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If I Could Only Remember My Name Import

208 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 9, 1988
$4.34 $1.24

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Only available on vinyl in the US. For his highly anticipated 1971 solo debut, David Crosby recorded a unique, eclectic, and willfully expansive album. The cream of early-70s California rock is assembled here, withthe various celebrities joining together in an organic, collective approach that's embodied in the opener, the free-spirited jam of "Music Is Love". Throughout the record, Crosby moves from the sauntering Western shuffle of "Cowboy Movie" to the wondrously spiritual harmonies of "Tamalpais High (AtAbout 3)" and, eventually, the hallowed chants of "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here". Musically the album has an exploratory, almost jazzy feel, with its bright production cloaking the listener in acoustic strains and lush, layered harmonies. These qualities perfectly evoke the relaxed, hazy California lifestyle of the time. For all its dreaminess though, IF I COULD ONLY REMEMBER MY NAME rarely missteps, and thehaunting melancholy of songs like "Laughing" and "Orleans" give the record a depth and durability that surpasses other recordings of the time. The result is an excellent, highly underrated album.

Thanks to his much-publicized personal travails, it's easy to overlook the multiple talents that originally made Crosby a star in his days with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash. This, his first solo effort, was recorded in 1971 (following Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Deja Vu) and contains some of his most impressive vocal and songwriting work, including the haunting "Laughing," the mantra-like "Music Is Love," and the extended, impressionistic "Cowboy Movie." With guest appearances by such famous friends as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick, and Jerry Garcia, it's a fascinating chapter in an always-interesting career that's all too often been overshadowed by headlines. --Scott Schinder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 9, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B000002I6T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 138 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on October 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
. . . though his recent stuff with CPR comes darned close. But this is a longtime favorite of mine, and nothing is likely to dislodge it.
If every speck of weed were to disappear from the planet tomorrow, it would still be possible to get stoned just from this CD. (Strictly speaking, you wouldn't even have to listen to it; you could pick up a contact high just from holding it in your hand.)
But contrary to the previous beliefs of some of my generation, it's not actually necessary to use chemical aids to achieve this sort of high. The high Crosby achieves on this album is the real thing: hauntingly beautiful artistry that includes but transcends his own individual contribution, producing a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is some of Crosby's best music, and it's not an accident that so many other names appear in the liner notes.
For this album reads like a Who's-Who of the late '60s/early '70s California music scene: Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and an array of other contributors we might as well call the Grateful Airplane. And everybody pitches in _something_ without which the album wouldn't be what it is.
But the center of it all is Crosby and his own unique musical vision. And when he's at his best -- as he is here -- his songwriting is so good he sometimes doesn't need to bother with words at all (as, e.g., on "Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)"). If the first thirty seconds of "Tamalpais High (At About Three)" doesn't leave you stunned and transfixed, then you and I aren't from the same home planet -- and I don't especially want to visit yours.
(The stuff _with_ words is still timely as well -- unfortunately, because some of it was recorded in the hope of making itself irrelevant and unnecessary.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on May 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who truly appreciates the scope, verve, and power of sixties music, this CD literally says volumes. Using an eclectic and heavily electric but dreamy LA sound base, an approach that employed most of southern (and northern) California's constellation of rock legends in production, Crosby weaves a series of thoughtful, mystic, and mysterious moods with this music. From the dreamy opening bars of "Music is Love" through the fanciful strains of "Cowboy Movie" all the way to the haunting strains of "Laughing", he shows why he has so many friends in the music business. All of CSN&Y are here, appearing alone or in combinations on individual song cuts. But this is most emphatically not just another CSN&Y album. Rather, this is an unusual yet emblematic album that only someone as rarely gifted and as countercultural as Crosby could take from conception, through writing, production and performance for us. The shame is that it (the album) is one of a kind. None of his other works with Nash or CSN or CSN&Y are as striking or as unabashedly David Crosby. Buy it, spin it, and enjoy it. You'll be humming the bars to any one of a number of the instrumentals like "Orleans" for weeks.