Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills

Atlantic, 1970

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Buffalo Springfield was long gone, Crosby, Stills, & Nash was on hiatus, and Neil Young was nowhere to be found. November of 1970 found Stephen Stills releasing his first self-titled solo album. It proved commercially successful, reaching number three on the United States album charts and producing two Top Forty singles.

Stephen Stills’ solo efforts have been spotty over the years, but his debut was a winner. Freed from the confines of a group setting, he was able to let his creative juices flow and not worry about the consequences. At this point in time, he was a huge star and was able to surround himself with a virtual who’s who of supporting musicians. Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr, John Sebastian, Booker T. Jones, Rita Coolidge, plus old friends Graham Nash and David Crosby were all on board to lend a hand. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

He experiments with a number of styles but the hits are both straight rock ‘n’ roll. “Love The One You’re With” remains one of his best known solo songs and just flows along. “Sit Yourself Down” has an interesting tempo and features stellar guitar work.

“Black Queen” is an acoustic blues tune and has remained a part of his live repertoire for decades. “Go Back Home” is another bluesy tune, finding him sharing top billing with Eric Clapton.

Stills goes in a gospel direction with a couple of compositions. “Church” and the beautiful “To A Flame” both take him in this unexpected but interesting direction. His vocals are strong and expressive as he explores musical territory that is unique in his career.

Some other highlights include the acoustic and philosophical “Do For The Others,” the jazzy rocker “Cherokee,” and the building “We Are Not Helpless.” Oddly enough, autobiographical “Old Times Good Times” with Jimi Hendrix on guitar is the least effective track.

On this disc, Stills finally escaped from the shadows of his famous bandmates; this was completely his own production. He wrote all of the songs, sang lead, played guitar, bass, keyboards, and some percussion, plus coproduces the affair. It all adds up to his strongest solo effort. If you are a fan of Stephen Stills, this album is essential.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2010 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic, and is used for informational purposes only.