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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stills' First and Best Solo Effort Ever, July 16 2004
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
It was the beginning of a new decade and, as Dickens wrote "it was best of times, it was the worst of times," CSN&Y has made it clear there would no more "Deja Vu"s and it was impossible not to be sad as having such stunning encounter of four songwriting talents stop their four-way magic at one single album.
And then there were four solo beauties -except for Young's "After the Gold Rush," first albums for Crosby, Nash and Stills- that returned a smile to many of our grieving faces.
Although if compared to his feuding amigos I would not rate Stephen Still first solo recording the best of all four, there's nothing here that could not be considered absolutely impeccable.
Furthermore, as musical breadth goes, this album show unequivocally Stills' capacity and deep understanding of what Rock was becoming and practically every well it drunk from.
And everything it's realized perfectly, the soaring chorus and sweeping organ of "Love The One You're With;" the Gospel beauty of "Church" and "To A Flame;" "Old Times Good Times," where Stills trades licks with Hendrix himself; the horns launching "Cherokee" into its own outer space, the sensuous cadence of "Sit Yourself Down;" the tequila-soaked blues of "Black Queen;" the quiet folk of wisdom of "We Are Not Helpless" ...
Well, you definitely get the picture. This is Stills' solo masterpiece, a work of such greatness that made his follow-up solo recordings -very good albums indeed- impossible to match it. Perhaps Manassas' debut is the only other album Stills put out -then as a band leader again- that can be compared to this one.
This is an album that belongs in any serious Rock worshipper's CD collection, not because of its possible historical significance nor any prior sentimental attachment to those times, but exclusively on the strength of its musical content, as relevant and soulful today as thirty-odd years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accomplish This!!!, Nov. 14 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (Jacksonville, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
Let's see now, he wrote almost all of their most enduring songs, provided the electrifying guitar work and the gut wrenching lead vocals, and had the only really successful solo excursions of the band (Manassas), and yet he is the LEAST accomplished member of CSN? I don't get it! The only other member of this band who even holds a candle to Stephen is ex Buffalo Springfield cohort Neil Young, who was only occassionally a member CSN. Without Stills there simply would have been no CSN at all, end of story!
This album is indeed a bit dated, particularly with regard to some of the studio arrangements, but Stephen comes through strong and clear on every song, and demonstrates here why he was one of the most creative and original musicians of his time. The musical landscape of the late sixties and early seventies would have been much less vibrant without him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A VERITABLE MASTERPIECE!, Aug. 28 2000
By 
BeatleBangs1964 (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
I love the songs on this collection. I really do. Stephen Stills does not disappoint. His incredible voice and guitar playing are a treat for the ears. He revisits the delightful classic of "Love the One You're With" and treats his audience to a rich blend of gospel, country, folk and rock. I love "Church (Part of Someone)." The songs are of exceptionally high caliber and I just can't imagine anyone not liking this. It is truly excellent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stills' 1st Solo Album, Jan. 8 2004
By 
Adam H. Macdougall (Arcata, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
Stills' excellent first solo album, STEPHEN STILLS, was released after the 1969 CROSBY, STILLS, and NASH album, the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young DEJA VU album and release of the Ohio/Find the Cost of Freedom single. This album and each of the other members of CSNY's first solo albums, David Crosby's IF ONLY I COULD REMEMBER MY NAME, Graham Nash's SONGS FOR BEGINNERS, and NEIL YOUNG's AFTER THE GOLDRUSH, are all strong releases. The music on Stils' album is remarkably diverse; the first song is the recognizable CSN hit single, Love The One Your With. Do For The Others is a great example of Stills' skill for acoustic songwriting, while songs like Old Times Good Times, featuring Stills playing a great organ and Jimi Hendrix on guitar, and Go back Home, guitars by Stills and Eric Clapton, are great rock songs. Black Queen showcases Stills' blues playing. To A Flame is a great, dare I say it, romantic song, which is also just an all around great mellow song. Cherokee is also a song that I really like on the album; Stills sings well and plays great guitar and there is also some interesting flute playing too. The remaining songs, Church, Sit Yourself Down, and We Are not Helpless, are also good songs that sound somewhat similar to each other with some variation among them. All in All, a great album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars classic, Nov. 3 2003
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This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
THIS IS ONE TO TAKE TO THE MOON IF YOU CAN ONLY TAKE 10.
A MOST UNDERRATED SUPER PICKER, STILLS RANKS IN MY TOP 10.
