Crosby Stills Nash Albums Ranked

Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) are a folk-rock supergroup made up of American singer-songwriters David Crosby and Stephen Stills, and English singer-songwriter Graham Nash. When joined by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young as a fourth member, they are called Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). They are noted for their intricate vocal harmonies, often tumultuous interpersonal relationships, political activism, and lasting influence on American music and culture. CSN formed in 1968 shortly after Crosby, Stills, and Nash performed together informally in July of that year, discovering they harmonized well. Crosby had been asked to leave The Byrds in late 1967, and Stills’ band Buffalo Springfield had broken up in early 1968; Nash left his band The Hollies in December, and by early 1969 the trio had signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash, was released in May 1969, from which came two Top 40 hits, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” [#21] and “Marrakesh Express” [#28]. In order to tour the album, the trio hired drummer Dallas Taylor and session bassist Greg Reeves, though they still needed a keyboardist; Ahmet Ertegun suggested Neil Young, who had played with Stills in Buffalo Springfield, and after some initial reluctance, the trio agreed, signing him on as a full member. The band, now named Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, started their tour, and played their second gig at Woodstock Festival in the early morning hours of August 18, 1969. The first album with Young, Déjà Vu, reached number one in several international charts in 1970, and remains their best-selling album, going on to sell over 8 million copies with three hit singles. Four singles were released from the album including “Woodstock” [#11], “Teach Your Children” [#16], and “Our House” [#30]. The group’s second tour, which produced the live double album 4 Way Street (1971), was fraught with arguments between Young and Taylor, which resulted in Taylor being replaced by John Barbata, and tensions with Stills, which resulted in his being temporarily dismissed from the band. At the end of the tour, the band split up. The group has since reunited several times, sometimes with and sometimes without Young, and have released eight studio and four live albums. Here are all Crosby Stills Nash albums ranked.

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8. CSN 2012 (2012)

“Since getting this amazing CD this is all I play as I drive my truck. Truly a class act from such amazing musicians. They have not lost any of the talent they have always had. CSN have always been one of my favorite groups and now I know why. I love this CD and it is live and the audience also knew all the words to make it like you were there”

7. After The Storm (1994)

“The band apparently had one last gasp of greatness in them. “After The Storm” is the great unknown CSN album. Stephen Stills plays his guitar with Buffalo Springfield-like intensity. Stills is one of those players who always seems to be holding back. The production on “After” is clean and organic. Gone are the syrupy keyboards from “Live It Up”. Back are more of those classic harmonies we’ve come to dream about. Check out the Beatles cover “In My Life” with some great harmonica and the treatment the song deserves. Like any good CSN album, this one contains rockers, ballads, and some tropical flavor like on “Panama”. “Unequal Love” is a gentle Graham Nash tune that is nostalgic, spiritual and relational all at once. “Only Waiting For You” is the radio friendly rock single which in 1994 probably got almost zero airplay. And it’s too bad. The more you listen to “After The Storm”, the more you realize that this is the last great CSN record. If this band has meant anything to you, this album would make a fine edition to your collection. Highly recommended.”

6. American Dream (1998)

“So many fans back in 1988 expected this to be a carbon copy of Deja Vu and this is obviously why there has been so many American Dream haters over the years. When it came out, this was the first CSN&Y album I had ever bought, so I wasn’t expecting a 1970 production style for one thing. The somewhat more glossy, ’80’s production doesn’t upset me because it could have been a lot worse. What they did accomplish here was really an excellent album. I must say that I don’t find ANY of the 14 songs here to be truly bad and I’m pretty critical too, with music and art. I won’t say that EVERY song here is a masterpiece but there’s quite a few that DO reach this height. This has got to be one of the most unfairly bashed albums of all time, by critics and others. I think the two-star AllMusic rating is pretty narrow-minded. This album deserves a lot more praise than that.”

5. Looking Forward (1999)

“The last few albums from Crosby Stills and Nash have been decent but a far cry from what I thought they were capable of creating. Seeing them live in ’91 was a treat beyond words. This latest reunion with Neil Young has renewed my faith in the skills of all of them. There are definite high points that I could talk about, but instead, I’m going to focus on the, seemingly, weaker songs. Faith in Me is among them. It’s full of cliched lines and the singing (particularly Stephen Stills) is not stand out in any way. However, the fusion of the music has a strange eclectic rhythm that is very catchy with few of the pop standards. Even the lead guitar work is scratchy but precise and different from what I’ve come to expect. Could it be a better song? Yes, but who could do it better? It’s catchy and fun and borders on pop if I could only define it’s relationship. I can’t because the relationship is too weak to give it credit. Stand and Be Counted is a CSN&Y standard. A protest song that calls for people to take responsibility for what’s happening around them. I like this message. The music could be better with it’s grunge guitar work but it’s a poor criticism. For me, the words and structure more than make up for the guitar work (which some people might argue is very good). Is it a crime when something with serious expressions isn’t too catchy? If it were catchy people would write it off as pandering to the pop crowd and compromising it’s strong message for the sake of being able to dance to it. Heartland is the last song I have a problem with. It’s a slow song with hard rock standards, but it also has a sincerity I can’t pin down. “

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4. CSN (1977)

“This is a classic album musically speaking, most rock music fans will already own a copy. The 1994 Atlantic label remaster was excellent for it’s day, however the 2013 Audio Fidelity gold CD betters the Atlantic sonically in every way and is well worth the outlay for those with better sounding systems, or anyone who still has the original (mediocre) 1980s CD release.”

3. Daylight Again (1982)

“I hadn’t heard this album in many years, and it brought back many memories. Side one rocks a bit more than the mellow of Side two, but the album carries itself well. Nobody has the vocal harmony of this group. If you’re new to CS&N, or just an old Baby Boomer like me, I can say without a doubt you will enjoy listening to this album.”

2. Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

“In the late spring of 1969,in a local record shop in my home town,while browsing through the records for any new releases regarding my favorite artists. I remember the owner of the store, not long after I was there, had come in.He had just returned from the local record distributors warehouse and he had a pile of new records with him.We knew each other casually and he always knew I was interested in record releases of my favorite current artists.
Not long after he had been in the store he came up to me enthusiastically and said “I have something you might be interested in”.He said” I have this new record by a group called “Crosby Stills and Nash”. I replied “I had never heard of”Crosby Stills and Nash”. He stated assuringly that he had just heard it (while at the record warehouse )and that it was fantastic. I politely listen to what he had to say, but he could see that I was still not interested. Still insistently,he elaborated on what a great record it was.”

1. Deja Vu (1970)

“Many albums can be considered great within the context of their release. Fewer “great” albums maintain that stature over decades. Deja Vu was recorded in the heady days when Woodstock was still a fresh memory and as Dylan said, “There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.” Yet today, forty years later, we all can marvel at the fantastic harmony, the insightful lyrics and the individual dignity of songs that have transended the times and are as meaningful today as the day they were recorded. Teach Your Children, Our House, 4+20, Helpless and Country Girl still delight our ears and open our eyes to a timeless truth and beauty.”