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Richard D. Hodgson on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Yes, I will admit it-- a little part of me is forever stuck in the 60's (and early 70's). This album goes a very long way towards explaining why. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. This is another one of my "desert island discs", one of that handful of albums I can't imagine having to live the rest of my life without. It is absolutely brilliant. A virtual who's who of west-coast-folk-rock-60's-hippie-cool artists of the time, the roster of people who contributed to this album is mind-boggling by any standards. Everyone from Joni to Neil to Grace and Jorma to virtually the entire Grateful Dead. One of the most amazing things is that there is absolutely no grandstanding here-- all of the artists greatly contributed but none made an issue of their presence. At times it can be fun just to try to pick out the various artists as you listen. And although I'm admittedly an unabashed Dead freak, I just can't let Jerry Garcia's contributions go by without special mention. Not only can his unmistakable guitar work be heard throughout, but his pedal steel guitar on "Laughing" is indescribably beautiful. It is really hard to know where to begin in describing this album and its high points because it's all high (pun very much intended). This is truly one of the most gorgeous albums I have ever heard. And as an added plus, it is all astoundingly well recorded for the period (despite the claims of some other reviewers). Every time I hear this incredible album it makes me simultaneously happy and sad-- happy that such a masterpiece was ever recorded and that it still exists for all to hear and enjoy, and sad that the time it always takes me back to is gone forever.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Samuel B. King on November 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album has special significance for me as it, along with the Dead's American Beauty and a couple of classical LPs acompanied me on a trip to South America at the beginning of the '70s. perhaps it was because Crosby's sailing experience oozed from the grooves (I too was at sea). This is arguably Crosby's best work (it is to me). The richly crafted harmonies, carefully woven acoustic accompaniment and general "aura" of the overall album make it a gem of the period. It is criminal that this work has been so overlooked. Although Crosby is the dominant featured performer and composer, this LP highlights the then lively communal SF music scene. Those followers of the current underground scene would identify with this. Standout guest performances include glorious Joni Mitchell vocals (along with Neil Young), earthy Garcia guitar and potent Phil Lesh bass lines. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady also provide excellent supporting roles. I can't identify one particular track, 'cause the WHOLE album is so damn good and works so well as an organic whole. Over the years, I have found myself repeadedly coming back to this album for inspiration. Inspiration for what?...writing my own music, recapturing a feeling which oozes from these grooves and, yes, inspiring my life through just listening to the music. THIS IS '60S MUSIC OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND IN THE BEST SENSE. Its a treasure undiscovered by many people. Discover it yourself, set back and be prepared to be touched by its magic!!
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Glad to hear it, Stephen...have heard your remastering job on the CSN box set from '91, and if that's any indication, folks, this ought to sound great. Mr. Barncard is one of the best producers going, and very glad to hear this isn't and won't be a DualDisc, Stephen; I (and I'm sure others here)... Read More
Oct 22, 2006 by William M. Feagin |  See all 19 posts
bass signal
It is not a defect. The surround soundtrack is actually 5.0 and not 5.1.
Sthephen Bancard, the engineer in the original sessions and the guy now in charge of the surround mix and remastering says he made this decision for aesthetic reasons. Me, I only listen in stereo. The DVD-A stereo... Read More
Dec 1, 2006 by H. M Rivera |  See all 13 posts
One Of The High Points of Western Civilization
Agreed. I actually picked up this album on vinyl at the record store late last year. I digitized my favorite tracks from the album, and despite the scratchy record they still sound great, that's how well this album was originally recorded--the transients and everything really come through.

I'm... Read More
Dec 6, 2006 by Major Tom |  See all 4 posts
Truly great
Amen to that.

I love the whole San Fransisco scene of the era this album was made, and with the appearance of the Dead and Jefferson Airplane this recording captures the feel of the time like no other, and yet somehow remains timeless.
Feb 13, 2007 by Buck "Buck" Buckaw |  See all 3 posts
David Crosby's 1st album
I totally agree with R. Way. I was listening to this classic album the other day and was wondering why it has never received the remastering treatment. "If I Could Only Remember My Name" has such a dense and rich sound, it deserves to be heard in the highest quality.

11/6/06 update:... Read More
Jul 13, 2006 by M. Poer |  See all 2 posts
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