fretboard Journal". April 25, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "CSN Box Set Tracklist". Archived from the original on June 20, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  9. ^ Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Long Time Gone on YouTube
  10. ^ CSN Remaster or Original CD – SH Forums Archived February 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "FAQ Crosby, Still & Nash and Neil Young, CSNY". Archived from the original on March 2, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "FAQ Crosby, Still & Nash and Neil Young, CSNY". Archived from the original on March 2, 2000. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  13. ^ Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography By Dave Zimmer, Henry Diltz. Da Capo Press. 2008. ISBN 9780786726110.
  14. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Crosby, Stills & Nash". Allmusic. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 201. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (July 31, 1969). "Consumer Guide (2)". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  18. ^ Franklin, Barry (July 26, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. No. 38. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. p. 36.
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 8, 1969). "The Byrds Have Flown—But Not Far". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "CSN ranked 259th by Rolling Stone in 2003". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  21. ^ Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "262 | Crosby, Stills and Nash – Crosby, Stills and Nash". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  22. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 69. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  23. ^ David Crosby: "Paul called me up and said that he was having this major duke-out with this horrible guy who was managing the band, and he was freezing everything their names were on. 'He might injunct the release of your record,' he told me. So we didn't put Paul's name on it for a while. In later versions, we made it very certain that he wrote it with us." Archived April 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "GRAMMY HALL OF FAME AWARD". Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  25. ^ "Interview: David Crosby talks Crosby, Stills & Nash's debut album track-by-track". Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  26. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts – 23 May 1970". Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  27. ^ "Results: RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada. July 17, 2013.
  28. ^ a b c "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young" (ASP). Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  29. ^ a b Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. pp. 200–201. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.
  30. ^ a b c d "Crosby, Stills & Nash: Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  31. ^ "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  32. ^ "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  33. ^ "2019/31 heti Album Top 40 slágerlista" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  34. ^ a b "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  35. ^ "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  36. ^ "BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: American music magazine 1920's to 2017". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  37. ^ a b "Crosby, Stills & Nash: Charts & Awards – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  38. ^ a b "RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada. July 17, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  39. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002. Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  40. ^ a b "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  41. ^ a b "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  42. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 77. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  43. ^ "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young" (ASP). Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 27, 2021.