Monday, October 12, 2009

The Other Graham

Around the time I first started WW&W I was just getting into Crosby, Stills & Nash. It was a late start, but like the "dead", CSN always seemed a bit too hippy -dippy and those radio hits were sounding pretty worn-out. First, my friend Josh turned me on to the solo David Crosby record, which proceeded to blow my mind. Next, I started picking up the first and second and subsequent CSN(Y) albums. More recently it was pointed out that actually ALL of the solo albums from C, S & N were quite good and that I needed to fill out the collection. This is where we come to Graham Nash's "Songs for Beginners". It might take a listen or two to adapt to Graham's extremely personal and fragile universe, but it's a rewarding listen and the record that has taken the most spins on my turntable and ipod in the past three months. On a related note, I just downloaded Stephen Stills' first solo album and despite what everyone else seems to say, I found it kinda boring, barring the "Love the One You're With" single, which I could do without for hearing it so many times. My money is with Crosby & Nash's solo records!

Graham Nash - I Used To Be a King
I'm not sure the timing of this album in relation to Graham's personal life, but around this time he and Joni Mitchell were living together in "Our House" in Laurel Canyon, but that was not to last and the poetic two parted ways. I like to think that this is one of Graham's break-up songs to Joni. Assuming the timing is right there are other break-up songs to Joni on this album.

Graham Nash - Sleep Song
Just a beautiful tune.

Rita Coolidge - Better Days
After discovering Graham, I remembered I had heard this song before and it took me awhile to place where . . . that Rita Coolidge album I had where she also covers Bob Dylan & Neil Young. Listening to it again, it's not a better version that Graham's but it does flesh out the tune with a full band and more structure. It's just a great song and another Joni break-up song.

I'm slowly picking up some later Graham Nash albums as well as some Crosby-Nash albums. The possibilities do seem endless with these prolific hippies . . .

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