Five For Friday: Stephen Stills (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

As I was preparing this week’s Five For Friday, I realized that some performers work with other ones pretty frequently. For example, Stephen Stills works Neil Young and Chris Hillman a lot. Let’s take a look at the acts that Stephen Stills has been associated with over his long career…

  1. Buffalo Springfield, "Bluebird": Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay (later with the band Poco) were the core of Buffalo Springfield, who released three albums and several singles from 1966-1968. They were a key band in the development of folk rock and country rock, and psychedelic rock worked its way in from time to time. they had one big hit, "For What It’s Worth," that reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1967. "Bluebird" only made it to #58, but it was played frequently on FM stations in the ’60’s and ’70’s.
  2. Al Kooper & Stephen Stills, "Season of the Witch": Last week we talked about Michael Bloomfield and his contribution to the 1968 Super Session album. After having recorded Side 1 of the album, Bloomfield didn’t show up the next day (drug issues), so Kooper contacted Stills and they recorded the songs for Side 2. One of those songs was Donovan’s "Season of the Witch," notable for Stills’s use of the wah-wah pedal.
  3. Crosby, Stills & Nash, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes": Stills joined forces with David Crosby of The Byrds and Graham Nash of The Hollies in this trio. In addition to writing several songs, Stills played bass, guitar, and keyboards. The album sold four million copies, more than their three prior bands had sold together. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was a Stills composition dedicated to Judy Collins, whom Stills was dating at the time. The single, about half the length of the album version, reached #21 on the Hot 100, #10 on the AC chart, and #11 in Canada.
  4. Stephen Stills, "Love The One You’re With": After the split-up of Crosby Stills & Nash, Stills recorded a couple of well-received eponymous solo albums. "Love The One You’re With" was from the first, recorded in 1970. It reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada.
  5. Manassas, "It Doesn’t Matter": While he was on tour promoting his second solo album, Stills crossed paths with Chris Hillman of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Sensing a change in direction as well as knowing of the Burritos’ financial difficulties, Stills invited Hillman, Al Perkins and Byron Berline from that band to jam with him and several members of his touring band. They released two albums, Manassas and Down The Road. "It Doesn’t Matter" got a lot of play on FM stations, but failed to reach the Top 40.

Stephen Stills, your Five For Friday, November 27, 2020.

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