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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Folk > Pop > Political > HDCD > Crosby, Stills & Nash – 1969 self-titled album + Daylight Again (HDCD reissues)

Crosby, Stills & Nash – 1969 self-titled album + Daylight Again

(HDCD Remasters)


Sound: B/B+     Music: B+/C+



Crosby, Stills & Nash were one of the great voices of Rock/Folk counterculture music in the late 1960s, but when Neil Young joined them, they really went overboard.    Graham Nash was already known for his great work with The Hollies, while David Crosby had been with The Byrds and Stephen Stills with Buffalo Springfield.  Young had also been with Buffalo Springfield and recorded three very commercially and critically successful albums.  Rhino has decided to issue two of the three hit albums the group released sans Young in new HDCD-encoded CDs with bonus tracks.


Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) is a classic that has aged well for the most part, combining protest music, Folk, Rock and other forms into an iconic work of the period that still has classic moments.  Some of the songs may have been played out on Rock radio, but the heart and soul remains in tact over 35 years later.  Marrakesh Express and Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stills’ tribute to Folk legend Judy Collins) were hits, but it is album cut Long Time Gone that is the albums’ indelible masterpiece.  Guinnevere is among the other tracks that found Rock Album airplay over the decades.  This was only the warm-up for their hat trick with Young, but the natural, youthful energy is captured here deeply and that alone is why this is a classic of the genre.  Of the four bonus tracks, only their cover of Harry Nilsson’s hit Everybody’s Talkin’ (made famous by the John Schlesinger motion picture masterwork Midnight Cowboy from 1969) is a big misfire.


Daylight Again (1982) reunited the trio for the first time in five years and of the two hits songs, all of them sound better than they did back in 1982.  Those singles are Wasted On The Way and Southern Cross, both of which were played out quickly and are not their best work.  However, they sound better here than expected.  The album itself is the least political and edgy work of all the participants, though Nash’s Holies reunion where the band massacred the Supremes’ Stop In The Name Of Love made this material sound like Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?  Nevertheless, the trio still had it and the naïve approach (Reagan is president, but no worries!?!) is odd indeed, but it is still a sincere, personal album towards the end of Atlantic Records’ glorious run as one of the great, unstoppable record labels.  The final track is the title song, featuring Art Garfunkel on backing vocals.  Sadly, such tracks walk the line between nostalgia on arrival and trying to say something i.e., making the big statement.  As a result, it seems older than the 1969 album in some profound way.


The PCM 2.0 16bit/44.1kHz Stereo is HDCD encoded, which is a benefit for playback no matter of your player can decode it or not.  The idea of this older format that Microsoft eventually purchased for their Windows Media Player 9 software and beyond, is that you can take 20 – 24 bits of information and squeeze them into the 16bit space the old CD format offers.  Years before DVD-Audio and SACD, this was an optimal sound treat and is still worth having for playback.  The result is higher standards for reissues and these CD releases are included.  The 1969 album shows some age, but sounds really good, while the 1982 Daylight Again tracks are just a bit better.  Fans will be impressed, but those who are not fans will be surprised how well recorded, produced and engineered both albums are.  Those less interested should at least get them to take a listen.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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