Wednesday, October 9, 2019

#4 Crosby, Stills & Nash (+ Neil Young bonus)

1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards #4 Crosby, Stills & Nash
The fourth card in the set is Crosby, Stills & Nash. This monochromatic shot seems to be a contemporary photo. It's their only card in the set (though related band The Byrds have a Historic Concerts card at #256).

I think Crosby, Stills & Nash were one of the first "supergroups" in rock, made up of singer-songwriters David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. These guys are all twice-inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, both for their earlier bands (mentioned on the back of the card) and as members of CSN.

Crosby, Stills & Nash - "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

Check their Wikipedia entry for more of the band's history, but the short version is the three heavy-hitters teamed up in 1968 and became a major force on the folk-rock scene with their self-titled debut album in 1969. It spawned two Top 40 hits ("Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" [#21] and "Marrakesh Express" [#28]). Other great songs followed on subsequent records, including "Teach Your Children", "Our House", "Just a Song Before I Go", "Long Time Gone", and "Southern Cross".

I like all these hits of theirs, with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" probably being my favorite of the bunch. It makes you wait for it, but when that satisfying last part kicks in ("do do do-do do"), it can't help but put a big smile on your face. That's another instance of where I was familiar with a short clip as a kid thanks to it being used in a TV commercial (either for a Time-Life Music collection [Freedom Rock, perhaps?] or maybe a spot advertising a radio station). It was an epiphany when I eventually heard the full song finally years later. The ending part kicked in and I was like, "Oh hey, it's that one song from TV!"

Crosby, Stills & Nash has been on-again/off-again as an active band for over 50 years now. They've released two studio albums since this card came out: After the Storm (1994) and Looking Forward (1999). As of 2019, all 3 members of CSN are still kicking in their 70s (Who would've thought David Crosby would make it this far?!). They've performed together as recently as 2015, though some bad blood between members may make further reunions unlikely.

Neil Young was/is an occasional member of the band over the years (transforming them into Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young when he's in tow.) On November 3, 1991, CSNY reunited to play the Bill Graham memorial concert at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. But as reflected on the '91 MusiCard, Young wasn't a regular member of the group at the time.


Not only is Neil Young not featured on the CSN card, he doesn't have his own card in the set (nor is there a card for his bands Buffalo Springfield or Crazy Horse). So he's the obvious choice for this post's custom card creation.

Neil Young - 1991 MusiCards-That-Never-Were custom
That would have been a cool card to pull from a pack!

I like CSN fine, but I really like Neil Young. Growing up, my mom owned After the Gold Rush (1970) on vinyl, though I don't remember us listening to it very often. Then as a teenager in the mid 90s, my buddy Doug bought a used cd of the hits/rarities compilation Decade, though it was only the second disc of a 2-cd set. Back then, I was somewhat familiar with Neil Young, but mostly because his songs had been covered by some of my favorite bands at the time, such as the Pixies recording "Winterlong" and "I've Been Waiting For You" as b-sides, and Pearl Jam often performing "Rockin' in the Free World" in their live sets around that era. But I also dug that badass "This Note's For You" video that MTV or VH1 played once in a blue moon. Oh, and my mom owned the Philadelphia soundtrack cd that included Young's title track.. I liked that tune ok.

But yeah, that Decade (disc 2) was really what turned me onto Neil Young. I burned myself a copy of Doug's cd.. it was one of the first burnt cdrs in my music collection and it got a lot of play from me. I'd often listen to it while falling asleep, since it has a lot of good mellow songs-- though inevitably I'd be shaken awake when "Like a Hurricane" started blaring. LOL. I might have to go with "Cortez the Killer" as my favorite cut.

I eventually got my hands on more of his stuff, including Harvest (1972) and On the Beach (1974), later diving deeper to his discography.

Neil Young - "Downtown"


I like a ton of Neil Young songs, and so trying to narrow down my favorites to 20 tracks is gonna be tough. Here we go...

