". . . though his recent stuff with CPR comes darned close. But this is a longtime favorite of mine, and nothing is likely to dislodge it.If every speck of weed were to disappear from the planet tomorrow, it would still be possible to get stoned just from this CD. (Strictly speaking, you wouldn't even have to listen to it; you could pick up a contact high just from holding it in your hand.)But contrary to the previous beliefs of some of my generation, it's not actually necessary to use chemical aids to achieve this sort of high. The high Crosby achieves on this album is the real thing: hauntingly beautiful artistry that includes but transcends his own individual contribution, producing a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is some of Crosby's best music, and it's not an accident that so many other names appear in the liner notes.For this album reads like a Who's-Who of the late '60s/early '70s California music scene: Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and an array of other contributors we might as well call the Grateful Airplane. And everybody pitches in _something_ without which the album wouldn't be what it is.But the center of it all is Crosby and his own unique musical vision. And when he's at his best -- as he is here -- his songwriting is so good he sometimes doesn't need to bother with words at all (as, e.g., on "Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)"). If the first thirty seconds of "Tamalpais High (At About Three)" doesn't leave you stunned and transfixed, then you and I aren't from the same home planet -- and I don't especially want to visit yours.(The stuff _with_ words is still timely as well -- unfortunately, because some of it was recorded in the hope of making itself irrelevant and unnecessary. "I wonder who they are / The men who really run this land / And I wonder why they run it / With such a thoughtless hand . . . " At the time, this stuff was a call to action and a cry for change. Now, thirty years on, you may find yourself shaking your head and wondering whether anything has changed after all.)Longtime Crosby fans probably already have this CD; if not, let me just mention that the CD was remastered from the original analog recordings by the original engineer, Stephen Barncard, who did it right both times. And you'll probably remember all the cool photos (many of them by Henry Diltz); they're included.New listeners: if you like CPR, you'll probably like this stuff too. Crosby's keen musical intelligence is sometimes less than obvious because of his understated approach, but don't underestimate it; there are few who can do it better. Terms like "groovy" and "far out" are easy to ridicule owing to their overuse, but this album is what they're supposed to mean."
David Crosby's Underappreciated Masterwork
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 05/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who truly appreciates the scope, verve, and power of sixties music, this CD literally says volumes. Using an eclectic and heavily electric but dreamy LA sound base, an approach that employed most of southern (and northern) California's constellation of rock legends in production, Crosby weaves a series of thoughtful, mystic, and mysterious moods with this music. From the dreamy opening bars of "Music is Love" through the fanciful strains of "Cowboy Movie" all the way to the haunting strains of "Laughing", he shows why he has so many friends in the music business. All of CSN&Y are here, appearing alone or in combinations on individual song cuts. But this is most emphatically not just another CSN&Y album. Rather, this is an unusual yet emblematic album that only someone as rarely gifted and as countercultural as Crosby could take from conception, through writing, production and performance for us. The shame is that it (the album) is one of a kind. None of his other works with Nash or CSN or CSN&Y are as striking or as unabashedly David Crosby. Buy it, spin it, and enjoy it. You'll be humming the bars to any one of a number of the instrumentals like "Orleans" for weeks."
FINE, MAGICAL ALBUM
Samuel B. King | Concord, NH | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album has special significance for me as it, along with the Dead's American Beauty and a couple of classical LPs acompanied me on a trip to South America at the beginning of the '70s. perhaps it was because Crosby's sailing experience oozed from the grooves (I too was at sea). This is arguably Crosby's best work (it is to me). The richly crafted harmonies, carefully woven acoustic accompaniment and general "aura" of the overall album make it a gem of the period. It is criminal that this work has been so overlooked. Although Crosby is the dominant featured performer and composer, this LP highlights the then lively communal SF music scene. Those followers of the current underground scene would identify with this. Standout guest performances include glorious Joni Mitchell vocals (along with Neil Young), earthy Garcia guitar and potent Phil Lesh bass lines. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady also provide excellent supporting roles. I can't identify one particular track, 'cause the WHOLE album is so damn good and works so well as an organic whole. Over the years, I have found myself repeadedly coming back to this album for inspiration. Inspiration for what?...writing my own music, recapturing a feeling which oozes from these grooves and, yes, inspiring my life through just listening to the music. THIS IS '60S MUSIC OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND IN THE BEST SENSE. Its a treasure undiscovered by many people. Discover it yourself, set back and be prepared to be touched by its magic!!"
The Reason God gave Crosby a Second Chance
Juan Mobili | Valley Cottage, NY USA | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of you may wonder why an aging rocker like Crosby is still hailed, or why VH1 bothered to do a special about the "saving kidney. Musically speaking this CD is the reason. Other than Deja Vu, and some of his work vith Nash, this CD represents David Crosby's finest work. His voice is at its dramatic peak, the songs -both melodies and words are his most beatiful ones ever- and, to top ot all off, he's backed by the who's who of the West Coast "Psychedelic Intelingentsia." Everybody who was anybody, is here! I probably worked my way to three vinyls already. If you'd like to find out what rock was like when creativity was a requirement for recognition, or remember what moved us, back in the Sixties, to see the poetry of life in every single thing, this is an absolute must-have."
Sunset end to the hippy dream
Juan Mobili | 04/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The cover hints at what's inside... an older, probably wiserhippy icon looking into the middle distance with the setting sun inhis eyes.The opening track, "Music is Love" - a gentle, rambling acoustic jam that could have come straight from a the human "be-in" at Golden Gate Park - sets the scene for a wonderful and clearly heartfelt meander through a diverse but effective set that encapsulates a great deal of what he and his West Coast peers were trying to achieve. At times bizarre ("I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here"), beautiful ("Traction In The Rain", "Tamalpais High"), innovative ("Song With No Words", "Laughing"), political ("What Are Their Names") and aggressive ("Cowboy Movie") the overall feeling generated by the album is one of cohesion and warmth amongst a group of friends playing carefully crafted songs that they really enjoy. As such, this odd, often ignored record sums it all up - a marvellous good-bye to a unique period of musical innovation. END"