This is a re-release of the original box set but in a smaller, more compact box. So, you get the same music as reviewed for the previous release. The important aspect for me was that the original 68 page booklet is also included (not always the case with this type of re-issue) and so you can buy this music for a great price without any worries. I bought the Retrospective LP nearly 45 years ago (as well as subsequent cd releases) and their music still impresses. Enjoy!
Like so many lavish box sets with artist involvement - they end up being a mixture of delight and frustration for fans - and "Buffalo Springfield Box Set" is no different. Stereo versions from the first two seminal albums are missing, 22 tracks are duplicated on the bonus Disc 4 with songs on Discs 1 to 3 and some songs from the later albums aren't here at all. But what you do get is a healthy wad of 36 excellent Previously Unreleased tracks and the HDCD sound quality culled from the best Analogue source tapes is exceptional.
There's a lot on here as you can imagine - so let's get to some kind of track-by-track breakdown first... A reissue of the July 2001 12" x 7" 'long box' version - this October 2013 4-CD jewel case on Atco/Rhino 8122797321 gives us the full 88-song HDCD compliment of the 2001 original, the fantastic info-packed 68-page booklet and all of it wrapped up in a handy card slipcase on the outside. For What It's Worth...
Disc 1 (61:06 minutes): 1. There Goes My Babe [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo for Sonny & Cher 2. Come On [Stephen Stills song] -Previously Unreleased Demo 3. Hello, I've Returned [Stephen Stills/Van Dyke Parks song] Previously Unreleased Demo] 4. Out Of My Mind [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 5. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 6. I'm Your Kind Of Guy [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 7. Baby Don't Scold Me [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 8. Neighbor Don't You Worry [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 9. We'll See [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 10. Sad Memory [Richie Furay song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 11. Can't Keep Me Down [Richie Furay song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 12. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing [Neil Young song] 13. Go And Say Goodbye [Stephen Stills song] 14. Sit Down I Think I Love You [Stephen Stills song] 15. Leave [Stephen Stills song] 16. Hot Dusty Roads [Stephen Stills song] 17. Everybody's Wrong [Stephen Stills song] 18. Burned [Neil Young song] 19. Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It [Neil Young song] 20. Out Of My Mind [Neil Young song] 21. Pay The Price [Stephen Stills song] 22. Down Down Down [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 23. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong [Neil Young song] - as per 12 to 21 24. Neighbor Don't You Worry [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased [Notes: All 24 Tracks on Disc 1 are in MONO. In order to line-up their debut album "Buffalo Springfield" in its original December 1966 MONO configuration on Atco 33-200 - you sequence the tracks as follows from two discs: Side 1: 13, 14,15, 12, 16 [all from CD 1] Side 2: 23, 18, 19, 13, 20 and 21 [all from CD1 except 13 from CD4]. The album was remixed into MONO by the band and released again in March 1967 as Atco 33-200A - that mix is available in its entirety on Disc 4 (Tracks 1 to 13]
Disc 2 (61:27 minutes): 1. Down Down Down [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased 2. Kahuna Sunset [Stephen Stills & Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Instrumental 3. Buffalo Stomp (Raga) -[Richie Furay, Bruce Kunkel, Dewey Martin, Stephen Stills & Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Instrumental 4. Baby Don't Scold Me [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Version 5. For What It's Worth [Stephen Stills song] - from "Buffalo Springfield" 1967 second version Mono LP on Atco 33-200A 6. Mr. Soul [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Version 7. We'll See [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased 8. My Kind Of Love [Richie Furay song] - Previously Unreleased 9. Pretty Girl Why [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Mix 10. Words I Must say [Richie Furay song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 11. Nobody's Fool [Richie Fury song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 12. So You've Got A Lover [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 13. My Angel [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 14. No Sun Today [Eric Eisner song] - Previously Unreleased 15. Everydays [Stephen Stills song] - from the Mono mix of the "Buffalo Springfield Again" album released October 1967 on Atco 33-226. The Stereo version of the entire LP on SD 33-226 is on Disc 4. 