Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Could Be a Hot One

[Okay, this guy hasn't written a decent song since the early 70s. Nonetheless, this news makes me very happy.]


Collection Features 12 Previously Unreleased Demos from Historic 1968
Session Including First Recordings of Classics "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," and
"Wooden Ships" Plus a Bonus Demo of "Treetop Flyer"

Available July 10 from Eyewall/Rhino Records

LOS ANGELES -- In April 1968, after Stephen Stills left Buffalo Springfield
but before he joined CSN, the singer-songwriter found himself in New York
at a recording session with then-girlfriend Judy Collins. When she
finished, Stills wandered down the hall with an engineer and an acoustic
guitar. Peeling off a couple of hundred-dollar bills, Stills told the
engineer, "Just roll tape." What he captured at that historic session were
the first-ever versions of classics he would later record solo and with
CSN, CSNY, and Manassas. Lost for decades, Eyewall/Rhino unearths this
extraordinary moment in rock 'n' roll history for a collection of
unreleased music. JUST ROLL TAPE ­ APRIL 26th 1968 will be available July
10 at regular retail outlets and www.rhino.com for a suggested price of

"Some you'll know; some you might not," Stills says of songs included in
this collection. "[T]he tape has been lost to the wind for almost 40 years
until Graham Nash discovered it's existence and urged me to release it.
Somehow, it's found its way back, and these songs now feel like great
friends when they were really young."

After recording these now-historic demos, Stills left the masters in the
studio, and they were almost discarded when the facility closed in 1978.
Musician Joe Colasurdo, who was rehearsing there at the time, was told by
the owner that he could cart off any tapes he wanted to before they cleared
the place out. After seeing Stills' names on several of the boxes,
Colasurdo kept them safe until he could find a reel-to-reel machine to play
them on.

Realizing the treasure he had, Joe began attempting to get the masters
safely back into Stills hands, an undertaking that took much determination,
and -- amazingly -- 25 years. In 2003, he was connected to Graham Nash
after happening to meet a close friend of his. Nash received the tapes,
passed them on to Stephen, encouraging him to release them. The rest is
music history, as made by Stephen Stills on JUST ROLL TAPE.

JUST ROLL TAPE presents remastered versions of the 12 songs Stills recorded
with engineer John Haney at Elektra Studios in New York City. An amazing
glimpse into Stills' songwriting genius, the recordings spotlight Stills'
instantly recognizable voice accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The
album includes the first recordings of future CSN hits "Suite: Judy Blue
Eyes," "Helplessly Hoping," and "Wooden Ships."

Also included are early versions of songs that would emerge on Stills' solo
albums such as "Black Queen" from his 1970 self-titled debut along with
"Change Partners" and "Know You're Got To Run" from his 1971 follow-up. "So
Begins The Task" appears here almost four years before it was recorded by
Manassas, the legendary group Stills formed in 1972. As a bonus, the
collection is bolstered by a track not recorded during the April 26 session
-- the first demo of fan favorite "Treetop Flyer," which showcases Stills
singing and playing dobro.

Recently voted by Rolling Stone as one of the top guitarists of all time
(#28), Stills will launch a month-long solo tour this June in Toronto at
the Music Hall Theatre.

[Seriously, as bloated and empty as his music has been for longer than I care to think about, Stills' early stuff -- Buffalo Springfield through the first solo album -- is out of this world, overflowing with soul and pop smarts. Revisionism, anybody?]


Kid Charlemagne said...

You don't like Manassas?

steve simels said...

No. And I say that as somebody who worships the ground Chris Hillman walks on.

Actually, the album Stills did with Neil Young was pretty good. "Long May You Run" et al....

dave™© said...

Just imagine how Stills' career would have gone if he'd had better teeth...

dave™© said...

What's interesting about this story is, apparently, he didn't really write anything of interest after that 1968 demo session.

OK, maybe "Love the One You're With"...

Pissedoffcabbie said...

Ironically, it was this batch of songs that allowed Stills to start packing his nose most thoroughly, and thus ruin his incredible songwriting skills, and, later, his beautiful voice.

It was the coke that led him to write mediocre songs and be convinced that they were hot stuff. The emperor had no clothes. Enough bumps, and you can do no wrong in your own fevered mind.

I shake my head and sigh to think what music might have come out of the 70's if not for coke. Most of those guys were just kids, and so they stood no chance. The accountants and lawyers took over the music business, and that was that. The renaissance was over.