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Demos (180 Gram Vinyl)

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Vinyl, September 15, 2009
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. Bottino on June 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
To my ears these demos are of better quality than the recent Stills release "Just Roll Tape"...The song selection/sequencing and the way the performances/performers vary make it a great disc to listen to from beginning to end. So not only do you get the early skeletal versions of the songs (and they really sound much better than "rough demos") with different also get a real "album" with various moods that you can enjoy in its own right. Not a lot of harmony this shouldn't be an introductory cd for anyone, but fans will definitely appreciate these versions!
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
One disc 41 minutes approximately. The sound,even for demos,is fine. These tracks were overseen by Graham Nash who was in charge of this release.

First David Crosby released his box set. Then Graham Nash released his. Stephen Stills' box set is being assembled as I write this. Plus,with all the talk about the huge Neil Young set released today in various formats,the time was ripe for this collection of demos from CSN.

These twelve tracks,from 1968-1971,all of which ended up either on CSN or various solo albums,are a trip back in time. This is similar to STEVE STILLS' "Just Roll Tapes" release(though not even as "finished" as those tracks) from a while ago. Basically whoever you hear on vocals is the composer of the song,some of which have their own moody feel,much different than the versions released.

The first track,"Marrakesh Express", finds the trio blending their voices together a few months before their first album was released. The only other tracks with more than one member singing together are "Music Is Love",which features Crosby,Young and Nash,and "Long Time Gone",with Crosby and Stills on vocals. The rest of these tracks feature one of the trio on vocals-after all,these are demos,a guide for the rest of the group to flesh out at a later time.

The arrangements,being demos,are skeletal-very simple. As such,this collection is an insight into some of the groups'/members' more famous songs. Is this the great lost collection of CSN(Y) tracks? No. For those looking for that CSN(Y) sound-the seemingly effortless blending of voices,the fine instrumental backdrops-you'll have to stick with the group's various releases. There are some good things on this set.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Usually when I see a collection like this, I'm thinking "another money-grabbing job by the label or the band" and I tend to be highly sceptical. That said, the allure of this collection is such that I simply had to check it out.

"Demos" (12 tracks; 42 min.) brings demos from the early days, the earliest being from August, 1968 and the latest from February, 1971. This compilation starts off with the most "finished" of these demos, a nice "Marrakesh Express" (the only song on here actually performed by CS&N). However, it is followed in two of the next three tracks by 2 demos from David Crosby that are nothing short of jaw-dropping: just David and his guitar on an early version of "Almost Cut My Hair", and a 7 min. version of "Deja Vu", which you have to hear to believe it. Those songs along are worth this CD, period, and we still have two-thirds of the album to go! Stephen Stills' "My Love Is a Gentle Thing" and "Singing Call" are very nice, as is "Music Is Love", accredited to Crosby, Young & Nash (the finished version of this would appear on David Crosby's album "If I Could Only Remember My name"). The last 'can't miss' highlight is the Graham Nash demo of "Chicago" (just Graham and piano), the song's optimism/naivite is touching.

In all, I can't emphasize enough how pleased, even impressed, I am with this album. It's basically having CS&N sitting in your house and crooning their songs unplugged just for you. I wonder if this is it, tough? At just 42 min. there was room on here for a lot more. Or are they going to stretch this out on yet another CD? Stay tuned...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Aeolian Kid on June 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD

Wow! ... Who woulda thunk it?! ... After all these years, Crosby, Stills & Nash have unearthed these buried gems for all of us to enjoy. You WILL enjoy them, too, because these are all great songs. In good conscience, I cannot say that these songs are better than the originals. ... Why? ... Because these songs ARE the originals! ... Amazing stuff here. These performances are just as good - if not BETTER - than all of the previously released versions of these songs on the records we grew up listening to. Once you put this disc into your player, I guarantee that you will have a hard time taking it out right away to listen to something else. You will not want to. You will want to listen to these tunes over and over again for a while. They are that good. Most of these songs were recorded around 1971, one of the best years for music.

After listening to this album over a dozen times in the past few days, I can safely say that this is one of their greatest albums ever. It is intimate, personal, and powerful. Not all of the recordings are perfect sonically, as you can hear some analog tape hiss at times on a few of them, especially on the songs by Stephen Stills - and though I am delighted to hear a simple, stripped-down version of Love The One You're With (the one released on his first solo album was so overproduced and mixed so sonically busy that you had a hard time hearing everything clearly!), I think the vocals here could still have been raised up a little higher in the mix over the guitar, but maybe that was impossible (even with all the modern computer technology software programs). Still, this raw version is a joy to listen to. It ROCKS!
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Demos (180 Gram Vinyl)
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