Phase 1 of this afternoon’s program – weights – is all over and done with so it’s onto Phase 2, the 35 minute easy spin. Nothing overly difficult or crazy, just keeping the legs turning over at a medium resistance while getting some quiet reading done. I’ve moved on now from the Graham Nash autobiography to David Crosby’s ‘Long Time Gone‘ (rereading actually), so while today’s easy spin soundtrack isn’t set to David Crosby – of which I’m sure there will be a few reviews in the near future – I am still keeping current with music of that period with the eponymous album by Stephen Stills (1970).
I first became aware of Stephen Stills back in my second year of university when my good friend Michelle adopted ‘Love the One You’re With‘ as her personal anthem (figuratively, not literally – I think). I hated it. Maybe it was because it was eons from my own interests in Goth and Manchester specifically (a mix of interests that I still can’t fathom) or maybe it was because she had started dating a hippie guy with whom I had little in common. Who knows. He was a nice enough guy but, geez, 70’s music? Really? Anyway, I would learn later on that the 70’s wasn’t all bad (in fact, I developed lots of similar musical interests later on that this guy had at that particular time) and this album is as great an introduction as any.
The album features an array of well-known guest musicians, including David Crosby and Graham Nash, who contributed vocals. Ringo Starr drums on two tracks under the pseudonym ‘Richie‘, which he also used for his contribution to the ‘London Sessions’ album by American bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, recorded in England that same year. Stills’ album is also the only album in rock and roll history to which both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix supplied guitar work. Hendrix died before the album was released – Stills dedicated the album to “James Marshall Hendrix.” The last song on the album ‘We Are Not Helpless‘ (which, oddly enough, starts out eerily similar to Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Every Highway’) was written in response to Neil Young’s song ‘Helpless‘ from the CSNY ‘Déjà Vu‘ album and the song and ‘Black Queen‘ have remained in the performing repertoire of both Stills and CSN. ‘Love the One You’re With‘, remained Stills’ biggest solo hit single, peaking at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and another single pulled from the album, ‘Sit Yourself Down‘, went to #37. The album itself peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart.
By the way, if anyone can suggest where the album cover idea to have Stephen (without a jacket) sitting on a snowy park bench playing to a stuffed giraffe came from, I’d sincerely appreciate it.
I mean, I knew they did drugs in the 70’s but, sheesh!