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Virtuosic Playing, Homespun Arrangements, Resonant Lyrics: Crosby, Stills & Nash Includes "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," "Long Time Coming," "Marrakesh Express," and "Helplessly Hoping"
Mobile Fidelity's Numbered-Edition Hybrid SACD Plays with Richness, Detail, Fullness, and Organic Tones
The enduring charm, contemporary relevance, and harmonic convergence of Crosby, Stills & Nash's fabled self-titled debut owe not only to impeccably played songs and resonant lyrics, but to career-defining performances by music's first genuine supergroup. Crosby, Stills & Nash lingers as an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Factor in phenomenal studio production and acoustic-based architecture that served as guideposts for myriad albums that followed, and popular music would never be the same.
Sourced from the original analog master tapes and packaged in a mini-LP gatefold sleeve, Mobile Fidelity's numbered-edition hybrid SACD provides a transparent look into a record that birthed the Laurel Canyon movement and established a precedent for close harmony singing that has never been eclipsed. The organic presentation of the textures; expanse and depth of the soundstages; fullness of tones; natural extension of the acoustic guitar strings; realistic rise and decay of individual notes; seamless blending of the vocals - those important sonic facets (and more) reach demonstration-grade levels on this audiophile-quality reissue.
The backstory of how the quadruple-platinum Crosby, Stills & Nash came to be nearly matches the import of its content. Already a renowned multi-instrumental virtuoso, Stephen Stills sought a fresh beginning after Buffalo Springfield splintered. Similarly, vocal powerhouse David Crosby arrived after leaving the Byrds. Graham Nash drifted over after a frustrating stint in the Hollies. He met his new mates at a party. When the three sang together informally for the first time, their fate was sealed. To further tie their fortunes together, the singers used each of their surnames to identify the group to ensure the collective could not exist or continue on without all three members.
From the opening of the lead track, the multi-part "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," written for Judy Collins, it's apparent the trio's dynamic cannot be replicated or substituted. Originally released in May 1969 on Atlantic, the eponymous debut cracked the Billboard Top 10 and spent almost two years on the charts. Such longevity can be credited to the distinctive traits each member lends to a record Rolling Stone cites as the 161st Greatest Album of All Time. Stills trades in folk, country, and rock accents while handing a majority of the instrumental duties (organ, bass, and lead guitar included). Crosby paints with mood and atmosphere, as well as direct political commentary. Nash ties everything together with accessible pop melodies.
More than five decades later, the ensemble's mellifluous singing and homespun arrangements continue to soar. The evidence pervades Crosby, Stills & Nash, whose magnetism reflects in standards such as the breezy "Marrakesh Express," protesting "Long Time Gone," poignant "Helplessly Hoping," and poetic "Wooden Ships." No wonder the trio's chemistry - as well as the distinctive traits of each member's singing, interwoven guitar parts, and contrasting personalities - became a permanent part of an American culture dealing with conflicting themes of peace and war, love and violence, and change and status quo.
Compared to the 2006 Atlantic/Rhino HDCD—mastered by Bernie Grundman and Stanley Johnson—this MoFi remaster accentuates mid-range vocals and cleans up sonic artifacts created by the rumbling bass lines. That brings clarity, detail, and often startling presence to the recording—Crosby sounds like he's standing in the room while singing the dreamy ballad 'Guinnevere.' But it tamps down some low-mid frequencies that gave the 2006 remastser its depth—that's evident on the mid-tempo rocker 'Long Time Gone,' for example. For some, the emphasis on CSN's vocal magic will be welcome; for others, well, supply your own smoky vibes.
- Numbered, Limited Edition
- Super Audio CD
- SACD Stereo SACD Layer
- This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
- Mastered from Original Master Tapes
- Packaged in a Mini-LP Gatefold Sleeve
- Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
- Marrakesh Express
- You Don't Have To Cry
- Pre-Road Downs
- Wooden Ships
- Lady of the Island
- Helplessly Hoping
- Long Time Gone
- 49 Bye-Byes