Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crosby, Stills, and Nash--Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (1969)

     David Crosby had been with The Byrds, Steven Stills from Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash from The Hollies. The first two had been known as fairly combustible personalities at their previous stops, but were itching for the next musical project. In fact, Crosby and Stills had been jamming informally.
     Crosby knew Nash since 1966 when The Byrds had toured the UK, and revisited again when The Hollies toured California a couple of years later. So the night that Cass Elliot invited them all to a party at her house, there was renewed friendship. What was unusual about that evening was the sound that was birthed....
     Nash had asked David and Stephen to sing a song that Stills had just written. As the two men began singing, Graham began adding a third part to it. The results were breathtaking to the folks at the party, and to the three men themselves. Nash had been looking for a creative outlet outside of The Hollies, so when it was suggested that they start writing and recording as a group, he was all in.
     Troubles would ensue in short order, but not before recording a glorious album chocked full of those harmonies. "Crosby, Stills, and Nash" was released in May of 1969 to a great reception by fans and critics alike. All three brought distinct styles to the party. Crosby brought a sense of on the edge political activism, Stills brought a folk/country touch and became the mastermind of the studio, Nash had a keep pop sense. Wrapping all of this in those tight harmonies made their first few albums classic. What made this first one a bit different was the freshness and sheer excitement of creating together that was transmitted to the listener.
     They had bigger hits on the singles chart, but if I never remember these guys for anything else, it would be for, "Suite, Judy Blue Eyes". Stills' relationship with Judy Collins was nearing it's end. and in sadness, he wrote a song broken into a four part suite which chronicled it's demise. In the studio it was turned into a musical tour de force which, at least for me might have been equaled by the group, but never surpassed. 


Post a Comment