IF YOU ONLY BUY ONE, THIS IS IT.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a bit of everything and then some..., Oct. 31 2003
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
Released in November of 1970, 'Stephen Stills' gave the artist his first opportunity to put out a work entirely his own. Nearly every selection is a classic in its own right, and each owes its success to previous eras in the artists development.
Stills hardly goes it alone in this, his first 'solo' effort. Woodstock buddies David Crosby and Graham Nash are along for the ride, providing backing vocals on several songs. Big name guitarists Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix add energized lead solos on two numbers, and a host of big names such as Mama Cass Elliot, Rita Coolidge, John Sebastian, and Booker T. Jones make contributions.
There is substantial constrast between those songs featuring the then popular 'Wall of Sound' phenonenon, pioneered by Phil Spector, and those that don't. 'Love the One You're With', 'Cherokee', 'Sit Yourself Down', and 'We Are Not Helpless' are wall-to-wall knock-out bowl-you-over tsunamis of sound. Particularly appealing is the manner in which Still's lead guitar on 'Cherokee' seems to ride on top of, and all around, the brassy orchestrations, and the opening lyrics from 'Sit Yourself Down'... "When I get restless, what can I do, when I need someone, I think about you...".
Three more atmospheric numbers, 'Do For the Others', 'Church', and the lush 'To a Flame' provide breathing room between the more bombastic tunes. On 'Do For the Others', Stills harkens back to the debut CSN album, overdubbing all the instruments and vocals by himself. In fact, on nearly all the songs, Stills contributes not only lead vocals, but at least two instruments. On 'Love the One You're With', he's playing guitars, organ, steel drum, and percussion. And 'Black Queen' stands in stark contrast to everything else on the CD. Recorded live, it featuring Stills and his acoustic guitar spitting and grinding out the only blues number available here.
The two remaining songs, the autobiographical 'Old Times Good Times', and 'Go Back Home', are the hard rock contributions, featuring Hendrix and Clapton respectively. Don't listen to anyone questioning the intensity or quality of these lead guitar solos... both are extraordinary, and Still's organ on 'Old Times Good Times', as well as his wha-wha on 'Go Back Home' perfectly complement everything else that is going on. Both of these songs are pure rock classics, staples for any collector of all that was essential from this era of rock history.
Aside from Stills subsequent work with Manassas, and perhaps his eclectic 'Live' release in 1974, there is no finer Stephen Stills collection available, and none of these songs are available on any other Stills recording, save compilations. It is an essential element of any comprehensive Stephen Stills collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars accomplish this, Sept. 26 2003
By 
Hugh M. Anderson "hugeanderson" (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
Stills is the man and this is one of his best. And as to the idea that Stills is not the most accomplished, the nice thing is that if you want to know what CSN sounds like without the S then you can get Crosby and Nash and hear for yourself. Great album, but without Stills C&N are trippy/fruity. With Stills, they rock.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stills' best solo work., July 9 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
The music is a bit dated, but great sound on the remaster.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated masterpiece, July 4 2003
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
Can't help but join the rabid chorus of punters who are wondering what the Amazon reviewer was on when he (or she?)wrote their diatribe. This album is a masterpiece that has never been accorded the respect it richly deserves. Every song has a magical quality that occasionally emerges in the rather more stilted CSNY product, but never with the same effect. "This is a song about a card game...." still, after all these years, sends a slight tingle down my spine. I'm no musician, so won't even pretend to know whether the playing is good or bad - but I know what I like, and I like what I hear on this album. Bluegrass, rock, blues, gospel - its all there, in one neat package that many have tried to emulate, but few have ever succeeded to the level that SS did on this outing. As to his contribution to CSNY, as some have commented on, does it matter? CSNY was effectively a backup band for each of its members to perform their own songs in their own way. As far as Stills and Young are concerned, Young's pinnacle was his solo "Harvest", and this is Still's. The other two never made the starting line, other than the sole CSNY pop record. Deja Vu was OK, but SS1 is the album I'll keep on listening to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maestro Stills, June 29 2003
By 
john davis mabry (Redondo Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stephen Stills (Audio CD)
The Amazon Reviewer guy must not know...such a pitifal description of this album. Stills includes some of his most astonishing and acomplished guitar and recording saavy on this vinyl. It's a favorite and has been since its release (at my house). Stills' artistry knows what sounds to keep and which to toss and a master who knows how to tease just the right licks out of his instruments and then ices the whole deal in the technical realm as well. Stills is THE de facto cross-over country, island influenced and GREAT rock n roll bluesman of this age. And a real smart man as well, just listen to his lyrics! Congratulations on your brilliance Steven Stills!! This is one of his best recordings ever.....
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