16. Down To The Wire [Neil Young song] Previously Unreleased Version 17. Bluebird [Stephen Stills song] - as per 15 18. Expecting To Fly [Neil Young song] - as per 15 19. Hung Upside Down [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 20. A Child's Claim To Fame [Richie Furay song] - as per 15 21. Rock & Roll Woman [Stephen Stills song] - as per 15 [Note: all tracks on Disc 2 are MONO except 1, 15, 17, 18, 20 an 21 - which are STEREO]
Disc 3 (61:33 minutes): 1. Hung Upside Down [Stephen Stills song] as per 15 on Disc 2 2. Good Time Boy [Richie Furay song] - as per 15 on Disc 2 3. One More Sign [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 4. The Rent Is Always Due [Neil Young song] Previously Unreleased Demo 5. Round And Round And Round [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 6. Old Laughing Lady [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased Demo 7. Broken Arrow [Neil Young song] as per 15 on Disc 2 8. Sad Memory [Richie Furay song] - as per 15 on Disc 2 9. On The Way Home [Neil Young song] Previously Unreleased Mix 10. Whatever Happened To Saturday Night? [Neil Young song] - Previously Unreleased 11. Special Care [Stephen Stills song] - from their 3rd album "Last Time Around" released July 1968 on Atco SD 33-256 in Stereo 12. Falcon Lake (Ash On The Floor) [Neil Young] - Previously Unreleased 13. What A Day [Richie Furay song] - Previously Unreleased 14. I Am A Child [Neil Young song] as per 11 15. Questions [Stephen Stills song] - as per 11 16. Merry-Go-Round [Richie Furay song] - as per 11 17. Uno Mundo [Stephen Stills song] - as per 11 18. Kind Woman [Richie Furay song] - as per 11 19. It's So Hard To Wait [Richie Furay & Neil Young song] - as per 11 20. Four Days Gone [Stephen Stills song] - Previously Unreleased Demo
Disc 4 (70:44 minutes) Tracks 1 to 13 are the remixed MONO version of their debut album "Buffalo Springfield" on Atco 33-200A with its 'rearranged' track list (see Disc 1 for the original '66 mix) Tracks 14 to 23 are the STEREO mix of their second album "Buffalo Springfield Again" released
Using 24-bit/88.2khz transfers - a team of no less than four did the tape research, transfers and remastering to HDCD - JOHN NOWLAND, TIM MULLIGAN, JOHN HAUSMANN and JOEL BERNSTEIN and they've done a superlative job. You can 'hear' real care has been taken with this release and given that almost half of Discs 1 to 3 are merely 'Demos' - the audio quality is shockingly good (while the album tracks are sparkling). The booklet is a work of art with a whopping 62 text and photograph acknowledgments on the rear pages - badges, posters, newspaper clippings, press adverts, 1966 charts, single sleeves, publicity photos and a 'Brief History' of the band by noted musicologist PETE LONG. It's exemplary stuff and even though this is a budget-priced reissue - it's cool to see that all the original artwork has been retained.
The long-version of "Bluebird" is infuriatingly still AWOL and best tape sources or not the alternate version of "Mr. Soul" sounds crap - but the Previously Unreleased version of "Baby Don't Scold Me" and the new Stills/Furay songs "We'll See" and "My Kind Of Love" are genuine nuggets from a golden age. Of the two new instrumentals - "Kahuna Sunset" is pretty dismissible but the band boogie of "Buffalo Stomp (Raga)" is excellent and there's real tenderness and ache on the Stills Demos of "So You've Got A Lover" and "My Angel". Amongst the Neil Young unreleased goodies are the superb "Down To The Wire", "Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?" and the instrumental "Falcon Lake (Ash On The Floor)" with Buddy Miles on Drums. Eric Eisner's lone moment "No Sun Today" is also superb as is The Association feel to "What A Day". But best of all the unreleased stuff for me is a gorgeous piano-intimate Demo of "Four Days Gone" with just Stills and the keys - it's truly lovely - eerily special (lyrics from it title this review).
