David Crosby: ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’ 50th Anniversary Out 10/15; Stream “Riff 1” Demo


Categories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine
SHARE.

On Oct. 15, David Crosby will revisit his 1971 debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, with a 50th anniversary edition, set for release via Rhino Records.

The project was officially announced on Thursday and came with the premiere of a previously unheard demo recording titled “Riff 1”. Listen:

A bit about the album’s legacy — and how it was initially “dismissed by critics,” only to build in stature as the years progressed, a showcase of Crosby’s gift for songwriting:

Over the years, however, appreciation has grown for the album’s adventurous aesthetic, stacked harmonies and haunting lyrics about loss and confusion. Billed as Crosby’s solo debut, the album was anything but a one-man project. Instead, it was one of his most collaborative efforts, featuring an all-star cast of players that included members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana, along with Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and others.

Related: David Crosby Q&A: On His New Album ‘For Free,’ Spotify (“You’re Thieves”), Life at 80 & More

More context about the album and the reissue:

When Crosby started recording the album in 1970, he was grieving the death of his longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton, who was killed in a car accident a year earlier. At the time, Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco became a refuge for Crosby, who remembers Jerry Garcia showing up nearly every night. “There’d be that grin, and then that look in the eyes, and this fascination with the music,” Crosby recalls. “Easy, not forced, graceful, fun, ever-present. It was a kindness, I’m pretty sure. Jerry never said that, never even implied it. Just, ‘Hey, I heard you were doing something. What are you doing? Let’s do something.”

What they made was music that would be embraced by later generations of singer-songwriters and cited as an early example of the “freak folk” genre. On the original, the nine songs explore a wide range of moods and textures. Crosby’s swagger and Garcia’s stinging solos give “Cowboy Movie” its intensity, while “Song With No Words (Trees With No Leaves)” gently stretches out to a place between choral folk and modal jazz. For “Orleans,” Crosby transformed the French children’s song using the studio and its echo chamber to record a choir of his vocal harmonies.

The second disc uncovers nearly an hour of unreleased recordings from the making of If I Could Only Remember My Name. That includes the album’s first seeds, which Crosby planted on March 28, 1968 at Hollywood Recorders in Los Angeles. Together with producer Paul Rothchild, he recorded nascent versions of songs like “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” and more. Those tracks are joined by several unreleased session recordings, including “Coast Road,” “Dancer,” and an alternate version of “Cowboy Movie” that features Neil Young soloing instead of Garcia.

Disc One: Original Album
1.    “Music Is Love”
2.    “Cowboy Movie”
3.    “Tamalpais High (At About 3)”
4.    “Laughing”
5.    “What Are Their Names”
6.    “Traction In The Rain”
7.    “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
8.    “Orleans”
9.    “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”
Bonus Track
10. “Kids And Dogs”
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks
Demos
1.    “Riff 1” – Demo *
2.    “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” – Demo *
3.    “Kids And Dogs” – Demo *
4.    “The Wall Song” – Demo *
5.    “Games” – Demo *
6.    “Laughing” – Demo *
7.    “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)” – Demo
8.    “Where Will I Be” – Demo *
Sessions
9.    “Cowboy Movie” – Alternate Version *
10. “Bach Mode” – Pre-Critical Mass *
11. “Coast Road” *
12. “Dancer” *
13. “Fugue” *
LP Track Listing
1.    “Music Is Love”
2.    “Cowboy Movie”
3.    “Tamalpais High (At About 3)”
4.    “Laughing”
5.    “What Are Their Names”
6.    “Traction In The Rain”
7.    “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
8.    “Orleans”
9.    “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”
* previously unreleased


SHARE.


Related Posts