Neil Young - "best of" playlist
1. Downtown
2. Ohio
3. Old Man
4. A Man Needs a Maid
5. Harvest Moon
6. Heart of Gold
7. This Note's For You
8. The Needle and the Damage Done
9. Tonight's the Night (Pt. 1)
10. Tired Eyes
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
12. Down by the River
13. Winterlong
14. Cinnamon Girl
15. Sugar Mountain
16. Like a Hurricane
17. Cortez the Killer
18. Campaigner
19. Long May You Run
20. Motion Pictures

This is sort of "disc 2 of Decade on steroids", as over half these songs are from that cd. It wouldn't be too hard for me to do another disc coming up with 20 more of his songs I like a lot, but we'll call it good with this.

How 'bout you? I'd be interested to hear what your favorite CSN/CSNY/NY songs are in the comments.

Pixies - "Winterlong"

Love this cover of "Winterlong" with Kim Deal on lead vocals.

And speaking of Neil Young tunes sung by women, here's a bonus cover: Fiberoctopus-Harvest_Moon.mp3 - This is a recording of "Harvest Moon" I made back in 2010 with my friend Karie on lead vocals. My guitar work is a bit sloppy as usual, but overall I'm pretty happy with how the track turned out.

Next up are the Doobies.

And last call for the contest I'm running. If you haven't entered yet, now's the time!


  1. My opinion of these artists is similar to yours ... like CSN a good deal, LOVE Neil Young! It's a glaring omission that he didn't get a card. He had a bit of a rough run in the mid-80's, musically, but by 1991 had been back with "This Note's For You" and "Rockin' in the Free World" gaining lots of attention. A top 20 list for Neil is very hard to compile. Mine would include several tracks from Rust Never Sleeps -- "Hey Hey My My" (either version), "Pocahontas", "Powderfinger" and "Thrasher" would be prime candidates. A couple tunes from "Harvest Moon" might be there, as well as the little known "Music Arcade" from 1996. More recently, his song "Walk Like A Giant" has really touched me. New CD with Crazy Horse coming this month!

  2. Never been able to get into CSN/CSNY, a little too folky/hippie for me. I prefer most of the singers' solo stuff, especially Neil Young. I loved "Harvest Moon," and I'm probably the only person who enjoyed "Trans" and "Mr. Soul". I just loved that electronic sound.

    1. I enjoy CSN/CSNY because their folky. Southern Cross was a hit when I was a kid... and I remember listening to Our House when I was really little. I'm guessing my mom or sister was into that song. Then again... I've always been into the Top 40 pop stuff.

  3. Huge Neil Young fan here. Great post. Man, I've never seen anyone pick Downtown first. How about some old stuff like Nowadays Clancy and On the Way Home?

  4. My quick and dirty favorites by CSN and sometimes Y:

    Long May You Run (Stills-Young)
    Marrakesh Express
    Wasted On The Way
    After The Goldrush (Young)
    Harvest Moon (Young)
    Helplessly Hoping
    Pre-Road Downs
    Powderfinger (Young)
    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
    Teach Your Children
    Like A Hurricane (Young)
    War Games
    Hero (Crosby)

    Note that I'm NOT including songs by The Byrds or The Hollies, whom I love dearly, or the great Buffalo Springfield track "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong". And Neil's "Lotta Love" is a great song, although I actually like Nicolette Larson's version better.

    I've seen CSN and CSNY each live once, in addition to Neil being at that Dylan tribute I talked about in the Clapton post.

  5. Tonya Donelly of Belly fame does an awesome version of Heart of Gold...

  6. I have to concur with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" as the favored CSN song, that ending is just one of the best all-time mood lifters. Neil Young is a toss up between "Rockin' In The Free World" and "Heart Of Gold".

  7. Just got back from a trade with Al and I noticed a team bag of these in one of his boxes. Didn't notice who was on the front but Randy Rhoads was on the back. As a metalhead it's cool to see someone like that in the set. Al actually plays guitar in a local metal band that plays in NYC.