Stephen Stills

The new disc, Live At Berkeley 1971 is out now.   I got it yesterday and it's on repeat.  I am biased I am sure, but I think he is one of the best singers, songwriters, musicians of my generation.  Plus he plays Sugar Babe on this disc, a favorite of mine, from SS2.


@roxy54 @bigtwin And "Powderfinger."

Look out, mama, there’s a white boat comin’ up the river
With a big red beacon and a flag and a man on the rail
I think you’d better call John ’cause it don't look like they’re here to deliver (pause) the mail

Here the lyrics are complete and the guitar simply amplifies, rather than substituting for, superfluous words as in "Southern Man" and "Ohio." Those two would make little sense to later generations, but if you lived through the times, as we did, no other songwriter captured the essence of fascist violence as Young did. "What if you knew her and / found her dead on the ground? / HOW CAN YOU RUN WHEN YOU KNOW?"

Stills wrote song great songs, but come on, this is like comparing the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers to the Washington Generals. Neil Young is in a small handful of the greatest songwriters in rock and roll history, having recorded at least half a dozen albums that are widely and rightly considered among the best rock records ever made. Relatively speaking, Stills isn't much more than a footnote.

@hickamore You are preaching to the choir.  Powderfinger is tour de force and a favorite of mine.  It's kind of silly debating who's the better songwriter.  We all have our favorites and no one is likely to change their minds.  But still, through the decades, I have been blown ways over and over by the mastery that is Neil Youngs song writing.  From the complexity of Crime in the City (Freedom) or the simple lines from On The Beach "Though my problems are meaningless, That don't make them go away, I need a crowd of people, But I can't face them day to day".  IMHO, Young and Dylan are two of the greatest song writers of the generation.  

I probably wasn't clear in what I said. I don't look at talent or art in the "American" way, where everything has to have a "best" this or that. I do prefer and enjoy the songwriting of Stephen Stills to Neil Young, but that said, Neil has written many fine songs. Graham and David also had some fine songs individually as well as together.

@mwinkc I feel the same way about 4 + 20. It's a simple masterpiece.