Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
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#1
Roosevelt Raceway - Roosevelt Raceway, Westbury, NY 9/8/74 (3 CDR)
The Old Gray cat Says:
The last night of the American leg of the '74 stadium tour, this September 8th gig at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, Long Island features 33 songs--quite literally, there's something here for everybody.
For example, fans of the Neilster's will want to hear this version of "Ambulance Blues." Perfect--okay, near-perfect--sound, Neil's vocals upfront and center, and his harmonica oozing into the microphone just the way it should combine for a killer--and I do mean--killer performance. Maybe he was singing to a stadium-sized audience that night, but for all intents and purposes he was singing for you and me, too. Likewise, later in the set, with "Pushed It Over the End," he reaches the pinnacle again. Another highlight: "Don't Be Denied," which he dedicates to Danny Whitten. Only the sleight "Hawaiian Sunrise" fails to deliver.
Unlike We Waited Three Years for This, Stills comes off much better--better sound will do that, you know? "Change Partners" is as enchanting as on album. The rest of his material works wonders, though "Myth of Sisyphus"--to these ears, at least--has yet to match the brilliance he achieved when he laid it down for the '75 Columbia album Stills. One of the few downers of his turns is his electric run-through of "Black Queen." And the laid-back, slowed-down "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," which emphasizes the harmonies even more, is a positively brilliant rendition that matches, if not supercedes, the '69 album version.
Graham Nash also shines. "Immigration Man," "Military Madness," "Teach Your Children," "Southbound Train," "Another Sleep Song," "Our House" and "Pre-Road Downs." Not a weak moment, song-wise or performance. This may well be hard for some to believe, but take my word on it: He more than holds his own amongst the "heavyweights" of Stills and Young. Sure, he gets short-shrift in the music press, but he more than holds his own in the company of Crosby, Stills and Young. Some might even say that, at times, he outshines them all--although that's taking it a bit too far for me. He matches Stills. Comes close to Young.
And comes close to Crosby. "Almost cut my hair just the other day ...": A song for the ages. He may well have been the odd-man out when shaping the set (singing lead less than half as often as Neil, for example), but when he does steps to the fore ... watch out! "Time After Time," unreleased at the time of the performance, is wondrous, as is "The Lee Shore." Same goes for "Deja Vu," which benefits from a jazzy backing from the electric ensemble. His
presence also shines on several other songs, most notably "Sugar Mountain."
Now then, sound: Damn fine, although there is a noticeable drop in quality during "Deja Vu." As if one tape ran out and another tape, from another source, kicks in. It won't stop you from enjoying it, mind you, but it will annoy you in the short term.
Finally: Should you, if given the opportunity, plunk down your hard-earned change for this three-disc set? The Old Grey Cat says: Depends how much change your plunking down. I've seen it being sold with prices from $65 to $90--extreme to very extreme, to say the least. I bypassed it on numerous occasions over numerous months and, even knowing what I know now, would again. But--yes, there's a but--if you happen to find it on "sale" or "clearance" in the, say, $30 price range? Slap those coins on the counter! (A)
Snb Boot CD>CDR  Gold Standard
Sound: A-
Time: disc 1: 70:20     disc 2: 67:20     disc 3: 69:05
Flaws: Disc 1 has a (4) second start sequence that throws off the song order by one.
Kahuna's Rating:*****
disc one: 
1) Love the One You're With
2) Wooden Ships
3) Immigration Man
4) Helpless
5) Military Madness
6)Johnny's Garden
7) Walk On
8) Almost Cut My Hair
9) Teach Your Children
10) Only Love Can Break Your Heart
11) The Lee Shore
12) Time After Time
13) Southbound Train
disc two:
1) Another Sleep Song
2) Our House
3) Hawaiian Sunrise
4) Long May You Run,
5) Ambulance Blues
6) Old Man
7) Change Partners
8) Myth of Sisyphus
9) You Can't Catch Me/Word Game
10) Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
11) Deja Vu
12) First Things First
disc three:
1) Don't Be Denied
2) Black Queen
3) Revolution Blues
4) Pushed It Over the End
5) Pre-Road Downs
6) Carry On
7) Sugar Mountain
8) Ohio

