And, yes, I’m indulging in my growing collection of Dad Rock at this point as well.
I read the ‘Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life‘ a few years back and loved it. I then went on a Graham Nash and Hollies bender for a few weeks to boot. so when I saw this album for – get this – $3.00, I was all like “Yeah, dude!”
Of course having one or two pints of New Belgium Brewing’s ‘Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough‘ (yes, you read that correctly) pints in me as well certainly helped in that decision making process.
Released on Atlantic Records in 1974, this was Nash’s 2nd solo album. It peaked at #34 on the Billboard 200. Nash blamed its failure to chart higher in the United States on a supposed lack of support and promotion from Atlantic Records. As a result, Nash left the label and signed a four-album contract with ABC Records as a duo with his CSNY partner David Crosby.
Contrary to later reports, the darker tone of this album was not inspired by the murder of Nash’s then-girlfriend, Amy Gossage, by her brother; that tragedy happened more than a year after the release of this album. Rather, Nash was in a somber mood in the wake of the failures of his relationships with Joni Mitchell and Rita Coolidge, and the unwillingness at the time of the other members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to reunite for a new album.
For this album, Nash gathered a core aggregate of musicians, many of whom were loosely connected to the CSNY family. These include: Johnny Barbata (drums), Tim Drummond (bass), David Lindley (guitar) – who absolutely rips on ‘Grave Concern‘ by the way – Ben Keith (pedal steel guitar/dobro), and, of course David Crosby (vocals). Also making guest shots were Dave Mason (12-string guitar), Joe Yankee (aka Neil Young) (acoustic piano), and Joni Mitchell (vocals). Together, they animate Nash’s slice-of-life compositions. Musically, Nash retains much of the whimsy that drew folks to his earlier songs. Likewise, the subject matter ranges from political (‘Oh Camil‘ and ‘Prison Song‘) to the emotionally naked ‘Another Sleep Song‘ and ‘I Miss You‘. Nash would bring several of these tunes back to the CSNY fold for their 1974 tour – including the up-tempo rocking title track, as well as the folkie ‘Prison Song‘.
It would be another seven years after ‘Wild Tales‘ before Nash would issue his next solo album, ‘Earth & Sky‘ – which, consequently, fared about as well as this album.
No matter though, I’m still diggin’ it.