Impossibly cool and musical (like The Byrds) - Buffalo Springfield burned brightly for a short time before they took the world by storm as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1969 and 1970. OK - there's stuff missing and way too many duplications - but I'd still argue that this is a solid five-star release.
"...Pretty baby I'm your guy..." they sang on the irrepressibly catchy "Sit Down I Think I Love You"...they were right. A fabulous release now available without the original's hefty price tag. Buy buy buy...
If you do not own any of the Buffalo Springfield records already, this would be a good buy. For Neil Young fans it's great because there's a few tracks on here which you cannot find elsewhere. It is dissapointing not to find there alternative version of 'Bluebird' on here. Richie Furay's 'In the Hour of Not Quite Rain' is not on here either, but it's probably one of the Springfield's worst songs anyway. The box-set is compiled by Neil Young himself, therefore it includes alot of the same songs, but different versions- Neil Young is a firm believer in documenting everything even if it is repetitious or poor. There isn't much from the 'Last Time Around' LP, probably because Young wasn't recording with the band by this point and the songs weren't of the band's previous quality anyway. However, the alternative versions of Young's 'Clancy' and 'Round & Round' are fantastic. I think the box-set artwork is nice. It has the famous Buffalo Springfiled steam-roller sign on the front and the booklet is quite thick, offering a quality that suits the era in which the music was made. All in all a good buy if your a Neil Young or Buffalo Springfield fan, but it is a bit of a let down at times. A luxury not a necessity.
Despite the fact that other reviewers cite this box set as incomplete (a fact which I cannot deny) it does not detract from the fact that you should own it. I am afraid I approached Springfield in a reverse fashion, having favoured CSN and Young's early solo records before I took the leap back into Springfield where Stills & Young started. This was a recent purchase (29/12/03) so it is still very much in my mind. Okay, so a few tracks are omitted like the full version of Bluebird (see other reviews for a full breakdown - I haven't the patience) but this box set is a beautiful collection of music nevertheless, the first cd's demos from 1966 are especially outstanding and primarily solo performances that foreshadow what the future would hold, especially Neil Young's songs. I can see why completists are wingeing, but there's more than enough here to satisfy. I especially recommend the set if you haven't got anything by this Band (which I didn't), and if you dig Neil Young and CSN it's a must have. Nuff Said.
If you want to screw up a golden opportunity to compile the work of a seminal American band of the 1960s, then this is a prime example of how to do just that! Despite containing some fine fine music and a generous offering of out-takes, demos & alternate versions, this 4-disc box set is so messily programmed that it's difficult to ascertain any sort of logic to the planning behind it. You'd think that perhaps it was worth re-issuing this band's 3 officially released albums as originally issued & then bundle the 'extras' together but it seems that this was a proposition too far. Okay, so there's an attempt to do something like that on Disc 4, which presents the mono version of the debut album (which was issued twice with 'For What It's Worth' replacing 'Baby Don't Scold Me'- the latter tacked on as the closer here) & the classic Buffalo Springfield Again presented in their entirety & in correct running orders. BUT, the same service is not awarded to Last Time Around. Indeed, this album does not appear in its entirety. There are 4 tracks missing: 'Pretty Girl Why', 'Four Days Gone', 'Carefree Country Day' & 'The Hour Of Not Quite Rain'. What we get instead is an earlier version of 'Pretty Girl Why' & the demo of 'Four Days Gone' but no mention whatsoever of the other two titles. A 5th victim is 'On The Way Home', which appears as a pretty pointless remix which offers nothing more than an obtrusively boosted bass part. Interestingly enough, 'Carefree Country Day' featured Jim Messina while both 'Hour Of Not Quite Rain' & the original 'On the Way Home' carried Ritchie Furay lead vocals. I wonder what they felt about this? Were either of them consulted? It is fair to say the Last Time Around, issued shortly after Neil Young had left the group for the lat time (to be replaced, albeit briefly, by Messina), was not the Springfield's finest offering but it has always attracted followers on account of its strong country-rock flavourings & the treatment it receives here is unforgivably shabby.