#2
Five Way Street - Compilation os CSN/Y Early stuff (2 CDR)
The Old Gray cat Says:
First up: the Crosby-Stills demos. Following the breakup of the Springfield and David's exit from the Byrds, Stephen Stills and David Crosby joined forces for a series of songs which they then began to shop around. The two songs presented here are both able blueprints for what followed. . . interesting but not definitive renditions by any means.
Now, then, the Deja Vu out-takes. . . the first two are long jams featuring Stephen's prowess on guitar; if Neil is present, he's on keyboards. While far from revelatory, they are fun and bear up to repeated listens. As far as the two "Woodstock" takes--well, they don't add insight (or anything else) to the official versions released on Deja Vu and CSN (the box set), as they're basically Stills and band groping for a handle on the song.
The first set of CSNY Live material is appreciated--although the Y was most likely waiting backstage for his solo turn, as he's not featured here. That said, Nash does harmonize with the Croz on "Guinnevere" and Croz repays in kind for "Simple Man." Stills' "Black Queen" comes off nicely. I'd say more but, really, there's not much to add aside from this: "Guinnevere" is classic.
The second set of Deja Vu out-takes mimics the first set's "Woodstock" in that neither add to the known versions. I should say here that, for me, a studio "out-take" merits attention only if it's a previously unreleased song or if it adds something/anything to the final, released rendition. Here, "Our House" and "Almost Cut My Hair" are very nice--but neither differs much from the known takes. In fact, although it runs about ten seconds longer, the "Almost Cut My Hair" here sounds virtually the same as the released version (and, yes, I am aware that the box set contains the unabridged 8 minute run-through which was the basis for Deja Vu's version). If it was an acoustic take or some such thing then, yes, it would be very worthwhile, insightful, etc., etc.
Take a deep breath and try this one on for size: Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young & Jones. CSNY&J?! Yep. CSNY guested on The Tom Jones Show and, after performing a nice rendition of "You Don't Have to Cry" actually back Jones on "Long Time Gone." The mixing of "hippie" with "hip" is humorous--but little else.
The opening CSN/Y soundcheck that kicks off disc two is not in any way, shape or form worthwhile. After an abridged run-through of "Wasted on the Way," the threesome basically tackles more abridged songs with plenty of comments concerning monitors, feedback, etc. Neil joins CSN for "Helpless" but the song cuts off midway under the weight of more complaints. The sound is great. The "performance," however, isn't--and it's very
understandable. It's a soundcheck. Of note, too, is the song listed as "Everything's Broken". . . reminds me of many Beatles bootlegs circa the Get Back sessions. Why? It's an off-the-cuff fragment sung by Graham Nash. "Fragment" as in maybe ten seconds in length. And, as with those Beatles' bootlegs, it's listed as its own song!
Thus far, Five Way Street would grade a D+. But the next two portions of the boot boost it. On November 9, 1970, the BBC In Concert series presented Mssrs. Crosby & Nash. It's a revelation, folks. Words alone can't express how wonderful their eight-song set is. Aside from the fact that this captures their first public collaboration as a duo and, as such, is an historic document  worthy of official release, the performance itself is stunning--from Graham's "Simple Man" to David's closing "Traction in the Rain." The only down-side is that the sound is far from top-notch. Let's cross our fingers and hope that producer Stephen Barncard gets his hands on the master tape and does with it what he did with Another Stoney Evening.
On the heels of that magical performance comes the audio from the BBC's Sounding Out. Aired in early 1972, this most definitely was taped sometime in '71--but who knows? Less revelatory than the C&N set, it's nonetheless interesting, as Stills runs through the songs listed above and offers insightful comments. For instance, he explains how horses provide him an escape from the pressures of rock 'n' roll. Another interesting tidbit concerns his recollection of playing the folk clubs in Greenwich Village and how, each night, he hoped to earn fifteen cents--yes, fifteen cents--so that he could go across the street and buy a slice of pizza for breakfast. Also covered: the impact the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night had on folk musicians such as himself and John Sebastian.
The Neilster circa 1971 wraps things up. . . with "A Man Needs a Maid" and "Heart of Gold," both of which are performed solo at the piano. It's very similar to the "melody" found on the Rock 'n' Roll Cowboy collection, right down to the linking of the two songs--but minus the applause. It's nice, but these tracks are neither revelatory nor insightful. They can be summed up with two words: They're pretty.
As this review suggests, this collection is seriously flawed. . . but, due to the C&N and Stills sets, it does contain material any major fan should want to hear. (B)
Snb Boot CD>CDR   The Third Eye
Sound: Different Sources A to B+
Time: disc 1: 63:10    disc 2: 68:15
Flaws: None
Kahuna's Rating:****
disc one: 
Crosby-Stills demos: 
1) Long Time Gone, 
2) 49 Bye-Byes 
Deja Vu out-takes #1:
3) Instrumental #1, 
4) Instrumental #2, 
5) Instrumental #3, 
6) Woodstock (version 1), 
7) Woodstock (version 2) 
CSNY Live: 
8) Guinnevere, 
9) Simple Man, 
10) Black Queen 
Deja Vu out-takes #2: 
11) Our House, 
12) Almost Cut My Hair 
The Tom Jones Show: 
13) You Don't Have to Cry, 
14) Long Time Gone
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

