Why is Crosby, Stills & Nash on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Master craftsmen at the art of the harmony and a soft rock-meets-folk rock vibe that would come to dominate the 1970s.
What does Crosby, Stills & Nash mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Stephen Stills are master craftsmen at the art of the harmony, and on their self-titled debut album, they already had perfected a soft rock-meets-folk rock sound that would come to dominate the 1970s.
“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” is a long song – especially by late 1960s standards – at seven minutes, 24 seconds. There’s a section at the end that features the trio kind of scatting in harmony. It’s striking not only because it’s beautiful and fun… and kind of easy sounding in the best kind of way, but because it feels so intensely iconic that it’s nearly shocking that it shows up some six minutes-plus in this song.
Perhaps that “shock” comes from a childhood and high school years spent immersed in classic rock and 1960s and 1970s music, but music does have that surprising power, and that’s one of the many reasons why we love it so much.
And here’s a great live version of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” that, among other things, shows off Stephen Stills’ impressive acoustic guitar skills.
“Pre-Road Downs” layers in a slight psychedelic rock vibe with a little Beatles-y shick shick in the background. I also appreciate the clever little asides in this song about life on the road.
Don’t run the time approaches
Hotels and midnight coaches
Be sure to hide the roaches
“Helplessly Hoping” just goes full tilt in emphasizing CSN’s harmonizing superpowers, to gorgeous effect.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Crosby, Stills & Nash
This debut album by the trio – and some later albums would include a gentleman and solo superstar in his own right by the name of Neil Young – is the one that seems to be most critically heralded by some (see its #161 ranking below on Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums list), but for my money there are a few albums that I enjoy by this group a great deal more still. Stay tuned!
Some stats & info about Crosby, Stills & Nash
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Soft Rock, Folk Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #161
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Crosby, Stills & Nash released? 1969
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #899 out of 1,000
Crosby, Stills & Nash on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.