Well, we all know who Stephen Stills is, and we all know of his accomplishments with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Nash, and Young. Suffice it to say that this record is nowheres near as good as the former and, on the average, considerably better than the latter.
But I must have played this album a dozen times, and have yet to distinguish between the songs, which must either have identical tunes or be in the same key. I can barely hear Jimi Hendrix' lead on "Old Times Good Times," although I've listened for it, and I didn't even bother to listen for Eric Clapton's lead on "Go Back Home." Every single one of these compositions (with the notable exception of "Black Queen," which certainly doesn't stand up under repeated listenings) has an elusive, perhaps I should say evanescent quality to it. Sort of like the greased pig of carnival fame or the taste of Puerto Rican coconut soda. Except the pig is most definitely there, even if nobody can catch him, and I think that Coco Rico has a taste.
See Stephen sitting outside in the snow with his very expensive (Washburn?) guitar, playing for the multicolored ceramic giraffe. See Stephen, attired in polo shirt, perhaps playing polo. See the back cover with the names of the 22 people who just happened to drop in to the recording session. Names all of them, of course, either because they are or by association with those who are.
Remember the days when a group broke up because one of the guys got drafted or killed? Remember the days when the word superstar was a cynical title Andy Warhol would give to his actors who didn't have to act? I still go for the sentiment expressed on a sign that I hear he has up at the Factory: In The Future, Everybody Will Be Famous For 15 Minutes. Remember the kid who wrote in to the Fantastic Four comic book and asked how Mr. Fantastic kept from stretching himself so thin that he'd snap? Does anybody out there remember the answer?
I'm not saying that I don't like this album. I put it on, my mind goes and wanders. I find myself tapping my foot. I admire little production techniques here and there, I think that "Love The One You're With" will make a killer single. But when it's over, I put something meatier on. (RS 74)
(Posted: Jan 7, 1971)