Charts & AWARDS
1969 Marrakesh Express
One of the most enduring and original musical partnerships of our time, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) have captivated the world with their peerless three-part harmony vocals, inspired songwriting and brilliant musicianship for over three decades. The only American band of the original Woodstock era to have a societal impact rivaling that of the Beatles, they have been called “the voice of an entire generation.” With an impassioned point of view as personal as it is message-oriented, CSN have always sung about socially relevant issues and universal values. Their songs have chronicled our times and touched the lives of millions of fans of all ages through timeless hits including “Marrakesh Express,” “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Helplessly Hoping,” “Guinnevere,” “Teach Your Children,” “Wooden Ships,” “Dark Star,” and “Just A Song Before I Go,” to name just a few. They have, in fact, become the voice of many generations.
Musically, CSN continues to enhance their legacy with new milestones and achievements, both on the road and in the studio – as a trio, in their four-man configuration with Neil Young (CSNY) and as individual artists. Potent as ever in holding an audience in thrall, Rolling Stone Magazine called an unforgettable 1999 CSN show at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium “One of the concerts of the decade” and their ongoing tours and special engagements remain fully inspired by the creative spark of their storied partnership. Also in ’99, CSN once again partnered with Neil Young for CSNY’s fourth album Looking Forward, which they followed up with a 2000 CSNY reunion tour that drew rave reviews and ecstatic audiences worldwide. CSNY also toured in 2003 and most recently, throughout summer ’06 with the nationwide “Freedom Of Speech” tour – an outing that highlighted the group’s longstanding, outspoken political and social activism as much as their musical mastery. Beyond drawing audiences into a dialogue about American foreign policy, Freedom Of Speech broke ground in the environmental realm as CSNY erased the tour’s “carbon footprint” by offsetting 100% of the greenhouse gases generated by its fleet of buses and trucks.
CSN’s seminal contribution to the evolution of contemporary American music was honored in 1997 with the group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The gala evening proved doubly special for Stephen Stills, who became the first artist to be enshrined twice on the same day – once with CSN and again for the Buffalo Springfield. It also marked the second induction for David Crosby, who’d previously been ushered in with The Byrds. All three of CSN’s members, in fact, claim such dual artistic citizenship, as Graham Nash stepped into the trio after a run as a top British Invasion hitmaker with The Hollies. When CSN formed 1968, with each partner already claiming their own substantial rock ‘n roll pedigree, they were instantly labeled a “supergroup,” likely coining the term. Together, Crosby, Stills and Nash forged something magical, made possible by the harmonic convergence of their distinct and complementary talents. GRAMMY®-cited as 1969’s “Best New Artist,” CSN continues to garner major awards, including being honored in ’06 with BMI’s prestigious Pop Icons designation.
Native Californian David Crosby, son of an Academy Award-winning cinematographer, began his career as a folk singer playing in clubs and coffeehouses throughout the country. Crosby first won widespread recognition for his songwriting and charismatic presence with The Byrds, a band with which he helped co-invent an era-defining fusion of folk music and electric rock and roll that influenced early ‘60s contemporaries Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and scores of musicians who followed. The Byrds – also included Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke — won critical praise and worldwide fame with classic hits including “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Eight Miles High.” The latter allowed Crosby, a lifelong lover of all things nautical, to buy the 60-foot schooner The Mayan; ever since, sailing has been a refuge as well as a recurring metaphor in many compositions. His 1971 solo debut If Only I Could Remember My Name, is regarded as one of the finest albums to emerge from the CSN/CSNY orbit. 2006 marks the release of Voyages, a 3-CD box set retrospective of Crosby’s entire career that will feature previously unissued treasures. David is also the author of three books: Stand and Be Counted: Making Music, Making History: The Dramatic Story of the Artists and Causes That Changed America and two autobiographical volumes, Long Time Gone and the ’06 follow-up, Since Then.
Born in Texas, Stephen Stills had a peripatetic childhood, growing up in Illinois, Louisiana, Florida, Panama and Costa Rica, resulting in the Latin influences that pepper his music. Stills succession of bands, began with The Continentals, with future Eagle Don Felder, and then – after he moved to NYC’s Greenwich Village – the Au Go-Go Singers, which also included Richie Furay. While touring in Canada with The Company, an Au Go Go’s offshoot, Stills happened to share the stage with Neil Young and the Squires. They talked about working together, but lost touch until 1967 when Stills and Furay bumped into Young in traffic on the Sunset Strip in L.A. The Buffalo Springfield was born soon after, and Stills and Young were a fiery combination, their contrasting guitar styles giving a unique sound that made them a sensation. It was while with the Springfield that Stills, inspired by the riots between police and hippies on the Sunset Strip, wrote “For What It’s Worth,” one of the landmark anthems of the sixties. Stills also broke musical ground with Manassas, and has been acclaimed as a solo artist ever since 1970’s revered Stephen Stills, an LP that delivered the stone-cold Stills classic “Love The One You’re With.” Man Alive!, Stills’ most recent solo album, was released in 2006 and features guest performances from Graham Nash and Neil Young.
