Essential Atlantic: Stephen Stills, STEPHEN STILLS

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Stephen Sills STEPHEN SILLS Cover

For the next several weeks (or maybe just until we decide that we want to stop doing it, since normalcy seems likely to remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future), will be spotlighting an album from the Atlantic Records discography that qualifies as “Essential.” And what rigorous standards and/or mathematical algorithm did we use to come up with the criteria to define “Essential,” you ask? None at all. You’ll just have to trust our instincts. But they’re really good, we swear...

After making the jump from Buffalo Springfield into Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young), you’d think Stephen Stills would’ve placed all of his focus on his new endeavor, but that wasn’t the case: he recorded his self-titled debut album partly at Island Studios in London, then finished it in Los Angeles, splitting his time between The Record Plant and Wally Heider Studios.

To say that it features an all-star cast of musicians is simply an understatement: in addition to being the only album in music history to feature contributions from both Eric Clapton (on “Go Back Home”) and Jimi Hendrix (on “Old Times, Good Times”), it also contains songs featuring Booker T. Jones, Ringo Starr, Dallas Taylor, Rita Coolidge, John Sebastian, Cass Elliot, and bandmates David Crosby and Graham Nash.

Of course, the biggest reason that most people know this album – and reasonably so – is that it includes the single “Love The One You With,” a song which, even though it got no higher than #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, is still a song with a chorus that virtually everyone knows. What many forget, however, is that the album also contains a second top-40 hit: “Sit Yourself Down,” which hit #37.

STEPHEN STILLS hit #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and went top-10 in the UK as well, climbing to #8. It remains his most successful solo album, and make no mistake about it, it’s a damned fine album  to hold up as a career high.


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