disc two: 
CSNY soundcheck/Bridge Show '89: 
1) Wasted on the Way, 
2) Lee Shore, 
3) Wooden Ships, 
4) Helplessly Hoping, 
5) Helpless, 
6) Got It Made, 
7) Everything's Broken 
Crosby & Nash/BBC In Concert '71: 
8) Simple Man, 
9) Marrakesh Express, 
10) Guinnevere, 
11) Trees with No Leaves, 
12) Teach Your Children, 
13) Right Between the Eyes, 
14) The Lee Shore, 
15) Traction in the Rain 
Stephen Stills/BBC Sounding Out '72: 
16) 4+20, 
17) Who Do You Love?, 
18) Takes Some Insurance Out on the Baby, 
19) You Can't Catch Me, 
20) Know You Got to Run, 
21) Hot Dusty Roads, 
22) For What It's Worth 
Neil Young '71: 
23) A Man Needs a Maid, 
24) Heart of Gold

#3
FleetCenter - Boston, MA. 3/26/00  (3 CDR)
CSN&Y together again playing all their hits. Great stuff
Daud CD>CDR
Sound: A
Time: disc 1: 60:01     disc 2: 67:02     disc 3: 59:31
Flaws: None
Kahuna's Rating:*****
Disc I:
1) Carry On 
2) Southern Man 
3) Stand And Be Counted 
4) Pre-Road Downs 
5) Heartland 
6) 49 Bye-Byes 
7) Slowpoke 
8) Marrakesh Express 
9) Faith In Me 
10) Almost Cut My Hair 
11) Cinnamon Girl
Disc II:
1) Helplessly Hoping 
2) Our House 
3) Helpless 
4) Dream For Him
5) Looking Forward 
6) Someday Soon 
7) After The Goldrush 
8) Guinnevere
9) Suite:Judy Blue Eyes 
10) Out Of Control 
11) Seen Enough
12) Teach Your Children 
13) 7th Inning Stretch
Disc III:
1) Woodstock 
2) Long Time Gone 
3) Ohio 
4) Love The One You're With 
5) Down By The River 
6) For What It's Worth 
7) Rockin' In The Free World

#4
Kansas City Express - Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri 1/26/00  (3 CDR)
Another great CSN&Y 2000 show. Probably better sound on this one but close to the one above
Daud CD>CDR
Sound: A
Time: disc 1: 57:00     disc 2: 55:39     disc 3: 52:52
Flaws: None
Kahuna's Rating:*****
Disc I:
1) Carry On 
2) Southern Man 
3) Pre-Road Downs 
4) Stand And Be Counted 
5) Heartland 
6) 49 Bye-Byes 
7) Slowpoke 
8) Marrakesh Express 
9) Faith In Me 
10) Almost Cut My Hair 
11) Cinnamon Girl
Disc II:
1) Helplessly Hoping 
2) Our House 
3) Only Love Will Break Your Heart
4) Dream For Him
5) Someday Soon 
6) Looking Forward
7) After The Goldrush 
8) Guinnevere
9) Out Of Control 
10) Seen Enough
11) Teach Your Children 
12) 7th Inning Stretch
Disc III:
1) Woodstock 
2) Long Time Gone 
3) Ohio 
4) For What It's Worth 
5) Mr Soul
6) Southern Cross
7) Rockin' In The Free World
8) Love the One Your With
9) Long May You Run

#5
Back in the Day - Arco Arena - Sacramento, CA 02/09/00 (3 CDR)
Another great CSN&Y 2000 show. This one is the best sounding of my 2000 shows. Almost A+ but Aud
There are some fantastic long jams on this one too!!!!
Daud CD>CDR
Sound: A
Time: disc 1: 59:52     disc 2: 58:25     disc 3: 57:40
Flaws: None
Kahuna's Rating:*****

 

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