Stephen Stills – Stephen Stills (1970)

Shut the door

Is Stephen Stills Neil Young’s friend or fiend? It is hard to know. They had played alongside each other in Buffalo Springfield, but they have also butted heads several times before and after. Already half a year after “Déjà vu” was released Stills came out with his self titled solo album.

Stephen collected seceral well known musicians around him. There was David Crosby and Graham Nash of course. Also; Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr, Dallas Taylor, Booker T. Jones, Rita Coolidge, John Sebastian and Mama Cass Elliot. The most notable omission is Neil. 

Well what is this LP then? It’s a collection of softer tunes with electric boogie. “Church (part of someone)” is a full blown gospel. I used to love Stephens voice, singing style and his blistering guitar work. Now I am not sold on his singing any longer. It’s not him, it’s me. I have changed.

“Love the one you’re with” is a well known song, and I am not sure I understand or approve of the sense of the lyrics. “Old times good times” is a blues rock with great guitar work by Jimi Hendrix, but I am not feeling it anymore. I liked this album way more back in the eighties when I first found it.

“Go back home” may be the better song on the first side of the LP. Eric Clapton is playing the electric guitar. Stills is singing with his usual laid back almost lazy style. Fuzzy Samuel and Johnny Barbata are great on the comp. Yes, the better song.

“Black Queen”, good or anus? I can’t stand the song, and it aint funny. It is typical Stephen Stills, he is to the fullest of himself. Good for him, but I don’t like what I hear.

“Cherokee” I like much more. Some unusual instruments mixing it up with an electric sitar, a flute and a saxophone. Yes, this one I can enjoy better.

Last song, *relief*, is “We are not helpless”. The title and lyrics indicate this as a response and come back towards Neil’s “Helpless” from “Déjà vu”. Not cool. This song is another gospel and I get very, very bored by it. Is it over yet?

My rating: 3/10

Side A:

  1. Love the one you’re with
  2. Do for the others
  3. Church (part of someone)
  4. Old times good times
  5. Go back home

Side B:

  1. Sit yourself down
  2. To a flame
  3. Black Queen
  4. Cherokee
  5. We are not helpless

Best songs: “Go back home” and “Cherokee”

Released on November 16, 1970

Media: Vinyl, LP, 1970, Album, Stereo, CTH – Terre Haute Press

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