Happy 50th: Crosby, Stills & Nash, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
50 years ago today, one of the most famous trios in rock history released their self-titled debut album, kicking off a collaboration which we’d like to think may still continue at some point in the future. (What can we say? We’re cockeyed optimists.)
Produced by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash at Wally Heider’s Studio III in Los Angeles, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH was the answer to the question, “What do you get when a former member of The Byrds, a former member of Buffalo Springfield, and a former member of The Hollies write and record an album’s worth of songs together?” It was one of those collaborations that had music fans abuzz the moment word first got out that it was happening, and although haters were always gonna hate (and by “haters,” we mean “critics”), the legacy of the songs – particularly tunes like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Marrakesh Express,” “Wooden Ships,” and “Helplessly Hoping” – says far more than any rock writer ever could.
Interestingly, if you look at the album cover, you’ll notice that the band is not sitting in the order that their names usually appear but, rather, in reverse order. For the record, the band was not unaware of this fact, although they admittedly didn’t notice until after the photo was taken. They’d planned to retake the photo, however, but when they went back to the house where they’d done the photo shoot, they found that the house had been torn down! Oops.
As debut albums go, it’s hard to imagine that anyone was disappointed in the sales figures scored by CROSBY, STILLS & NASH, which climbed to #6 on the Billboard 200. Certainly, it was successful enough for CSN to stay together and keep recording…and to add a fourth member to their collective, too, of course. But that’s a story for another day.
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