Thursday, 13 February 2020

"Voyage" by DAVID CROSBY (November 2006 Rhino/Atlantic 3 x HDCD Book Set Career Retrospective - Graham Nash and John Nowland Remasters) - Featuring The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Members of The Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane - A Review by Mark Barry...




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"...Home Through The Haze..."

I thought so when I bought it (and even after the Stephen Stills box arrived in 2013) - the 2006 David Crosby "Voyage" Box Set for my money is the best of the three retrospectives coming out of the CROSBY, STILLS and NASH camp of three (and that's saying a lot given the talent involved). There's a whole heap of goodness on here so let's down and hazy right away...

Released November 2006 in the USA - "Voyage" by DAVID CROSBY on Rhino Atlantic R2 77628 (Barcode 081227762827) [UK is Rhino/Atlantic 8122-77628-2] is a 3 x HDCD Remasters Box Set and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (76:12 minutes):
1. Eight Mile High - THE BYRDS (on the album "5th Dimension" released August 1966 in the USA on Columbia 9349 (Stereo))
2. Renaissance Fair - THE BYRDS
3. Everybody's Been Burned - THE BYRDS (tracks 2 and 3 on the album "Younger Than Yesterday" - released March 1967 in the USA on Columbia CS 9442 (Stereo))
4. Wooden Ships - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
5. Guinnevere - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
6. Long Time Gone - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (tracks 4 to 6 are from the album "Crosby, Stills & Nash" released June 1969 in the USA on Atlantic SD 8229 and in the UK on Atlantic 588 189)
7. Déjà Vu - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
8. Almost Cut My Hair - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG (tracks 7 and 8 are from the album "Déjà Vu" released March 1970 in the USA on Atlantic SD 7200 and in the UK on Atlantic 2401 001)
9. Tampalas High (At About 3) - DAVID CROSBY
10. Laughing - DAVID CROSBY
11. Music Is Love - DAVID CROSBY
12. Song With No Words (Trees With No Leaves) - DAVID CROSBY
13. What Are Their Names - DAVID CROSBY
14. I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here - DAVID CROSBY (tracks 9 to 14 are from his first solo LP "If I Could Only Remember My Name" released February 1971 in the USA on Atlantic SD 7203 and in the UK on Atlantic 2401 005)
15. Where Will I Be - CROSBY, NASH
16. Page 43 - CROSBY, NASH (tracks 15 and 16 from the album "Graham Nash / David Crosby" released April 1972 in the USA on Atlantic SD 7220 and May 1972 in the UK on Atlantic K 50011)
17. Critical Mass - CROSBY, NASH
18. Carry Me - CROSBY, NASH
19. Bittersweet - CROSBY, NASH
20. Naked In The Rain - CROSBY, NASH (tracks 17 to 20 are from the album "Wind On The Water" released October 1975 in the USA on ABC Records ABCD-902 and January 1976 in the UK on Polydor 2310 428)
21. Dancer - CROSBY, NASH (on the album "Whistling Down The Wire" released July 1976 in the USA on ABC Records ABCD-956 and in the UK on Polydor 2310 468)

Disc 2 (74:20 minutes):
1. Shadow Captain - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
2. In My Dreams - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (tracks 1 and 2 are from the album "CSN" released June 1977 in the USA on Atlantic SD 19104 and in the UK on Atlantic K 50369)
3. Delta - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (on the album "Daylight Again" released July 1982 in the USA on Atlantic SD 19360 and in the UK on Atlantic K 50896)
4. Compass - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG (on the album "American Dream" released November 1988 in the USA on Atlantic 7 81888-1 and in the UK on Atlantic WX 233)
5. Tracks In The Dust - DAVID CROSBY (on the album "Oh Yes I Can" released February 1989 in the USA on A&M Records 395232-1 and in the UK on A&M Records AMA 5232)
6. Arrows [Live] - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (on the album "Live It Up" released June 1990 on LP in the UK and USA on Atlantic 7567 82101-1)
7. Hero - DAVID CROSBY
8. Yvette In English - DAVID CROSBY (tracks 7 and 8 are on the album "Thousand Roads" released on CD June 1993 in both the USA and UK on Atlantic 7567 82484-2)
9. Rusty And Blue - CPR
10. Somehow She Knew - CPR [David Crosby, Jeff Pevar & James Raymond] (tracks 9 and 10 are from the album "CPR" released 1998 on Samson Music CD0145 on CD)
11. Breathless - CPR
12. Map To Buried Treasure - CPR (tracks 11 and 12 are from the album "Just Like Gravity" released 2001 in the USA on Gold Circle GC 20002-2)
13. At The Edge - CPR (on the 2CD album "Live At The Wiltern" released 1998 in the USA on Samson Records GC 0148)
14. Through Here Quite Often - CROSBY & NASH
15. My Country `Tis Of Thee - DAVID CROSBY (tracks 14 and 15 are on the 2CD set "Crosby Nash" released 2004 on Sanctuary 06076-84683-2 in the USA and Sanctuary SANDD293 in the UK and Europe)

Disc 3 PREVIOUSLY UNRELASED (76:28 minutes):
1. Long Time Gone [Demo Version] - CROSBY & STILLS
2. Guinnevere [Alternate Mix/Take] - DAVID CROSBY
3. Almost Cut My Hair [Demo Version] - DAVID CROSBY
4. Games [Demo Version] - DAVID CROSBY
5. Déjà Vu [Demo Version] - CROSBY & NASH
6. Triad [Demo Version] - DAVID CROSBY
7. Cowboy Movie [Studio Version] - DAVID CROSBY (features Neil Young and JERRY GARCIA, PHIL LESH and MICKEY HART of THE GRATEFUL DEAD)
8. Kids And Dogs - DAVID CROSBY ["If I Could Only Remember My Name" outtake recorded September 1970)
9. Have You Seen The Stars Tonite? - PAUL KANTNER and JEFFERSON STARSHIP
10. The Lea Shore - CROSBY & NASH (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 30 September 1971)
11. Traction In The Rain (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 30 September 1971) - CROSBY & NASH
12. King Of The Mountain [Demo Version] - DAVID CROSBY
13. Homeward Through The Haze [Alternate Take/Mix] - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
14. Samurai (1980 Previously Unreleased Studio Version] - DAVID CROSBY
15. Climber (1999 Previously Unreleased Studio Version) - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
16. Dream For Him (Live at the Nationwide Arena, Columbia, Ohio, December 2005) - CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG

The first thing that strikes you (apart from the fab HDCD remasters) is the quality of the booklet that accompanies the stippled effect die-cut hardback book shell - it's beautifully and carefully laid out and a properly amazing read. Produced by Graham Nash and Joel Bernstein and spanning 1966 to 2006 - you get page after page of Henry Diltz colour photos, deeply personal reminiscences on the songs by Crosby and his musical buddies Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell (to name but a few contributors) and most impressive of all - an entire third disc of previously unreleased songs - that in my book may be the best ever put out anywhere - ever! The HDCD remasters handled by Graham Nash and JOHN NOWLAND (was involved with Neil Young's reissues) are simply amazing - right across the board.

Why is this box set so good? When you separate out David Crosby's songs from the contributions he made to the supergroups he was in (BYRDS, CSNY, Solo Crosby, Nash & Crosby etc) and line them up alongside each other - the effect is quite magical. His tunes are 'so' melodious and dare we say it - more ‘trippy’ than the heavier Stills and Young material. And all of his songs are imbibed with a sense of the naked-personal - vying with political outrage at what was happening in the USA and the World at the time. As the Byrds' "Everyone's Been Burned" slides into "Wooden Ships" and the guitar funk of "Long Time Gone" by CSN and then into the ethereal beauty of "Tampalas High (At About 3)" - it makes you wonder why the others in the group seemed to constantly grab the limelight from under his artistic feet. By the time I get to the sublime Joni Mitchell vocal harmony passage swirling with the guitars on "Laughing"- I'm gone man - I'm cooked - this guy is a frigging genius (and a career-spanning retro like this has been long overdue).

But what clinches the deal for me is Disc 3 - it's unbelievably good. How could all of this primo unreleased stuff have stayed in their various cans all this time? It opens with a ramshackle but cool take on "Long Time Gone" but then we get genuine beauty in an Alternate Take of "Guinnevere" - the remaster making it glisten like melodic gold. He lets it rip vocally on a more acoustic take of the "Déjà Vu" classic "Almost Cut My Hair". The "Triad" demo is fantastic and so well recorded. "Cowboy Movie" features Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead on Guitar with Neil Young trying to steal the show by rocking it out too much (Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Dead are there too). It's eleven minutes of Crosby and Young magic. When I bought and reviewed the Rhino CD remaster of his stunning solo 1971 album "If I Could Only Remember My Name" I remember being disappointed at their only being one bonus track - the previously unreleased outtake "Kids And Dogs". That is until I played it - wow! For its seven minutes of acoustic strumming think Nick Drake trying out a new song then adding CSYN vocals (just harmonizing without words) and you're there - it's fabulous stuff (apparently it too features Jerry Garcia on guitar). Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship turn up on the gorgeous "Have You Seen The Stars Tonite?" with devastating harmonies vocals. The two live tracks from September 1971 are lovely - especially "Traction In The Rain" - surely one of his prettiest melodies. And on it goes to a 2005 live version of the child-song "Dream For Him" with Neil Young and Stephen Stills - ending the set on a musical and conscience-provoking note.

"The blind leading the blind...I'm amazed how they stumble...home through the haze..." Crosby sings on the stunning "Homeward Through The Haze".

Often pitched at under thirty quid - don't stumble - take a punt on this wonderful and classy CD retrospective...it's worth every penny...

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