Then there's the repetition of 9 of Again's 10 tracks ('Mr. Soul' is the one that isn't reprised on account of the inclusion of an earlier version): completely unnecessary. As other reviewers have noted other out-takes that could have been considered instead. Then, of course, there's this band's legendary live reputation but this box completely ignores it. Me, I'd also have have preferred one of these discs to have featured as much as still exists of the abandoned Stampede album that was shelved prior to the group's starting on Again. Much of it is here but presented without any intelligible coherence. All in all, then, this adds up to a bit of a mess.
These shortcomings do not, however, detract from the quality of the music included here, with Buffalo Springfield Again's standout tracks ('Mr. Soul', 'Rock & Roll Woman', 'Expecting To Fly', 'Bluebird', 'A Child's Claim To Fame', 'Everydays' & 'Broken Arrow') joining 'For What It's Worth'' & 'Kind Woman' in the list of definitive Springfield studio recordings. I just can't help believing that the band deserves better than this.
I've been a big Neil - especially with Crazy Horse - fan since way back when but sorta overlooked Buffalo Springfield. I didn't buy the box set when it first came out cos it was too expensive so when this very reasonably priced reissue came out I bagged it (quite a bit cheaper than it's selling for now too). Anyhoo, the demos are really good, some totally magic. The regular BS tracks are mostly there - with a few notable exceptions as other reviewers have pointed out. But the tracks are in a waaaay eccentric order and just don't really make for a great listening experience taken as a whole, with repetitions, tracks apparently left out for no particular reason and it doesn't appear to be chronological either. Needless to say Neil programmed the running order. I burnt two CDs of the best stuff and have tended to play those. But 4 cds worth of music for £20 is still great value, so I'd still say this is a good buy - and much of the music is totally totally TOTALLY great.
I originally wrote this before listening properly to every track. I have finally had the opportunity to do so.
1) Not all of the 3rd album Last Time Around is here. Granted, it wasn't as good as the first two, but still .... the decision to omit, especially, "... Not Quite Rain" and the final release version of "Pretty Girl Why" was an unfortunate one, as these two songs were of high quality. They could have easily fitted LTA into the set in its entirety. Neil Young, for whom I have the greatest respect, had a major hand in this box set compilation; he had had little involvement with Last Time Around, so he may have seen some of its tracks as dispensable.
2) The 9:00 version of Bluebird (with the terrific jam in the middle) was not included. Even though many have commented that they're no longer "relevant," jams like this are a relic of the times. I would argue that Springfield itself is a "relic", and if you want an archive of a seminal band, virtually everything they did was significant, especially when we consider how important the individul members (at least Still, Young, and Furay) became. Possible reason for its omission of this Stills showpiece: the Stills-Young rivalry, which certainly was a factor back then, and it may persist even today. The long version only appears on an early 70s 2-LP compilation (called "Buffalo Springfield", creatively enough - I still have a copy).
3) The repeats of tracks from the first two albums (mixed into the first 3 discs in chronological order of recording date) have been objected to by many as redundant (actually, not quite, as the first album part of Disc 4 is in its (superior) mono form, while the individual tracks in the other discs are not). The 4th disc, which contains the first two official albums in their entirety, is the one people (certainly I) will go back to again and again. "Baby Don't Scold Me was the song that was dropped from the second edition of the first album in favour of the Hit "For What Its's Worth" - it's restored here (twice - once in Disc 4 and again in Disc 2!).
For what this set DOES have (the first two LPs, mono versions, demos, outtakes and alternates), this is valuable. But I see a box set of a band as historically significant as Springfield as an opportunity to be comprehensive,and should include all officially released albums (especially when there were only three to begin with) plus all singles and major alternate versions like 9:00 Bluebird. There's simply no excuse not to include them.
Still strongly recommended (****), despite the noted reservations.