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It was Crosby's first solo album, although "solo" is a bit of a misnomer since almost all the musical alumni of California appeared on it - Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzman of the Grateful Dead, Kantner, Slick and Cassady from the Airplane and, of course, Stills, Nash and Young.
It was reviewed at the time by Richard Williams in the MM who said it was dull, boring and unimaginative. He is now a sports feature writer for the Times.
Some notes on the tracks:-
1. Music is Love
Basic track was laid down by Crosby messing about in the studio. Nash and Young stole the tape and over-dubbed harmonies and additional instruments.
2. Cowboy Movie
This is a sort of Chanson a Clef. All the characters in the song refer to real people. Crosby is "Fat Albert", Stills is "Eli", Young is "the Duke" and Nash is "Young Billy". Rita Coolidge is the "Indian Girl". Route one bass from Phil Lesh and good old-fashioned jamming from Garcia, Young and Kaukonen.
3. Tamalpais High (at about 3 in the afternoon)
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this relates to some area of outstanding natural beauty. It actual refers to being outside a girls high-school at going-home time. But a beautiful "song".
My favourite and a 1st choice Desert Island Disc. Shows off Crosby's voice. Great pedal steel from Garcia and bass from Phil Lesh. Garcia has said that his own playing on this album was some of his finest work. Brilliant accoustic guitar sound.
5. What are their Names?
Song speaks for itself - quite relevant today I suppose. Done "live "in the studio. Great build-up and guitars from the same three as above.
6. Traction in the Rain
Possibly the least gripping song on the album, but pleasant enough.
7. Song with no Words - Tree with No Leaves
Nash added the tree with no leaves bit. Apparently the guitars have slightly different tuning to normal - A's tuned to B and other stuff that I don't understand. Nice electric guitar from Garcia
Re-arrangement of a traditional French Song with lots of guitar harmonics etc
9. I'd Swear There was Somebody Here
Crosby's girlfriend had just been killed in a crash taking their cats to the Vet in Crosby's VW bus. He did this as a requiem. Six overdubbed a capella tracks with echo, improvised in the studio. Slightly creepy, but he had a voice.
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