Stephen Stills – Stephen Stills (1970)

Album no. 182/1001

This album came out after a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album called Deja Vu which topped the charts(!). That’s on this list but we haven’t got to it yet. Wait just 2 days, and we’ll be there.

Steve had a lot of his friends play on this one. Jimi Hendrix played guitar on ‘Old Times Good Times’, but was dead by the time the album came out. Eric Clapton played on ‘Go Back Home’, and this remains the only album to feature playing from both. Nice little piece of trivia for you there.

The album also featured contributions from Crosby and Nash (but not Young), Booker T, Ringo Starr, and Cass Elliot (Mama Cass!). Properly star-studded.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: Definitely not. I don’t know a single song off this.

CL: Poor old Stephen Stills. I didn’t mind him in Buffalo Springfield (I guess), but I didn’t like his first outing with his fun friends David and Graham. I don’t know whether he’s maybe the problem here.

NK: I didn’t even like him in Buffalo Springfield. I am not hopeful.

Standout track

NK: I think it’s the opener, ‘Love The One You’re With’, despite it’s morally questionable message. There was some fun guitaring on ‘Old Times Good TImes’ and ‘Go Back Home’, but overall I was not hugely impressed with this. The other track I didn’t mind was ‘We Are Not Helpless’ with the big orchestral finale.

CL: I have a strong feeling that yes, he may well be the problem. The beginning of ‘Black Queen’ is just him moaning uncomfortably. I didn’t like it.

NK: ‘This is a song about a card game’. Bit of a country saloon feel, but as you say his moaning doesn’t do it for me. There is some variety on this, I’ll give it that. ‘Cherokee’ came out of nowhere with horns and a flute, like some Chicago offcut. I didn’t like it, but it was different.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: There’s something about this album that puts me off. I am not quite sure what. It’s pretty middle of the road, easygoing folk-pop. I have trouble paying attention to the lyrics as well, mostly I’ve got no idea what he’s singing about. Listen to this when you’re not in the mood for anything challenging.

CL: For some reason on the cover, Stephen is playing his guitar in the snow? I wouldn’t recommend this for sub-zero temperatures. 

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: I’m not sure really. Could it be the opening track recommending having affairs if you’re away from the person you love? That’s a strong stance to take. Maybe all the songs have really controversial opinions in them and I just didn’t notice. Apart from that it was pretty standard folk pop that did not impress me.

CL: Let’s be real. Anything Stills, Nash, or Crosby seem to stick their name on, it appears on this list. Mystery solved.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: No.

CL: I can’t say I got a lot of enjoyment out of this. The thing I liked best about Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills and Nash are the super tight harmonies – and that’s just missing from this.


NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Stephen Stills on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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