Hailing from Blackpool, England, Graham Nash began singing in local pubs at age fourteen with his pal Alan Clarke in a style heavily influenced by the Everly Brothers. They soon formed The Hollies (after Buddy Holly), and became one of the most commercially successful acts of the British Invasion era with smashes including “Bus Stop,” “On A Carousel,” and “Carrie Anne.” In ’66, The Hollies had the opportunity to record Two Yanks In Britain with The Everly Brothers, an experience Nash still considers a career highlight. An acclaimed solo artist, Nash’s debut solo LP Songs For Beginners is considered a classic of the singer-songwriter genre. 2002 marked the release of his fourth solo album, Songs For Survivors, and in 2006, Highlights, Nash’s latest project as a duo with Crosby, was released. Graham is also an internationally renowned photographer. His work was recently spotlighted via the exhibition Eye to Eye: Photographs by Graham Nash, at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts, which expanded on Nash’s 2004 book of the same name; a softbound edition will be published in 2007. A pioneer in the digital realm, Graham – with Mac Holbert – founded Nash Editions in 1990. Recognized in 2005 by the Smithsonian Institution for its role in the invention of digital fine art printing, it is one of the world’s leading fine art/photographic printmaking houses.
These three consummate singer-songwriters and musicians were united by the seeds of change sown throughout the ’60s to create a musical force as lasting as anything the era generated. In ‘68, Crosby had exited the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield had disbanded, and Nash was seeking new challenges. The planets fully lined up for CSN when, after Crosby produced Joni Mitchell’s auspicious debut album, he and Stills began collaborating and invited Nash to join their session one day. According to Crosby, “When we heard him put on that third harmony, I thought I was gonna die. I thought my heart was gonna jump right through my mouth. It was about the rightest thing I ever heard.” Nash concurs, “The minute I heard how our voices sounded together, I was physically and musically linked with David and Stephen from then on. It was a truly magical moment.”
In 1969, the trio released their stunning debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Along with “Helplessly Hoping,” Nash’s “Marrakesh Express,” Stills’ “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” and Crosby’s “Guinnevere,” the album went straight to number one on the charts. What’s more, it captured the hearts and minds of an entire era. As Nash remembers, “We were all very much in love with each other; we were all very much in love with the music…obviously doing something we felt was totally unique. It was against the grain of most of the music that was out at that time, and we just managed to slip this acoustic-feeling record right through all the stacks of Marshalls and giant electric guitars.”
Their rich, contemplative LP masterpiece made musical history, as did the band themselves when, joined by Neil Young, they played for a half a million people at the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Festival in upstate New York in what was only their second appearance together. CSNY’s stirring performance exemplified the spirit of the day, and is still treasured as a touchstone for many who came of age in the ‘60s (songs from their set later appeared on the Woodstock and Woodstock Two soundtracks in ’70 and ’71). In 1970, CSNY released the now-classic album Déjà Vu to great acclaim, generating three Top 40 singles: “Woodstock” a d Nash’s smash double play of "Teach Your Children" and "Our House.” It also introduced perennial favorites including Young’s “Helpless,” Stills’ “Carry On” and Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair.” Next up was 1971’s 4 Way Street, a double live LP that showcased both group dynamics and solo strengths, and delivered Neil Young’s “Ohio.” Although CSN and CSNY drifted apart briefly later in the ‘70s, they continued to perform and record, individually and in various configurations. Solo, Crosby released If I Could Only Remember My Name, and Nash followed with Songs For Beginners.
David Crosby once remarked that from the beginning, “We said…we’re gonna work in different combinations, in every combination that’s potentially there…in whatever combination that pleases us.” Time has proved the truth of that statement as the group and its members evolve and create in myriad ways. 1974 saw the release of CSNY’s chart-topping multi-platinum compilation So Far, and 1977 brought the trio’s new studio album CSN. The disc’s “Just A Song Before I Go” became their first multi-platinum single, and their highest-charting track, reaching #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The follow-up, 1982’s Daylight Again, added two more hits to the CSN songbook, Stills’ “Southern Cross” and Nash’s “Wasted On The Way.” 1983’s Allies was a collection of live highlights, and 1988 saw the release of CSNY’s American Dream, a platinum-plus album that brought the group full circle, reaching a new generation of listeners. 1990’s Live It Up, featured CSN along with guests including Peter Frampton, Branford Marsalis, Bruce Hornsby, and Crosby’s old Byrds-mate, Roger McGuinn.
1991 brought the four-CD retrospective Crosby, Stills and Nash, a 78-track celebration of their music that’s now platinum. In 1994, CSN released After The Storm, featuring performances by Stills’ son Christopher and daughter Jennifer, among others. That same year marked CSN’s 25th anniversary, which they celebrated in grand style with a sixty-date tour, including a return visit to the most famous location of their performing career when they lent their special magic to Woodstock ’94. The end of the ‘90s and the new millennium brought a major renewal for CSN and CSNY as the quartet entered the studio to record Looking Forward in 1999, which has now led to three hugely successful concert tours. In 2004, David and Graham released the epic 2-CD collaboration Crosby-Nash, their first album as a duo in many years (their others include the live classic ¬Another Stoney Evening).
Today, looking forward continues to describe the separate and joint visions of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash as they continue to tour, record and advocate for social, environmental and political justice. Solo commitments notwithstanding, Crosby, Stills and Nash have always been about community, and both as world citizens and as artists, their dedication is unwavering. Just as they will always address the important issues facing our society, CSN will forever remain three together in song.
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