5 Things Graham Nash Wants You to Know About CSNY's New Live Album

In 1974, The Allman Brothers Band, Chicago and Wings led the Billboard 200, but none were playing stadiums. That breakthrough fell to David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young, whose 1974 tour was their first together since 1970. CSNY played up to four hours a night, rocking their two albums, solo LPs and new songs. On July 8, after years of delays, the band dropped "CSNY 1974" (Rhino), a boxed set of live cuts from the tour compiled by Nash. With 60 songs on the deluxe edition, which bows at No. 17 on the Billboard 200, there are tons of takeaways - but Nash, 72, says these are the five most important.

1. There's a reason it took so long to come out

"The only thing around was a bootleg DVD from [London's] Wembley Stadium, but it wasn't a good show. We were too hyper - probably too high. I always knew that if we took performances from different nights, a jewel could be created. My idea was to put you in the middle of an incredible show. It was a difficult album to make - shows were indoors and outdoors, different sonic environments, and to weave them together into one experience was a technical accomplishment."

2. Young was on fire

"Neil had hit a writing streak that was unbelievable - the songs knocked me on my ass. I found this song, 'Goodbye Dick,' that Neil wrote the night before and we only played once. So beautiful, so Neil."

3. Some special songs didn't make the final cut

"[Stills'] 'Carry One' was very important in our set, but I couldn't find one version that excited me. I spent 90 hours mixing different recordings and had to say to Stephen, 'It's not working.' He said, 'If it's not there, it's not there.' I had a song ["It's All Right"] that didn't make the album - it was so new I was telling everyone the chords while we played it onstage. We were doing songs no one in the band had heard before. That's balls."

4. The four-hour sets were Bob Dylan-inspired

"It was right after the Dylan and The Band tour had done so well, and our team felt we could sell out stadiums. We were at the top of our game and had a lot of songs - old songs people wanted to hear and a backlog of new songs. We had all-acoustic sets, electric sets. I'd do 'Fieldworker' solo at the piano. There were no rules."

 

5. His biggest revelation making "CSNY 1974"

"How great an accompanist Neil Young is. He does whatever it takes to make a song better."


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