Top positive review
A superb, varied and distinctive album
on 10 May 2017
For all that Stephen Stills was the main sales calling card on this album (originally a double vinyl set), this really is a fantastic ensemble work, where each individual member gets to play their part. 'Manassas' is a wonderful album, that manages to harness the creative powers of all concerned, whilst sublimating their egos to the greater good (and ultimate benefit of the listener). As other reviewers have stated, each side was roughly given a 'theme' or at least a title, but that's of little concern here - what you get is an incredibly intense and concentrated dose of imaginative songwriting, stellar musical performances and moments of incredible beauty. I can't think of many records that are as musically diverse as this, yet still sound like the work of one band. Styles range from fiddle-led country to solo acoustic blues, with much of Stills' acknowledged love of Latinate rhythms and musical textures in evidence. Chris Hillman also gets to offer up some of his finest recorded performances, and the vocal harmonies are richly layered and soaked in melodic appeal. I cannot recommend this album enough to lovers of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, CSNY - anyone who likes quality music. It's also ridiculously cheap on CD. A classic.