Saturday, November 13, 2010

CSNY: The Solo Efforts

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was a big supergroup during the 70s. Each musician already had an impressive resume when they got together: David Crosby was freshly fired from the Byrds (he's represented by a donkey on the cover of Notorious Byrd Brothers), Stephen Stills had released three albums with Buffalo Springfield, Graham Nash had had a few hits with the Hollies (remember Bus Stop?), and Neil Young had already been in a few bands and had had success in various forms, including as a member of the already mentioned Buffalo Springfield.

Despite their immediate success with Deja Vu, each member decided to release a solo album (that's what happens when you put together such big egos and overflowing creativity). Today, EasyTV will sample from each solo effort. Whose talent was the most instrumental to CSNY's success?

Stephen Stills probably had the biggest commercial success with his eponymous release, and the big hit, Love the One You're With:

Graham Nash's album, Songs for Beginners, was also very successful. Two singles were released, one that is pretty famous (Chicago), and another one that I only heard very recently (and was the reason for today's post, actually), called Military Madness:

(and that's my contribution to Nov 11!)

There's a very nice tribute to Song for Beginners by members of the Grassroots Records stable (Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux) and some quite prestigious guests (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, the guy from Fleet Foxes, and fellow former Cat Power mailing-list member Greg Weeks). Check it out!

Next, Neil Young. Obviously he released bazillion solo albums, but the one that came out immediately after CSNY in 1970 was After the Gold Rush. That one charted very high too, and the song Only Love Can Break Your Heart even provided a fantastic dance hit for Saint-Etienne in 1990 (a show on the Madchester era maybe coming soon?). But let's hear the other single, When You Dance I Can Really Love, which is just as good:

For some reason, the song reminds me of Cat Power's Free (here comes a gratuitous opportunity to check out some pretty pictures of Chan Marshall):

I'm not saying the songs are similar, but there's something there... What do you think? Or is it only that they're both rhyming "dance" with "chance"?

Anyway... Last but not least, David Crosby released his fantastic If I Could Only Remember My Name that year. Here's one of many gems: now go light a joint, press play and relax. I'll leave you alone now.