Crosby, Stills & Nash 1969 - They Are Three Together

Formed by David Crosby from the Byrds, Stephen Stills from Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash from the slightly more confidential British band The Hollies, Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is sometimes considered to be the first 'Superband'.

Occasionally joined by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young,
the first three accomplices allegedly started harmonizing in Joni Mitchell's kitchen in 1968, or Mama Cass Elliot's dining room according to Stills.

In May of that year the trio released a first and eponymous studio album on Atlantic Records that quickly reached 6th place on the American pop charts, and ultimately landing the band Platinum commercia
l success. Moreover the songs Marrakesh Express and Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, both peaked within the first 30 places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by the end of October of 1969, thanks to their important airplay on the new FM radio format.

Original track list of the Crosby, Stills & Nash LP:

Side 1:
1 - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes [7:25]
2 - Marrakesh Express [2:39]
3 - Guinnevere [4:40]
4 - You Don't Have To Cry [2:45]
5 - Pre-Road Downs [3:01]
Side 2
1 - Wooden Ships [5:29]
2 - Lady Of The Island [2:39]
3 - Helplessly Hoping [2:41]
4 - Lone Time Gone [4:17]
5 - 49 Bye-Byes [5:16]

The album has since been reissued three times on CD, with a final remastered and expanded edition release by Rhino Records in 2006 including four new songs : Do for the Others, Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves), Everybody's Talkin', and Teach Your Children.

Quickly joined by Neil Young the band started touring by the end of the summer of 1969. Their secongdgig would be held during the Woodstock Festival in front of thousands, a great opportunity but also a very stressful experience for the newly formed quartet who would open their act explaining : "This is only the second time we've performed in front of people. We're scared shitless."

Going out with G
raham Nash at the time, Joni Mitchell couldn't attend the festival because of other concert deals, but immediately wrote a song about the legendary event. Sung by CSNY during the 1970 Woodstock festival, Woodstock would forever associate the band with the hippie gathering and establish them as counter-culture spokesmen.

My personal favourite song on CSN's first album is by far Helplessly Hoping. A tune where CSN's intricate harmonies reach a breathtaking intensity that gradually builds up over the first stanzas, taking over Stephen Stills' discrete guitar melody.

Listen to Helplessly Hoping on Crosby, Stills & Nash [Atlantic Records - 1969]