Sunday, August 4, 2013

CSN 5: Replay

Naturally Atlantic was hoping for another Crosby, Stills & Nash album, but this point only Stills and Nash were working together, so this odd little mix was compiled, according to the back cover note, for Ahmet Ertegun, to whom they could never say no. Astute scholars will already know that they had released only that one album as a trio since 1974, so Replay goes outside the box by including tracks from various solo and duo albums, some of which actually do feature all three on vocals. To their credit, none of the selections had already appeared on So Far, though a couple of the Stills solo and Crosby/Nash tracks had been on previous best-ofs. (Lost yet?)
Since this was a CSN production, “Carry On” is included in a new mix that lops off the “Questions” coda in favor of a new solo and drums that loops back to the chorus. Two Nash songs each from the first album and CSN provide balance with songs from three different Stills solo albums, while “I Give You Give Blind” loses its frenetic string arrangement but still jars. Crosby is represented solely by “Shadow Captain” and the “To The Last Whale…” suite with Nash.
Replay isn’t essential, but it’s very cohesive given the disparate sources, from other labels even, and does provide something of a intro to those lesser-known albums. They even managed to get a Joni Mitchell painting for the cover.

Crosby, Stills & Nash Replay (1980)—3
Current availability: streaming only

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this exists only because of the impatience of Atlantic Records. It does make for an interesting companion piece to “So Far”. Pluses are including Nash’s two best songs from their first album; "Love the One You're With"; and "To the Last Whale...", one of C&N’s finest tracks. One minus is, remix or not, is "I Give You Give Blind". It’s one of Stills’ weaker tracks on “CSN”. As for “Carry On”, his 1980 shredding sounds out of place overdubbed onto the 1970 backing track. The song seems incomplete without the “Questions” section. However, this is how they would perform the song live from this point forward. If I had been Stephen, I would have pulled the stunning “As I Come of Age” from “Stills” instead of “First Things First”. It’s a true CSN track in all but name.

    Atlantic’s hopes for plugging a commercial hole with this weren’t realized. This mix of “I Give You Give Blind” eventually resurfaced on Stills’ box set, “Carry On”, but this mix of the title track did not. So, this set is now only for hardcore completists.