It was the beginning of a new decade and, as Dickens wrote "it was best of times, it was the worst of times," CSN&Y has made it clear there would no more "Deja Vu"s and it was impossible not to be sad as having such stunning encounter of four songwriting talents stop their four-way magic at one single album.
And then there were four solo beauties -except for Young's "After the Gold Rush," first albums for Crosby, Nash and Stills- that returned a smile to many of our grieving faces.
Although if compared to his feuding amigos I would not rate Stephen Still first solo recording the best of all four, there's nothing here that could not be considered absolutely impeccable.
Furthermore, as musical breadth goes, this album show unequivocally Stills' capacity and deep understanding of what Rock was becoming and practically every well it drunk from.
And everything it's realized perfectly, the soaring chorus and sweeping organ of "Love The One You're With;" the Gospel beauty of "Church" and "To A Flame;" "Old Times Good Times," where Stills trades licks with Hendrix himself; the horns launching "Cherokee" into its own outer space, the sensuous cadence of "Sit Yourself Down;" the tequila-soaked blues of "Black Queen;" the quiet folk of wisdom of "We Are Not Helpless" ...
Well, you definitely get the picture. This is Stills' solo masterpiece, a work of such greatness that made his follow-up solo recordings -very good albums indeed- impossible to match it. Perhaps Manassas' debut is the only other album Stills put out -then as a band leader again- that can be compared to this one.
This is an album that belongs in any serious Rock worshipper's CD collection, not because of its possible historical significance nor any prior sentimental attachment to those times, but exclusively on the strength of its musical content, as relevant and soulful today as thirty-odd years ago.