Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Stills, Manassas|
Down the Road
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Listen to Samples
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And the winner is...
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 01/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...for Most Unfairly Maligned Recording of 1973... Stephen Stills and Manassas, 'Down The Road'!!! This is a solid album by SS and the boys... no need to call it anything less than fine. In fact, many of the songs on 'Down The Road' have counterparts on the predecessor to this album, the highly regarded 'Manassas' double-LP. 'So Many Times' readily brings to mind 'Hide It So Deep'; 'Remember the Americans' is reminiscient of 'Fallen Eagle', both being fiddle-fied side two openers; 'Business On the Street' resembles 'Don't Look At My Shadow', both being country-fied side closers; and 'Pensamiento' is a bouncy Latin number ala 'Cuban Bluegrass'. Both albums open with hard-rocking protest numbers. Perhaps people perceive the 'mimicking' as a conscious attempt to (less than successfully) clone the formula for the original Manassas LP's, but I think Stills was too far along as a musician at this point to need that. Besides, Stills' clones are more obvious, such as transplanting 'Questions' to 'Carry On' on the 'Deja Vu' LP, or revisiting 'Bluebird' via 'Bluebird Revisited'. Maybe this is just their style...?If you want to measure 'Down The Road' against 'Manassas', and many people do, there is an upside for each. The upside for 'Down The Road' is that it rocks harder than the first Manassas double-LP. 'Isn't It About Time' lashes out first, really cracking the whip. 'Down The Road', 'City Junkies' (aka "When I Was a Young Man" Part One and Part Two), 'Rolling My Stone' and 'Lies' continue the scourge. The upside for 'Manassas' are the three classic love ballads that 'Down The Road' has no answer for: 'Both Of Us', 'So Begins the Task', and 'It Doesn't Matter'. Stills offers two Latin-influenced numbers in their stead, 'Pensamiento' and 'Guaguanco de Vero'. 'Pensamiento' is the better of the two songs, and though lyrics are included, you'll be needing an interpreter.True to the era, there is plenty 'anti-ism' to be had on 'Down The Road'. 'Isn't It About Time' puts war-mongers in their place every bit as well as 'Song of Love' put down war itself on the first Manassas album. 'Down The Road', 'City Junkies', and 'Rollin' My Stone' indict drug and alcohol abuse, while at the same time implicitly acknowledging their allure (kind of like a more sincere Bill Clinton saying, "I inhaled, a lot, but wish I hadn't..."). Be sure to check out the comical partied-out background singers on 'Down the Road', and the driving slide guitar. Stills is given credit for a slide in the liner notes, and I'm betting this is it (although Joe Walsh is also credited with playing slide somewhere on the CD). And Chris Hillman's 'Lies' is a robust swipe at superficial love.It's really a thoroughly enjoyable album. Had Stills added these 10 to the first 21 Manassas songs, we would just be all the more astounded. But again, no masterpieces here, and perhaps that is what people react to. Sometimes it is difficult to identify what makes great art a cut above good art, and it is true that the first Manassas albums are one cut above this one. I suspect part of the problem is that there is just less here... 10 songs as opposed to 21. The band was on the brink of dissolving, and perhaps that effected the artistic expression as well. Some say the production is sloppy or the arrangements lack imagination, but I don't see it. Stills sounds like he is in his prime to me, and I'm more than thankful that he put one more Manassas album under his belt before Carrying On. Buy and enjoy."
A shadow of the first one, but still a great band
Stephen Silberman | SF, CA USA | 06/24/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you're thinking of buying your first Manassas album, by all means skip this one and pick up the self-titled album that came before it. If you were blown away by the first one -- rightly! -- and are hoping this is more of the same, take your expectations down a couple of notches and enjoy the same basic sound deployed in the service of a much inferior set of songs. If you could pinpoint where Stills lost his genius, it's somewhere between Manassas and Down the Road. There are a couple of lovely songs in Spanish here, and this band had Latin-inflected chops to spare, but there's a wasted weariness to the whole affair, as if the band had spent too many nights in the hotel bar snorting the lint out of Joe Walsh's pockets. For completists only."
A mistreated album. Not the best but still good.
Hawke and Dove | Scottsdale, Arizona United States | 12/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read alot of bad reviews about this one when compared to the first. I agree that when you compare a good album to it's precursor (first one being a masterpiece) that the good album comes across as poor. While there are no radio hits or familiar songs, this album hits the spot if you like that "roadie"-music sound from the early 70's. As usual, you get the above-average vocals of Stills with some good country-rock backcountry licks (ie, inc the Steel guitar of Joe Walsh) and nice harmonizing vocals and some catchy latin-influenced tunes. "If" this "is" a weak album, it's a compliment to Stills because it's still a thousand times way, way better to my ears than any of the so-called new classics by highly overrated modern bands like Creed, Disturbed, 9-inch nails, Tool, etc which everyone seems to rave about for whatever reason.. Yes Manassas sound tired, weary and worn but it adds to the "roadie" feel of traveling by bus and staying up late getting kicks on route 66. Seems like the kind of album that was done late at nights in the bus while traveling on tour for their first album. Plenty of coffee/cigarrettes and JD must have been consumed doing this album. A vintage 70's sounding album. If you like Grateful Dead, vintage Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, etc.., you should like this album too despite it's negative reviews. No southern rock fan should be without the 2 Manassas albums in their collection. If you're traveling across country in a beat-up vehicle living at rest areas and truck stops, you'll identify with this album :-) I wish I was in my early/mid 20's back in 1972 instead of 1993-1994 because it sure seemed like everyone was having a great time. By the way, "So many times" is a great accoustical ballad that makes the whole album worth while for me. Many of the other songs are good too. Give it a chance, let it grow on you and you may be surprised that this is better than you thought. As with most other Stills albums, nothing strikes you as amazing on first listen but it gets better with each repeated listen.My only complaint is this is short clocking in at around 31 minutes. Still better to my ears than most 70 minute albums by modern bands from the 80's and 90's."