Although it is their best, the turmoil in the band, especially with the increased absence of Neil Young, shines through. Like the final album, “Last Time Around,” there are cuts that feature only portions of the band and others that are basically solo recordings by one member. Despite that and a lack of continuity in production, it features the best of their efforts. The album was produced by members of the band with the exception of the two Neil Young solo cuts “Expecting to Fly” and “Broken Arrow” that were produced by Jack Nitzche.
Rock and Roll Woman
There are three songs that shine on this LP: “Rock and Roll Woman,” “Mr. Soul” and “Bluebird.” Although not credited, it has been widely rumored that “Rock and Roll Woman” was co-written by David Crosby and that he participated as an uncredited back-up vocalist on the cut. I’ve never been a fan of tremolo guitar; however, it works well on this tune. Session musician Doug Hastings adds guitar on this track. Stephen Stills sings lead and also plays the organ.
Featured on Tuesday as an acoustic version, Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” opens the album and was the first song recorded for the LP. The original tracks were recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York in January 1967 with overdubs occurring in April. Although not issued as a single, it was a minor radio hit for the band getting airplay in a number of markets.
“Bluebird” is an example of a song written in several movements as Stephen Stills has been known to do at times (i.e., “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”); however, a longer version of “Bluebird” from the compilation album “Buffalo Springfield Revisited” is the preferred version and the one that got more AOR (album oriented radio) airplay. Like “Suite Judy Blue Eyes,” the song is about Still’s ex-girlfriend Judy Collins.
Bruce Palmer is absent from this recording and session musician Bobby West plays bass. The frailing banjo is performed by folksinger Charlie Chin.
The Entire Album
Here’s a YouTube playlist featuring the album in its entirety.