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.


I agree with awboat! Anytime I see an artist name now, it’s with a gasp. Loved CSNY, but as the years go by, I realize how much talent Stills has, maybe its just my taste but he is my favorite.

Always been a fan of CSNY and have enjoyed their music for longer than I care to mention, WTS, Neil Young has always been one of my go to artist and in steady rotation in my home. About 10 years ago the album For What It's worth came up for reissue and I was not aware of this album, WOW what an eye opener for me on the qenius of Steven Stills and it forced me to go back and revisit his career and his contributions. I believe Neil's music got me right off the bat, as he was very forceful with his lyrics and easy to paint a musical picture that as a younger man, was easy for me to get and it took an older version of me to understand the music SS was composing. For me their is not a best and a runner up between the two and I believe that their time together benefitted both of them and us as well. Enjoy the music

I saw CS&N in the 70's. And, I saw Stephen Stills with a band that he found in South America. I believe that too was in the mid 1970's and I've never heard anything from or about that band since. Wondering if anyone here knows what became of them?


To me, it’s a great example of how different music moves different people. I had a hard time even getting through it, with his horrible guitar strumming and the lyrics that sounded "poetic" but didn’t really seem to make sense.

I prefer "the Old Laughing Lady" off that album. I find it deeply evocative and emotionally engaging but don’t ask me what it’s about! The chord changes, melodic contour, use of space and resonance of the open tuning combine to shape my internal state in a pleasing manner. Dylan’s "Visions of Johanna" has a similar effect. Having a clear sense of narrative somehow isn’t of critical important for me in such songs.

However, if the formal elements are themselves off-putting, then it’s game over from the start. You mentioned "horrible guitar strumming". In my case, it’s the classically trained voice. You want to torture me? Lock me in a room and force me to listen to opera! As to why we have these preferences, who knows? Music affects us many different levels -- not all of them conscious-- and we can have very (!) strong likes and dislikes. We may try to justify our preferences with quasi-objective rationales but I can’t help but suspect we don’t fully understand what’s going on beneath the surface.


I agree with you on that. I said that the lyrics of that Neil Young song meant nothing to me, but I love the lyrics of other songs by early REM, Duran Duran and Roxy Music which are also obscure and don't necessarily have a clear meaning, and yet I find those words very evocative as you said, and they have deep meaning for me.