music: Crosby not Stills, Nash, and Young

Jeff Beck died, now David Crosby. So I listened to If Only I Could Remember My Name, his solo album. It’s beyond star-studded, Wikipedia: “Guest musicians on the album include Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the Grateful Dead; the ensemble was given the informal moniker of The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra.” It’s an indulgent meandering set of songs (only five with proper lyrics) but some of the songs have a kind of appeal. The mysterious harmonies are a step beyond the Beach Boys and Beatles. To tell the truth I can’t reliably identify CS&N’s voices; Graham Nash is higher, Stephen Stills rougher?

A couple of the songs like “Tamalpais High” are so reminiscent of CS&N’s “Guinnevere”. I remember buying So Far because I’d heard some of the hits and for its Joni Mitchell cover, I couldn’t believe how great “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” was. I didn’t grasp until now that it’s a compilation album (Wikipedia: “the concoction of a greatest-hits album from two LPs and one non-LP single”); no wonder it’s so great.

David Crosby will probably be remembered as the John the Baptist heralding (and sleeping with) Joni Mitchell, not a bad place to have in history.

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