Crosby, Stills & Nash are one of, if not my favorite band. This, their debut album, is also on my top ten favorite albums list. A trio formed by three musicians who were part of other successful bands, The Byrds (Crosby), Buffalo Springfield (Stills), and The Hollies (Nash), but were unhappy with their respective groups. When they joined together and created this album they became more successful than any of their previous groups or albums.
I picked this up at Costco in the early 2000s when the group's albums had been newly remastered on CD. I had previously bought the compilation "So Far" and fell in love with the great music and wanted more of their work. Three talented individuals form a much greater sound, like The Beatles the whole is larger than the sum of its parts. Their voices blend effortlessly in perfect harmony, well written songs, and accomplished playing, you can't ask for more from an album. The styles range from jangly folk pop to electric rock and they are strong tunes no matter the style.
Listing the good songs is kind of pointless because everything on this album is choice. Though the album was written 15 years before I was born the songs still resonated with me. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" is just a truly great song. "Marrakesh Express" took me on a journey to another place and time that I could never see otherwise. "Wooden Ships," though written about Vietnam and supposedly intended as a futuristic story, struck a chord because when I first got this album America was heading into Afghanistan. "You Don't Have to Cry" and "Helplessly Hoping" the titles explain why these songs resonated with me. When they sang "Steady Girl, Be My World, Now its over, they left in the Spring, Her and the Drifter Looking for Beautiful Things" in "49 Bye-Byes" I knew how they felt and where the words were coming from.
A truly great album, on a technical note they also released an expanded version of this album in 2009. It is not an improvement, the sound in not as good as this earlier remaster and the four demo songs added at the end are not all that great. Stick with this earlier regular CD edition.
"The Combination of Talents Creates a Great Sound," Rolling Stone Magazine.
I wish there were more albums like this.