Friday, February 12, 2010

4 Way Street

"4 Way Street" excellent if uneven Live album.
This live album captures Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on stage during their 1970s heyday and like their actually shows the album is split into two halves featuring acoustic music (disc one) and the other being all electric (disc 2).

Disc one of the album does not really showcase the four members working as a whole as they do on their albums. The four only perform together on "Love the One You're With," "Teach Your Children" and the brief excerpt from "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." As the liner note pictures indicate all four were on stage, but on most of the songs one member takes the spotlight and the rest either sit quietly or are simply back up. In this set up Young actually is given the most time and the album sadly ends just as Stills takes the spotlight with only two songs. There are four bonus tracks that again showcase each member individually, I personally wish they had given the full live version of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" but I guess it was not to be. Of the bonus tracks Young's is the longest containing three of his biggest hits.

Disc two sparkles with electric guitar jams and CSNY playing together, "Ohio" is spectacular, and while "Southern Man" and "Carry On" go on a bit long, both are nearly 15 minutes, they are still great performances. It would have been interesting if the liner notes gave information about the tour and individual shows, since this album is compiled from several concerts during a two year long tour, but all it gives are lyrics and a few archival pictures. Overall though this is a very good album and a fine showcase of the group live, far better than their other three live albums, a must for fans of the group as it contains two Graham Nash songs that do not appear on other albums and many of the live version differ from the studio ones. Recommended.