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4.6 out of 5 stars
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2002
I first head CSN when Woodstock has aired on terrestrial tv about 15 or so years ago. The hippy images stuck in my young 12 year old mind and I could never shake them. It wasn't until I saw the film again about 7 years ago that it registered that the thing I spent my teens and early twenties looking for was right under my nose. Trying to find an album that you can connect with emotionally can take years, this is my album. Everything on it reminds me of something, without even understanding the songs fully. You can get everything out of this LP without realising you've connected with it, its practically impossible to listen to Suite Judy without giving in to Marrakesh Express and so and so on.
I'm unsure of the length of the album but it goes by in a blink. Perfect for daydreaming to, it conjures up fantastic images of love, lonliness, drugs, drink, old relationships, one night stands, summer evenings and cold winter mornings.
Without this LP I would be without Richie Havens, The Band and Neil Young. Just writing about it at my work desk makes me feel a little more inspired than usual. I'm leaving work early now to go home and listen to it.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2003
30 plus years on and, stripped of all the hype that surrounded it’s release, one thing puts Crosby Stills & Nash’s first album totally above the pack… it is, quite simply, harmonically brilliant. David Crosby’s recollection that, when they first got together, the injection of Graham Nash’s high pitched vocals on top of his & Stephen Stills’ West Coast honed harmonies produced something quite “electric” totally underpins its enduring power. Forget the post-hippie drenched lyrics of most of the songs, file Crosby’s solo, “Guinnevere”, under a quite different category (“brilliantly reflective personal outing”), and consign Nash’s solo “Lady of the Island” to “possibly self indulgent” and… you’re left with eight quite superb explorations into three part harmony. Nothing before or since soars quite like these guys at their peak and, on this record, they were at the very peak of their skills.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 February 2007
In my humble opinion we have yet another example of a debut being a groups finest hour. This album is classic in so many ways, too many to list here. From the gin clear and crystal vocal virtuosity that just rings out of every track to the stunning compositional skills of these three masters of what used to be called rather derogatively 'Soft Rock'. There is nothing soft about the performances that fill this seminal album from the multi layering of Still's Suite Judy Blue Eyes through the rather jolly (did I just say jolly?) and upbeat Marakesh Express to the simply gorgeous (did I just say Gorgeous?) Lady of the Island and Guinevere. There is not a weak moment on this album. Buy it and judge why this is considered by all those with taste to be a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2010
What an album; I still can't listen to this without thinking of warm summer days, and particularly as a 16 year old, still at school, not starting work for another year. In '69 I knew it all, I would be conquering the world, but first I would listen again to the blissful harmonies and fantastic instrumentation of two Americans and a lad from Manchester. When I closed my eyes I was transported to California (from the East End of London !!!); lying in my local park that summer, I imagined that the world was a fine place, and it was a much better place because of these 10 songs.

Any review must surely be superfluous; who doesn't recognise the opening half dozen or so notes played in quick succession by Stephen Stills on acoustic guitar (or one note played several times !!). Can anyone not recognise 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' as the work of genius that it is ? One of my all time favourite songs, a real 'suite' in musical terms, with different passages, time signatures and themes.

The album almost maintains that high, high standard with the bouncy pop of Nash's 'Marrakesh Express', I would have loved to have worn a 'striped djellaba' but think I would have gotten my head beaten in during that Summer of Love !! That's assuming I knew what a striped djellaba was and where I could get one. And of course ignoring the fact that I would have looked a total prat !!

The gorgeous beauty that is Crosby's 'Guinnevere' follows, how lovely it still sounds; again great, sparse instrumentation, and beautiful harmonies, the lyrics ? no idea what half of them mean, but that didn't/doesn't matter.

The album sits back a bit until 'Wooden Ships', Crosby and Stills interplay is a wonder to behold.

Then 'Lady of the Island' provides more gorgeousness from Nash !!

The clever alliteration of Stills' 'Helplessly Hoping' right up until the run out of '49 Bye Byes' means not a duff track, really a timeless classic.

If you like clever harmonies, great instrumentation and very well written songs, you can do no better than buy this album.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2000
Dave Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash late of The Byrds, Buffallo Springfield and The Hollies respectively got together in 1969 to record this wonderful masterpiece. Although there are echoes of their previous music in this album the sound is very much their own. From poppy bob-along tunes ( Marrakesh Express, Suite/Judy Blue Eyes ) to brilliant vocal harmonies ( Forty nine bye byes ) with a side-helping of hippy-dippery thrown in ( Guinnevere, Lady Of The Island ) there isn't a bad track on the album. Listen to it when you feel sad and it'll make you feel happy. Listen to it when you're happy and you'll feel happier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2011
I bought this album last week and had resisted buying it for years because I mistakenly thought (based on the footage of CSN doing Judy Blue Eyes at Woodstock) that it might be too sickly for my slightly more rough hewn musical palette. This was despite the fact that I have always been a huge Byrds/Crosby, Buffalo Springfield (Stills) and Neil Young fan. (The Hollies, from whence Nash emanates, I am rather less keen on (apart from their 1967 output, e.g. King Midas In Reverse).

