Folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are back with bang with the release of CSNY 1974. This is the long awaited is a box set of forty previously unreleased live tracks, recorded forty years ago, from their historic 1974 tour. The album is released in a number of pretty interesting formats, from the standard CD version to versions including booklets of tour photos, 12” Vinyl and bonus DVD’s of unreleased footage – Definitely enough to satisfy the most hearty of fans.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are renowned for delivering tuneful harmonies with ease, playing with a certain authenticity to their sound. It was this sound that was captured on that string of outdoor performances spanning over two months, including thirty one shows and hitting up thirty one cities. The box set utilizes the electric/acoustic/electric vibe that was used during each and every show of that tour, and is a remarkable representation of what most of us missed out on.
It’s pretty clear what this collection of songs is all about. It is a celebration. It is a celebration of a band that held so much influence over American music and culture, and rightly so. This group were able to harness their individual talents and showcase all areas of music from country rock to progressive ballads, and my how that went down well. It is with this in mind we delve into that run of concerts back in 1974 and pop ourselves firmly into the front row.
With band hits such as Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Wooden Ships and Teach Your Children to wet your appetite, the setlist also includes then new material from each member – Nash’s Fieldworker, Stills’ First Things First, Crosby’s Time after Time and a number from Neil Young, such as Goodbye Dick and Traces. All are delivered as you would expect, without a flaw. The sound is particularly agreeable. It has been put together expertly and with a good set of headphones you can really feel the room around you. Its intimate, delicate and with those unique harmonies you can really let yourself get lost in this one.
CSN&Y 1974 is what it says on the tin, and a bit more. If you’re a fan you will no doubt lap it all up, recognizing those classic tunes in an instant. Even if you are a distant admirer, the bands ability to capture an audience is pretty clear to see. The added extras with the box set are a nice feature, but this is all really about the four virtuosos doing what they do best. If you really want to get into this, stick it on and turn up, and let yourself wander back to 1974 for a couple of hours.