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Music Review: Stephen Stills – Stills

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In less than a decade Stephen Stills played with three excellent groups: Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, and Manassas. He also released two solo albums, participated in Al Kooper’s Super Session project, toured constantly, and sat in with a number of friends. It all added up to ten studio albums as well as a live one.

I’m not sure how much energy and focus he had for his third solo effort. Stills, issued in June of 1975, lacks the energy and consistency of his prior releases. It is a fairly subdued affair and just does not seem as ambitious. In many ways Stills was leaving the exuberance of his musical youth behind and embarking on a more sedate mid-life journey.

He was not working within a unified band context. Many of the musicians would appear on a couple of tracks and then disappear only to surface again. Stills tends to work best when he has a talented and set band behind him.  

All is not lost however. Donnie Dacus co-wrote two tracks but it is his guitar work on five of the songs that remains his most important contribution. Dacus has played with a number of groups during his career, including a short and ill-advised stint with Chicago, but here he compliments Stills well. Their “Turn Back The Pages” is probably the track the rocks the most consistently.

Stills composed three credible songs. “My Favorite Changes” is laid back and he provides a hint of his guitar virtuosity. “My Angel,” co-authored by Dallas Taylor, was an old Buffalo Springfield demo and is at least interesting. “To Mama From Christopher And The Old Man’ is enjoyable country/rock.

The best of the rest is “Myth Of Sisyphus,” which was co-written by bassist Kenny Passarelli, who was a member of Barnstorm with Joe Walsh.

All in all this release is an average effort by Stephen Stills. My copy rarely sees the light of day and the album as a whole remains lost within his vast catalogue.

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About David Bowling

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Good assessment of a rather ho hum album by an artist who had made better ones before.