Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crosby, Stills and Nash Demos: Review

There's been mucho discussion of this long awaited release in the blogosphere. In most circles it has been universally praised, and really, how could it not be. There are twelve tracks here, and they are completely bare bones. One could imagine Graham Nash running through "Marrakesh Express" on a balcony overlooking Laurel Canyon while you and your buddy passed the bowl back and forth five feet away as the sun rose. You can almost smell the Zuma Beach campfire as Steven Stills adjusts his poncho and strums the bridge to Love the One You're With for the first time.

These demos are THE blueprint for CSN and Deja Vu. It is a snapshot of what was to be. This is what was forming BEFORE their debut at Woodstock(while a high and shy Neil Young stood back stage). The collection include several seldom or never heard tracks like Nash's Be Yourself, the great Music Is Love(w/Neil), and My Love Is A Gentle Thing...such a wondrous little song that really frames up the SoCal post Buffalo Springfield scene for me.

The highlight for yours truly is the David Crosby numbers, especially Deja Vu. This is a gentle journey through his mind's eye complete with a great scat sung section that may or may not have been what he wanted the solo to sound like. It is perfect as it is. David's voice is a wonder in itself. I always thought it was buried in the mix of CSN albums, almost undetermined at times. Here it is warm and strong and floating on the Santa Ana Wind.

My only problem with this cd is that it left me wondering, after 40 years of output...where is the box set of all of the other demos. Let me know what you've got there boys.

As far as demos go, these songs are finished as is...and perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Crosby seemed to have a very free approach to song writing. Very sharp solo takes of his songs here. It would be great to hear stripped down rehearsals for the first album.