Crosby, Stills & Nash
Supergroups rarely live up to the hype. Expectations are way out of line. People assume, often wrongly, that the group's new sound will be a synthesis of past accomplishments.
There's also the ego issue. To be called a supergroup, the members must have established a track record - namely been a member of a popular group and credited with making that band successful. That kind of notoriety breeds self-confidence bordering on arrogance. Multiply the attitude among the supergroup's members and it's easy to understand why they rarely last.
During an interview Graham Nash mused that Crosby, Stills & Nash could have been another Beatles if they had only managed to get past all the squabbles and focus on the music. While Nash may have over estimated his group's reach, the ongoing disputes did derail the group on occasion.
David Crosby had run afoul of head Byrd, Roger McGuinn, and was unceremoniously sacked. Stephen Stills was on the beach following Buffalo Springfield's implosion and Graham Nash, dissatisfied with the Hollies musical direction, split.
Wanting to establish a different dynamic than what they'd experienced and finding, at least initially, that they got along, they decided to join forces. With that much talent on the table getting a label interested wasn't a problem. Lawyers were summoned in to get CSN released from prior contracts and commitments. With that accomplished CSN was on its way.
First single "Marrakesh Express" was just the sort of fluff expected from the Hollies. Not surprising, Nash had worked on the song with the Hollies before he left and had been unable to get a finished version out of them so he took it to CSN.
Aside from the single, the self-titled debut had the acoustic "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," a song about Stills' girlfriend Judy Collins and the wooden "Wooden Ships." The only real standout was Crosby's forbidding ode to late Senator Robert Kennedy "Long Time Gone."
By the next album, "Deja Vu," Neil Young (ex-Buffalo Springfield) had joined giving the group some much needed grit and bite.
Over the decades, members performed as a trio and rarely a quartet - with Young- recorded both as a group, in duo combinations (Crosby-Nash and Stills-Young) and as solo acts. But nothing ever matched their first two albums.
Clearing the decks in '09, CSN issued "Demos," which was exactly that. The set featured group tracks ("Marrakesh Express," "Long Time Gone") plus solo work (Stills' "Love the One You're With").
They went the covers route in '10 enlisting the help of producer Rick Rubin. The album contained the Stones' "Ruby Tuesday," The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood," the Allman Brothers Band's "Midnight Rider," and Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country." "It's a lot slower than it's ever taken us to do an album," Nash told Billboard. "It turned out constant touring was the culprit."
1969 Crosby, Stills & Nash
1970 Déjà Vu
1982 Daylight Again
1988 American Dream
1990 Live It Up
1994 After the Storm
1999 Looking Forward
1971 4 Way Street
2008 Déjà Vu Live
1974 So Far
1991 Carry On
2005 Greatest Hits