I could not have been more wrong in sustaining my resistance for so long. This album is a stone cold classic and an utter joy to listen to. Aural Prozac, if you like. There's not a weak track on it. And it ranges across so many moods and musical styles: from the raga inflected Judy Blue Eyes on to the wonderfully jaunty Marrakesh Express and then to the doleful introspection of Lady Of the Island which sounds (in terms of the vocal and sparse acoustic accompaniment) as if it is an outtake from Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends. And then of course there is the zeitgeisty sublime Long Time Gone - which obliquely refers to Robert Kennedy and the entire ethos of the late-sixties boundary shattering counterculture. No wonder it was played over the opening credits of the Woodstock movie. Harmonically and in terms of the musicianship this is all note-perfect: perhaps one of the most beautifully honed, textured and constructed albums ever. It gives the likes of Pet Sounds, Rubber Soul and Highway 61 Revisited a run for their money.

As a document of an era it may seem outdated to some. One reviewer (on another blog) derisively referred to it as 'bubblegum for hippies'(!?). Well, 'man' I ain't no hippy (at 37 I was four years from being born when this Crosby, Stills and Nash was released) and if you think this is bubblegum you clearly haven't heard Justin Beiber! But as a work of musical craftsmanship and beauty put those historical associations to one side and simply lie back and listen. This is a timeless classic and its musical joys and lyrical sentiments resonate down the years. Crosby Stills & Nash
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2011
CSN were the quintessential band of the alternative culture to me when I lived and breathed the heady idealism and hope of that era. Thankfully this and their other early albums (inc. the CSN&Y album) still inspire that sense of hope and that anything is possible if you really want it to happen. The quality of the music hasn't been overshadowed by the passage of time and if anything the message and the sentiments are truer and more imperative today than they were back in the days of hash 'n acid. A truly great album and there were some other truly great creations from this era for them to compete with. So if you have a heart and are a seeker of truth buy this album, it won't bring you truth but it will show you that creativity is something exceptionally present on this and their other albums.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2006
I guess if you're reading this you already know this is a great album - the CSN high watermark - harmonies, songs, guitars, peace and love.
This is my third purchase of this particular collection on differing format - I passed on the previous remastered CD version - as most of the tracks were on the then recently issued box set - but this is probably my favourite album of theirs in any group line up - that includes anything Neil conjured in his early career.
Question - Is the HDCD remastering and the extra songs worth the purchase ?
I have HDCD on my player and I reckon there is a marginal sound improvement. But it's not that apparent.
It's the bonus tracks which are the killer - honest simple versions of 'Do for the Others' and 'Everybody's talking' are thrilling - with Stills leading.
'Song with No Words' - I believe is the one guitar Crosby/Nash take from the box set.
'Teach Your Children' - is another Crosby/Nash demo, Nash strumming an altered tuning guitar, with a small variation in the chorus which I like. Cros's harmony is just great.
All leads to the question- how come these tracks didn't see the light of day on the box set ? What treasure is going to turn up on 'Deja Vu' when that gets the revamp ?
Also - what's happened to Dallas Taylor ? - he's been shadowed out of the back door photo ?
My one cynical thought is why is this being released so soon after their recent Greatest Hits collection ? Many of the tracks being duplicated ?

Just buy it. You know you need it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I revisited this superb album on CD some 40 years after first hearing the LP and loving it. It was like meeting an old friend, but this friend had worked out the secret of not ageing. It is as fresh today as it was when first released.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is a tour de forced in close harmony singing, Marrakesh Express is light and enjoyable ... and the album progressses from there. The three voices go together so naturally that they make difficult arrangements sound easy. The CS&N sound is instantly recognisable and their musicianship is of the highest order.

Crosby Stills and Nash had the huge advantage of containing three members capable of singing lead and three members capable of writing classics. That leads to an album of variety and different styles that ensures that every track is able to command attention and each is different to the one that went before.

CS&N was a supergroup worthy of the name and this album is a classic, well worth investment in CD form. Five stars
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2002
Having only bought this album two weeks ago(Feb 2002)on the back of being a convert to early solo Neil Young, I was transported immediately to a time when things were much simpler and people hoped that the world would turn out to be a happier loving place. How wrong they were. That said go and buy this NOW! and lose yourself to a time and place wherever it may be.Stunning lyrics and harmonies,you can't go wrong.
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