While this output has been inconsistent and somewhat limited at times, the discography of the four principal members, solo and together contains significant pieces of music that are vital elements to seeing the entire image developed from their collaborations. Regardless of their numerous battles, one must get past the insults, the erased tracks, the destroyed sessions and public arguing to examine the music ...the only thing that should really matter.
Today in the 'rock room', I will gaze beyond the silhouettes of massive hits bobbing on the surface of their respective careers, well known songs that have seeped into rock history like 'Ohio”'and 'Our House.' but also beyond the constraints of the three studio albums created over 45 years....because there is more music to be had. There remain songs that are only nestled on the flip sides of solo recordings that contain input from all four principal members. Diving even deeper into the blue depths of history, we can find unreleased takes of familiar songs, which due to stubbornness and miscommunication never became an official Crosby Stills Nash and Young release.
The songs compiled below, through often unfortunately and woefully overlooked, individually contain the unique alchemy that manifests itself only when the four musicians join together in a celebration of creation. That they’re not more celebrated within the core of the members’ respective catalogs remains somewhat shocking, but I encourage you to decide for yourself:
“THROUGH MY SAILS,” (ZUMA, 1975): The closing song on Young’s 1975 album with Crazy Horse, “Through My Sails” is a perfectly encapsulated Crosby Stills Nash and Young moment. The CSN vocal blend elevates the ocean sway of the track up and through the clouds, making it one of the quartet’s finest moments on tape. They are accompanied only by light percussion, acoustic guitar, leaving the vocals feeling naked, pure and real. It’s woody respite from the electric music from Crazy Horse that came before, and is representative of the relief nature provides after a bright, all night bender in the fast lane.
tentatively titled Human Highway that contains CSNY songs that were never fully developed in the studio, though many of those songs stretched their legs in concert appearances. What this list does illustrate is that regardless of the temperament and condition of the principals, the music could slice through the thick pretense and always deliver the goods. Whether or not the musicians could notice the magic themselves at the time is irrelevant, because the sonic gifts have been captured for eternity for all to enjoy.