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Friday, 1 August 2014

Gems From My Collection: Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills (November 1970)

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

The latest Mojo Magazine has a huge feature on CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). And it got me thinking about Stephen Stills debut album from 1970. In fact inbetween 1970 and 1971 all members of CSNY would release high profile solo albums: David Crosby - 'If I Could Only Remember My Name', Graham Nash - 'Songs For Beginners' and Neil Young - 'After The Goldrush'.

Stephen Stills released his album in late November 1970, earlier in the year with CSYN he had enjoyed the chart topping release of 'Déjà Vu'. Alongside of that there were also three Top 20 singles ('Woodstock', 'Teach Your Children' and 'Our House').

The album was recorded at Island Studios in London between June and July 1970 and was produced by Stills and Bill Halverson. It would peak at #3 in the US charts in the week of the 5th December 1970.

One of the most amazing things about the album is the vast array of quality musicians that appear on it. Nash and Crosby are of course there but it's a few of the others that have your jaw dropping: Ringo Starr (listed as 'Richie'), Dallas Taylor (Drummer of CSNY), Johnny Barbata (Drummer of The Turtles and Jefferson Airplane), Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Booker T. Jones, John Sebastian (founding member of The Lovin' Spoonful), Rita Coolidge (who had sung back up for Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and Clapton - to name but a few), Cass Elliot (of The Mamas and The Papas), and Sherlie Williams (backing singer at Mowtown and a also has worked with the likes of Steppenwolf, The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Humble Pie and Ike and Tina Turner to name but a handful).

Starr plays on two tracks: 'To A Flame' and 'We Are Not Helpless' (a response to Neil Young's 'Helpless'). Jimi Hendrix plays on 'Old Times Good Times'. Eric Clapton plays on 'Go Back Home'.

Stephen Stills would dedicate the album to James Marshall Hendrix who died before the album released. Strangely enough four years after the album was recorded Cass Elliot also passed away.

'Love the One You're With' Single (#14 Billboard Hot 100 Chart)

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