Monday, 21 July 2014

"If I Could Only Remember My Name" by DAVID CROSBY (November 2006 Rhino CD and DVD-A Reissue and Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...


This Review Along With Hundreds of Others Is Available In My
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites
CLASSIC 1970s ROCK and POP - Exceptional CD Remasters  
Just Click Below To Purchase for £3.95
Thousands of E-Pages - All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs 
(No Cut and Paste Crap)



"...Music Is Love..."



Although slammed by many press types on its 1971 release – David Crosby’s debut solo album "If I Could Only Remember My Name" has gone on to become almost mythical amongst its many devotees – including me. Featuring an astonishing line up that included Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Members of The Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane - some have even suggested that in hindsight it's the best solo effort to come out of the mighty Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young camp. I'm not so sure about that but "...Remember..." is certainly up there and somehow its trippy Rock seems to grow and re-captivate new generations as the years pass.

This superb US-released November 2006 2-disc reissue of "If I Could Only Remember My Name" by DAVID CROSBY (a CD and DVD-Audio) on Rhino R2 73204 (Barcode 081227320423) goes back to the original tapes once again and with spectacular effect (the last CD version was in 1990). The new 2006 version gives us a genuine audio overhaul on the CD with an Advanced Resolution Surround Sound Mix for the bonus DVD-A (96K/24-Bit). It also adds on a lone but superlative lengthy outtake – "Kids & Dogs". The 16-page booklet advises that a team of bodies handled the Audio Remixes, Remasters, Surround Sound and DVD-Authoring – STEVE HALL and STEPHAN BARNCARD principal among them.

The vinyl album of Crosby's debut solo "If I Could Only Remember My Name" was originally released February 1971 on both sides of the pond (Atlantic SD 7203 in the USA and 2401 005 in the UK) and peaked at 12 on the American Billboard Album charts. With DC on Lead Vocals and Guitar – the album also features the aforementioned stellar guest list on its 9 tracks. In order to get a grip on the sheer talent array we're dealing with here's a track-by-track layout:

1. Music Is Love [written by David Crosby, Graham Nash & Neil Young] – features Graham Nash on Guitar and Vocals with Neil Young on Guitar, Bass, Vibraphone and Congas

2. Cowboy Movie [written by David Crosby] – features Gerry Garcia on Guitar, Phil Lesh on Bass, Mickey Hart on Drums and Bill Kreutzmann on Tambourine (all from The Grateful Dead)

3. Tamalpais High (At About 3) [written by David Crosby] – features Graham Nash on Guitar, Gerry Garcia on Guitar, Phil Lesh on Bass and Bill Kreutzmann on Tambourine (all from The Grateful Dead) with Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane on Guitar

4. Laughing [written by David Crosby] – features Gerry Garcia on Pedal-Steel Guitar, Phil Lesh on Bass, Mickey Hart on Drums and Bill Kreutzmann on Tambourine (all from The Grateful Dead) with Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell on Backing Vocals

5. What Are Their Names [written by David Crosby. Gerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Michael Shrieve and Neil Young] – features Neil Young on Electric Guitar, Gerry Garcia and Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead on Guitar and Bass, Michael Shrieve of Santana on Drums with Paul Kantner, Grace Slick and David Freiberg of Jefferson Airplane on Backing Vocals as well as Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell

6. Traction In The Rain [written by David Crosby] – features Laura Allan on Autoharp and Backing Vocals with Graham Nash also on Backing Vocals

7.  Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves) [written by David Crosby] – features Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve of Santana on Keyboards and Drums, Jack Cassidy and Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane on Bass and Electric Guitar, Gerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead on Guitar with Graham Nash on backing Vocals

8. Orleans [a Traditional song adapted by David Crosby] – Vocals and Guitars by David Crosby only

9. I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here [written by David Crosby] – All Vocals by DC

Housed in a gatefold card sleeve the remaster is gorgeous and hasn't dampened any of the hiss that is so evident on tracks like "Tamalpais" and "What Are Their Names". It's not been ramped up for effect either – it's just right – full of presence and that extraordinary build of instruments that fills so many of the songs. Wonderful stuff.

Even now it's hard to imagine who the two 45s taken off the record were aimed at – "Music Is Love" b/w "Laughing" in April 1971 on Atlantic 2792 and "Orleans" b/w "Traction In The Rain" in July 1971 on Atlantic 2809. But all 4 tracks are magical to me now. And yet despite all the starry names listed above – one of the biggest contributions to a song comes from the lesser-known musician LAURA ALLAN who plays gorgeous licks on an Autoharp on "Traction In The Rain" (she sadly passed away in 2006). And there's the sublime harmony vocal Joni Mitchell puts in on "Laughing" with Graham Nash (sends me every time). And of course - the two stunning Acapella finishers "Orleans" and "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here" - with Crosby soloing to ethereal effect – both clocking in at less than two minutes each but with the impact of ten.

The seven-minute outtake "Kids & Dogs" is hissy for sure but what a nugget. Fabulous stuff. I do however think its a damn shame that the live version of "Traction In The Rain" on Disc 3 of the stunning David Crosby "Voyage" Box Set of 2006 – is absent here. It was recorded in 1971 and sounds glorious. Still if that absence steers you towards that amazing overhaul of his career then that's a job well done (the entirely unreleased Disc 3 is unbelievably good).

"If I Could Only Remember My Name" is the kind of album that you turn to – it's peaceful on your brain – lifts your spirit up and evokes a warmth that never fades with time (Carole King's "Tapestry" has the same kind of magic – and again from 1971).

A wonderful album and a top quality Rhino reissue then. Makes me mushy just looking at it…
-->

No comments:

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc