Crosby, Stills & Nash - Helplessly Hoping (studio outtakes) - 1969





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Published on Dec 17, 2011

The first track is the Instrumental version, followed by a 2nd which includes vocals.


Singing Their Way Home:
35 Years of Crosby, Stills, and Nash
by Steve Silberman

Crosby, Stills, and Nash's debut album, released in May of 1969, was one of those rare recordings that expresses the most enduring values in music while sounding startlingly fresh. The trio's three-part harmonies were shimmeringly beautiful, even unearthly, and the album radiated a spontaneous, offhand warmth, as if the listener had just strolled in from the weathered porch on the cover and found three friends singing in the living room for their own joy.

The lyrics explored the classic themes of all music with roots in the ancient ballads - the pain of love in "Helplessly Hoping," the ragged exuberance of the musician's traveling life in "Pre-Road Downs" - but the band went places no one had before. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" stirred folk, country, and Latin influences into a new kind of soul music that Stephen Stills sang with an authority far beyond his years. Graham Nash's "Marrakesh Express" got you high just listening to it, an ode to wanderlust for a hip generation that made itself at home anywhere in the world. David Crosby's meditative "Guinnevere" seemed untethered from every cliché of pop, as if the song was a burnished artifact from some domain outside of time. (Jazz pioneer Miles Davis promptly recorded an epic version of it with his Bitches Brew band.) There was a palpable ecstasy in this menage a trois that Joni Mitchell described as "amorous."

The music of Crosby, Stills, and Nash wasn't just about love, it was love: the exhilaration of three strong-willed innovators who felt inspired to genius in one another's presence.

This three-way consummation had been a long time coming. Crosby and Nash met in 1966, when Crosby glanced up from rolling a joint and saw Nash in his living room, brought over by Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas in a supreme act of musical matchmaking. Crosby was still in the Byrds, where he helped marry the social consciousness and haunting harmonies of folk to the visceral backbeat of rock and roll. In songs like "Eight Miles High," he and his band mates brought fiery tonalities inspired by the John Coltrane Quartet into rock and roll for the first time; along the way, Crosby turned George Harrison on to the music of Ravi Shankar, global cross-pollination that bore fruit on albums like the Beatles' Rubber Soul. Nash had already achieved chart-topping success with the Hollies in England, and Crosby pegged him as a fellow "harmony junkie" after hearing his high part on "King Midas in Reverse." The two young musicians couldn't have been more different in temperament - Crosby was arrogant and outrageous, while Nash was wry and self-effacing -- but they both shared a taste for mischief, and became fast and life-long friends. "Crosby fascinated me. I'd never met anyone like him," Nash told Dave Zimmer, the band's official biographer. "He was a total punk, totally delightful, totally funny, totally brilliant, a totally musical man."


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